A dance-mad family is hoping to hot foot into the world record books for having an incredible four generations of ballroom dancers.
The Riley family have got the moves in their dancing DNA after taking to the ballroom at the historic Blackpool Tower with a 70-year history.
Patricia and Arthur Riley, their son Arthur Jnr and his wife Susanne, grandaughter Beverley Hunt and her 16-year-old son Ethan Hunt hope to be crowned the world’s only four generation ballroom dancing family by Guinness World Records.
Patricia, 89, from Blackpool, Lancs., said: “I never thought in my wildest dreams that I’d still be dancing when I was this age – but I’ve never considered slowing down.
“It’s what I love doing, more than anything else.”
Patricia met Arthur, 93, at a tea dance in London in 1945 during the Second World War.
She was a retail shop worker and he was a rear gunner with the RAF Lancaster Bombers when they ‘fell in love on the dancefloor’.
Arthur Snr added: “Back in my day, going out to a dance was the thing to do, there were no phones or computer games to keep us indoors.
“I still remember when I first saw Patricia, I got butterflies when I asked her to dance –
we fell in love on the dancefloor.”
Their son and daughter-in-law, Arthur Riley Jnr, 70, and Susanne Riley, 68, also enjoy a spot of ballroom dancing.
They picked it up after taking in the footsteps of Arthur’s parents and, after their daughter Beverley decided to have a go, they thought why not keep it in the family.
Beverley, 42, who runs a dance studio for children called Butterflies Dance Ltd in Blackpool, said she was pleased the tradition of ballroom has continued over the years.
She added: “I count myself so lucky that I get to spend my time in the incredible setting of The Blackpool Tower Ballroom, dancing with my family, what more could I hope for.
“After a bit of a joke about it, we applied to the Guinness World Records for being four generations of ballroom dancers.”
Beverley says she has been trying to ask her husband Paul Hunt, 45, to dance for the 18 years they have been together – but he has always declined.
However, when her son Ethan Hunt, 16, got involved aged just five, she was over the moon he had chosen the joint-family hobby.
She added: “It would mean so much to my family if we could be world record holders.
“We’ll be the equivalent of dancing royalty. It would be even better that I get to share the honour with family – it’s what dreams are made of.
“Who knows, in a few years we might even have another generation to add to the dancing mix.”
Despite choosing dancing over football and other sports as hobbies to follow, Ethan says he loves spending quality time with his family.
The teenager, who also dances in competitions with his cousin Mia Riley, 12, is proud of his dancing roots and even though he dances with his mum – it doesn’t put him off.
He said: “Some people might think I’d be embarrassed dancing with my mum but we have a great time in the Ballroom.
“It’s an unbelievable opportunity to spend some quality time together as a family -they’ve even tried to set me up with a couple of the other young dancers.”
Patricia and Arthur Snr celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary at the Blackpool Tower ballroom among their dancing family on March 10.
They took the opportunity to showcase some of their dancing skills and shared a slice of cake during the breaks from their dancing duties.
Kenny Mew, general manager at The Blackpool Tower, said: “The Blackpool Tower Ballroom is full of history and character but it is the people that visit like the Riley family that make it extra special.
“They help keep the legacy of the Ballroom alive and create a real sense of community within our Tower.
“I hope they will be visiting for many more years still to come.”
Guinness World Records has been contacted for comment.
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