Chris Cook has always loved to dance.
The Childers local, alongside her late husband Mike, spent many years teaching people different dance routines as part of their classes at Apple Tree Creek Memorial Hall.
It was a place of joy for many with plenty of events and celebrations – including the tradition of the Apple Blossom Ball – providing a space to move, groove and have a good time.
“Mike and I taught hundreds of debutantes to dance over the years,” Chris said.
“We also hosted a dance party for the kids, movie nights, old time dancing, belly dancing, line dancing, modern dancing, cloggers and more.
“Dance lessons were held weekly on a Wednesday night at Apple Tree Creek Community Hall and we would have special events and dress up once a month.”
Dance lessons have not resumed to the ATC Hall since COVID impacted classes in early 2020.
Chris has looked back on her life, and her dancing days, as part of Bundaberg Regional Council's Our People Our Stories initiative.
She said she threw herself into dancing and teaching after finishing Year 10.
“After school I went on to land a job at Isis Body Works for over a decade,” Chris said.
“I was at Isis State High School as a teacher aide, work experience coordinator and in the office – I just loved it.
“My husband Mike drove the school bus, he assisted with manual arts and he drove the kids to TAFE in Bundaberg.”
Mike passed away five years ago and Chris said he had left her with beautiful memories of a passion for dance that they both shared.
And even after suffering a life-changing incident which left her permanently disabled, Chris said she still managed to “keep on dancing” for Mike, thanks to the many wonderful people who had supported her.
“I had an accident at school and fell backwards and hit my head,” she said.
“I had a brain bleed which affected the left side of the body and my back – it has left me with a permanent disability.”
Chris said although she could no longer move in the same way, she continued to teach.
“I love teaching people to dance, I just show people what I know,” she said.
“I love to watch the kids dance. I love to see people enjoy themselves.”