Nothing in the world makes Audrey happier than dancing. And at 84 she’s showing no sign, or inclination, of slowing down. Audrey moves to music as often as she can. At a recent wedding she “danced all night” and can be found kicking up her heels at her Ryman village happy hour every week.
A passion for dance struck early for the former ballet teacher who made her stage debut at the age of four. She remembers her first role and the exhilaration she felt twirling across the stage. Ever since, dance and performance have been a large part of Audrey’s life - one of the many things she indulges in at Ryman.
Last year, Audrey and some of her village friends put on a pantomime for the other residents. It was a modern take on Little Red Riding Hood – reimagined with Red Riding Hood as a difficult teenager. Witty and entertaining, the crowd and performers all had a blast.
Audrey lights up with excitement when she talks about the performance. She exudes the same passion when the conversation moves to her village. She describes the staff and fellow residents “like a second family. It’s really lovely, we look after each other - we take care of each other”.
People often mention this sense of community when asked about their Ryman experience. Friendly people with interesting talents and the organised and impromptu activities that take place every day – making it the perfect fit for passionate, busy people like Audrey.
Audrey feels great about her decision to move to Ryman. She says it’s one of the best decisions she’s made in life. One with absolutely no regrets.
“My favourite thing about Ryman is the security. I’m very very happy here and I think it’s good for our families. They’ve got peace of mind. They can go away for a holiday and know that I’ll get help immediately.”
She knows this from experience. On one occasion she bumped her head in her bathroom. She pressed the security button and staff were opening her townhouse door before she’d even made it to the kitchen - “that’s security for me now because you don’t know what’s around the corner, anything can happen”. And that’s true. But what we do know is that Audrey will be dancing, one way or another.