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Gallery: Old photo of dancing girl Joanne Bolton brought back memories for family of the World Champion who started her career in Ipswich

12:00 16 May 2014

Andy Abbott Column April 9th 2014

This picture was captioned - Waltz champion Joanne Bolton from Nedging Tye looking for a dance partner

Andy Abbott Column April 9th 2014 This picture was captioned - Waltz champion Joanne Bolton from Nedging Tye looking for a dance partner

Archant

The faces of thousands of people have been captured in print in this newspaper over the years, but where has life taken them?

 STAR NEWS     LISA WOOLLARD

Joanne Bolton and Timothy Howson at the International Open Professional Standard Championship.

Ballroom Dancing 

PICTURE CONTRIBUTED

STAR NEWS LISA WOOLLARD Joanne Bolton and Timothy Howson at the International Open Professional Standard Championship. Ballroom Dancing PICTURE CONTRIBUTED

This was the question photographer Andy Abbott pondered when he came across his black and white photograph, which featured in the EADT in 1979, of six-year-old Joanne Bolton, from Nedging Tye, who was looking for a dance partner.

After Mr Abbott recently included the image in his West Suffolk Photo Album feature, Joanne’s father Neville Bolton, 67, got in contact to say not only had she found a partner, she had gone on to become a world champion in ballroom dancing.

Joanne, who is now Bolton-Hawkins, has had a glittering career as a professional dancer, and even made a guest appearance on BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing show in 2007.

She married Christopher Hawkins – also a world champion dancer – in 2011 and the couple now coach the world’s top amateur and professional dancers at home and abroad.

Mr Bolton said the family realised fairly early on Joanne had a talent.

“You can teach people to dance, but she had something else, something you cannot teach. That spark was there for whatever reason,” he said.

At the age of four she started going to dance classes run by Tom and Pat Lait from Ipswich.

Mr Bolton said Joanne, whose long-standing dance partner was Timothy Howson, started winning competitions locally, nationally and then internationally.

Joanne, who turned professional in 1995, won the British Open Professional Championship in 2005, which Mr Bolton said was the “biggest prize of all”.

Joanne and her husband live in Surrey and have a daughter called Amelia.

England manager Sam Allardyce has left the position after just one match in charge.

Universities across Suffolk and Essex have been recognised in the latest Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide – with the University of Suffolk celebrating its entry for the first time.

A man in his early 60s died after being involved in a go-kart collision at a popular racetrack while celebrating his brother’s birthday.

Councillors in Kesgrave are set to tackle problem areas for broadband speeds in the town, and need residents’ input on slow zones.

The Robert Ransome pub in Ipswich is being put up for sale, it can be revealed.

A dining pair who ran off without paying for a meal at the Unruly Pig in Bromeswell have been sentenced at Ipswich Magistrates’ Court.

Suffolk couples seeking help conceiving face an anxious wait after health chiefs today deferred a decision on the future of fertility treatment in the county.

Four decades ago Ipswich had through traffic in the town’s main shopping areas, writes David Kindred.

A 170-tonne electricity transformer the size of a bungalow is being transported along the A12 in Suffolk on Saturday.

There are now just two days left to nominate an unsung hero from your community for a Stars of Suffolk award.

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