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another step Former dancer Pauline Byard pictured with her DVD and the cover (left) Life captured on film

THERE'S just no stopping dancer Pauline Byard.

She took her first tentative dance steps in Huddersfield at the age of three - and now, aged 85, she is still dancing.

High-spirited Pauline has just finished making a film of her life, called The Perils of Pauline, with friend and film-maker Jenny McCabe - the project being helped by Lottery funding.

She has been back in her home town, Holmfirth, for a short visit to relatives. Her home now is in Morecambe.

At three-years-old Pauline began her dancing in Huddersfield, having moved to the town from London.

She attended Mabel Glover's School of Dance at the age of nine.

She describes Mabel as "an inspiration all my life".

After leaving school aged 16, Pauline became a full-time student at the Royal Academy, specialising in ballet, modern and tap.

When war broke out in 1939, National Service caught up with Pauline and she found herself in the Entertainment National Service Association (ENSA).

While on the stage she was known as Pauline Gay, and troops across Europe and the Middle East were frequently dazzled by her spectacular performances as a singer and dancer.

Her partner, Josie Masters, worked alongside her for many years and they were known as quite a double act.

For 10 years after the war, Pauline spent her time touring numerous musical comedies and pantomimes.

She recalled some of her favourite moments: "I really enjoyed playing principal boy in the pantos.

"Working in such a glamorous job, I was lucky enough to meet and work with many big names - including Jessie Matthews and Sonnie Hill.

"I returned to Germany after the war after being offered the chance by Phil Hinndon - known for presenting the Royal Variety Show - to teach American children.

"It was a hectic time and I stayed for six years."

Not only has Pauline spent her life as an entertainer but she and her first husband Alec, who died in 1984, ran their own slimming and beauty clinic in Morecambe.

Age has proved no barrier to Pauline and she still teaches three dance classes a week in the Lancashire seaside town.

She laughs: "I suppose dancing does keep me fit. You wouldn't think I was 85."
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Copyright 2005 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Oct 31, 2005
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