The team of Midllife Movers on Britain's Got Talent

Trust staff showcase their talents on national television

Colleagues from across the Trust strutted their stuff in front of the nation when they took part in Britain’s Got Talent.

Members of the Midlife Movers dance groups earned four yeses from the judges in their audition, which started with four of the oldest members, wearing dressing gowns, starting to sway to Strangers in the Night.

But after just a few seconds, they threw off the gowns and were joined by dozens of other dancers on the stage and in the aisles of the London Palladium to perform an energetic routine to a medley of 1970s tunes.

Among them was Tracey Couchman, EA to the site team at the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, who said it was an amazing experience.

She said: “We had to do our first audition at the Oval, and we were then put through to audition in front of the judges.

“We weren’t allowed to tell anyone until the day it was shown. It was mad – the audition has now had more than 1.5million views on YouTube and so many people have asked about it.

“Our attitude was ‘let’s just give it a try’, we weren’t nervous, it was more like a fun day out.

“I think we were more excited about showing people what we could do and how much fun we have.”

More than 130 took part in the audition, including about a dozen Trust staff, and the groups have also taken part in carnival parades and flash mobs. On Saturday they were part of the Pride Canterbury parade.

The groups are run by Debbie Forsyth, whose husband Mike is a programme officer at K&C. Classes take place in Ramsgate, Birchington, Sandwich, Deal, Dover, Whitstable and Canterbury and are aimed at anyone over the age of 40. The oldest members are in their 80s.

Debbie said: “It started because I just wanted to dance to the old tunes and so I thought I’d see if anyone else was interested.

“I put a post on Facebook and the response was phenomenal. We spread really quickly and now there are about 320 people who dance with us each week.

“I think it fills a gap for people in an age group that can feel forgotten – we don’t want to go to the gym or do high-impact classes, we just want to have fun and dance.”

As well as classes, the group has a strong social element, and has also raised more than £20,000 for charity since starting two years ago. They produced a Calendar Girls-style calendar, and have plans for a recipe book next year.

Debbie said: “Everyone supports each other and there are so many positives that have come out of the groups.

“Our movers’ confidence is sky high, particularly after being on television, and everyone was really buzzing and has been asking what’s next.

“The fun and laughter in our sessions is uplifting and very contagious and I think it’s really good for people’s mental health, as well as helping with grief, loneliness, and giving respite to a very complex age group.

“It has given them a new lease of life and something to look forward to, particularly the older members, who tell me they thought their dancing days were over.” 

You can watch the audition on YouTube, and find out more about the Midlife Movers on Facebook.