Meet the HSDY partygoer: Wendy Freeman
We love to hear and share our partygoers stories. Wendy Freeman, who works as a nurse and lives near Luton, first came to HSDY at Islington Assembly Hall in March 2018. She did her nurse training at the Whittington Hospital near Archway in the early 80s and says that coming to HSDY in north London feels like “coming home”.
What's your HSDY story?
I was introduced to HSDY by a friend who invited a few of us from work to celebrate her birthday. We had such a brilliant night with great feelgood music and such lovely people of all ages. From the moment we arrived, our feet didn’t stop! I danced the night away and forgot all my troubles, and the songs brought back great memories too.
Since that moment my partner and I have been hooked. We try to come along whenever HSDY is at Islington Assembly Hall. It’s an easy train journey from where we live into London, and we always bring people with us.
At Christmas I came with my brother and his girlfriend who loved it, and we have already booked for the next one in March. A while ago I had a friend visiting from Kansas, so I brought her to HSDY. She hasn’t stopped talking about it and how she cannot wait to fly over from America and go again.
One thing I love about HSDY is that everyone is so friendly, and I have met some amazing people. Recently I chatted to an 80-year-old who was there for his first time celebrating his birthday and he said he couldn’t wait to come back. It doesn’t matter who you are, how old you are, if you cannot dance, nothing matters. You come along and everyone leaves with a smile on their face. I have a son, who is 22-years-old, and he thinks I am a bit of an embarrassment, but I am still hoping to get him to join me one day at HSDY.
When you are not dancing at HSDY what else do you do?
I work full time as a nurse/educator in a hospice and I guess HSDY is my guilty pleasure, my escape from what I deal with every day. It has been especially hard during the pandemic. I was categorised as a “vulnerable adult” which was very tough as I don’t see myself like that. I had to isolate but I still carried on working and opened a support line for staff to call with any queries and help they needed.
My partner and I always dress up for HSDY and I love dressing up. My friends laugh at me saying my dressing up box must be vast … and it is! I think I am like the 70s programme Mr Benn you never know what I will come out of the wardrobe wearing next...
During lockdown I dressed up as a giraffe and called myself “Gina the giraffe” and made videos of me doing silly things, like dancing around the garden and singing, to cheer my colleagues up who were all going through a very tough time in the hospice as frontline staff.
Before I was a nurse, I was a traffic warden. I think I must be drawn to jobs with a uniform! I was based in St Albans and Harpenden.The first day on the job I booked my cousin on double yellow lines! I didn’t know it was him ‘til he returned to the car, but we did laugh about it.
When I am not working, I am always doing something. I love being busy. I make teas for our local cricket club and help to run the bar. I am also a big fan of karaoke. Give me a mic and I am away singing - but I am not very good at it!
Not socialising much for the last two years has been difficult as I love going out, but HSDY going virtual helped. And being back dancing at Islington Assembly Hall at Christmas felt so wonderful.
Favourite HSDY track?
I can’t choose just one! Some of my favourites are Car Wash, September, Chain Reaction and of course Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet but I love all the 70s and 80s tracks at HSDY. It’s the best music ever and the only thing I am sad about is when it’s time to go home.
Remember we love to share your stories - especially in these tough times – so if you’d like to be featured email Nikki at email@example.com
See you on the dance floor!