Janet Musgrave’s life has always revolved around dancing.

Until three years ago, she was a dancing teacher for Ultimate Dance, a local dance school.

Originally from the Hunter Valley, Janet made the move to Sydney many years ago to live with her teacher, who had established The Beryl Ellis School of Dancing.

Janet kept the school going after Miss Ellis passed away, and it was later named Ultimate Dance.

Touring with the greats

“Dancing is everything to me – it’s been my whole life,” Janet says.

“I used to tour with Miss Ellis and it was beautiful – we danced with such greats as Benny Hill and Al Martino in our day. We made such great memories.”

Janet has also enjoyed years of teaching children with a wide range of abilities – and she used to work as an examiner for the Australasian Dance Association.

The cake given to “Miss Jan” upon retiring from Ultimate Dance.

The day her world changed

It was hard when Janet needed to finish her dancing career – but “it was time”, she says.

The 82-year-old Malabar resident vividly remembers the day she slipped while exiting a bus at Eastgardens.

“I was going down the steps at the back of the bus, and it was quite crowded that day,” she recalls.

“The bus was out from the curb quite a lot, and I stretched to step off.

“That was when I slipped and fell.

“I broke the talus bone in my ankle and fractured my fifth metatarsal.”

Janet spent eight days in hospital, had some screws inserted, and left hospital not knowing what the future would hold.

Janet Musgrave.

Reaching out and finding support

One of her first steps was to get in touch with My Aged Care, and she was soon referred to South Eastern Community Connect for her community transport needs.

Janet can’t speak highly enough of the transport service, which has included regular lifts to her medical appointments.

“I hadn’t been able to get to these places easily because my relatives live up in the Hunter Valley – and my daughter lives in Singapore,” she says.

“But having the support from the staff at SECC has made such a difference. They are always on time, always lovely, and are ready to pick me up and bring me home right when I need it. I can’t fault them.”

Janet has struggled since her husband died of brain cancer six years ago – but she has a very positive outlook and a great deal of resilience.

“On my down days I make choices to get out of the house somehow, whether it’s a trip to Maroubra Junction or a seniors’ yoga class,” she says.

“You need to look after yourself, and finding out about local services such as SECC is an important first step.”

For more on the programs and supports we offer seniors, head to our What’s On page now or call us on (02) 8338 8506.

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