Waiheke Marketplace : January 7th 2015
www.stuff.co.nz NEWS WAIHEKE MARKETPLACE, JANUARY 7, 2015 3 Another hip-hop adventure Pensioners score new set of fans A trip to Taiwan to perform in front of tens of thousands of people is just the latest in a raft of new experiences for Hip Op-eration dance crew members Kara Nelson, 95, and Terri WoolmoreGoodwin, 93. They share what that was like with DIANAWORTHY. It’s a miserable grey day but nonagenarians Kara Nelson and Terri Woolmore-Goodwin are about to liven up the afternoon with colourful souvenirs and tales about their adventures in Taiwan. The pair are members of the 23 strong Hip Op-eration Crew of Waiheke Island dancers over 65 years of age, which has been hitting headlines ever since its formation by manager Billie Jordan two years ago. Since then, they’ve wowed audiences in New Zealand and Las Vegas and, in November, returned from performing in front of 60,000 people at the Taipei Stadium in Taiwan. The Crew had been invited by Taiwan’s Hondao Foundation and offshoot Silver Linings Global to join 10 different senior citizens’ performance groups from throughout Taiwan in a show called Seniors on Broadway. The show on November 15 con- ducted entirely in Mandarin was a particular honour for the Crew – the New Zealanders were the only performers to be invited from the western world. It was to be their biggest adventure yet and gave them a chance to holiday as well as perform. ‘‘If you’ve never been on a holiday like we have, you’ve really missed something. I’ve been on all kinds of Having fun, above: Kara Nelson demonstrates her ‘‘rah’’ that scared the Taiwanese president’s wife while Terri Wilmore-Goodwin smiles at the memory. rehearsals in one day and give two performances the next. Kara says they were all asked to stay behind after rehearsals to meet a group of Taiwanese senior citizens who, to the Crew’s delight, presented each one of them with individualised, homemade, brightly coloured hats and bags. And a very special visitor later on provided another highlight. ‘‘The first Lady of Taiwan, wife of the Taiwanese president, came and visited us. ‘‘We all did ‘rah!’ and frightened the life out of her,’’ Kara says. But they made amends later at the President’s dinner to which they were all invited along with the Hondao Foundation chairman. After dinner Billie Jordan taught the chairman’s wife a few dance steps and the Crew gave a short performance. ‘‘Actually I think that dance we did for them was the best we’d ever done,’’ Kara says. ‘‘We were tanked up,’’ Terri reminds her. The performance was an evening spend her life on the computer.’’ An evening arrival meant their trip from the airport allowed little chance for a decent first glimpse but the pair say they were particularly struck by the lack of lighting. ‘‘Taipei is a huge city,’’ Kara says. ‘‘The people aren’t terribly well off. The shops and buildings hadn’t seen had a lick of paint for years – they were all grey or light beige colours. ‘‘It was 55km from the airport to Happy days, left: Kara Nelson and Terri WilmoreGoodwin proudly wear the hats that were specially made for them. Photos: DIANAWORTHY holidays by myself,’’ Kara says. ‘‘Billie (Jordan) thinks of every- thing and gives you a book with everything in it. She must the hotel and there were no lights on anywhere until it got really dark. ‘‘Four million people live in that city so it’s very crowded.’’ But they had plenty of time to have a look around the next day, going shopping and eating at a night market. Soon it was time for rehearsals and, accompanied by four local student helpers, the group drove to the stadium which the pair found cavernous. It was a long building with a 100 yard walk to an enormous stage. But the extra exercise did little to dent the Crew’s reserves of energy, allowing them to complete two to remember as well, the pair say. With their adrenaline still pumping, it made for a spectacular finale. Kara says all the night’s performers assembled onstage and everyone jumped up and down before the Taiwanese finished with a Chinese dance. ‘‘We sang Pokarekare Ana.Itwas well received even though they didn’t understand a word.’’ After that, it was holiday time with trips to the zoo, temples, the famous 101 Tower – the second tallest in the world – and a ride on an aerial gondola which, Terri says, was yet another new experience. ‘‘I was always scared to do it before. I don’t like heights. ‘‘There was a very green forest beneath it. When we got to the top, we had lunch with lots of tea and lots to eat. ‘‘And when we looked down, there were food stalls all the way. One of the signs was for crocodile balls.’’ But an even more memorable occasion loomed. It was Kara’s 95th birthday during the trip and the Crew took it as another opportunity for a party to rival anyone’s half their ages. She declares it the best birthday she’s ever had. EXPLORE WAIHEKE AUCKLAND TO WAIHEKE Pier 3D Ferry Terminal, 99 Quay St MON – FRI 6:10am 6:40am 7:45am 8:30am 9:30am ★ 10:30am 11:30am 12:30pm 1:30pm 2:30pm 3:30pm 4:30pm 5:15pm 6:05pm 6:45pm 8:15pm 9:45pm+ SAT - - 7:30am 8:30am 9:30am ★ 10:30am 11:30am 12:30pm 1:30pm 2:30pm 3:30pm 4:30pm 5:30pm 6:30pm 8:00pm 9:30pm 11:00pm SUN/PUB HOLS - - 7:30am 8:30am 9:30am ★ 10:30am 11:30am 12:30pm 1:30pm 2:30pm 3:30pm 4:30pm 5:30pm 6:45pm 8:15pm WAIHEKE TO AUCKLAND Matiatia Wharf MON – FRI 7:00am 7:40am 8:40am 9:30am 10:30am 11:30am 12:30pm 1:30pm 2:30pm 3:30pm ★ 4:30pm 5:15pm 6:00pm 7:00pm 7:30pm 9:00pm 10:30pm+ SAT - - 8:30am 9:30am 10:30am 11:30am 12:30pm 1:30pm 2:30pm 3:30pm ★ 4:30pm 5:30pm 6:30pm 7:30pm 8:45pm 10:15pm 11:45pm SUN/PUB HOLS - - 8:30am 9:30am 10:30am 11:30am 12:30pm 1:30pm 2:30pm 3:30pm ★ 4:30pm 5:30pm 6:20pm 7:30pm 9:00pm MyWAIHEKE Frequent Pass $ 355 42 TRIPS VAILD FOR 2 MONTHS Perfect for the Holiday Season Find out more at explorewaiheke.co.nz | 0800 000 469 + Late service available Fridays only. ★ Sailing time approximately 10mins longer. 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