Girls having fun. . . Good friends (from left) Jean Maru of Tapanui, Ngaroma Ngata of Gisborne, Marie Haslemore of Tapanui and Hope Walker of Ruatoria have been enjoying Bayleys Tussock Country music events. Mrs Ngata and Mrs Walker have been taking every chance they can to line dance to the music on offer. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Two women with a zest for life and line dancing took to Gore district dance floors every chance they could at Bayleys Tussock Country music festival.

Ngaroma Ngata of Gisborne and Hope Walker of Ruatoria have been staying with their friends Jean Maru and Marie Haslemore of Tapanui.

The women, who are in their 70s, hoped to attend the line dancing events as well as the MLT New Zealand Gold Guitar Awards but other commitments prevented them from arriving in Gore in time, Mrs Ngata said.

However, they had made up for it ever since, she said.

Last Thursday at the Gore Town &Country Club Peter Cairns was performing.

“We danced our little cotton socks off.”

On Friday night they went to the Mataura Falls Hotel and danced to the Possum Pickers.

On Saturday they were at the Gore and Districts Memorial RSA where the Harmonic Resonators were playing.

When Paul Downs of Invercargill was taking part in the Freeze Ya Bits Off Busking competition they danced to his music.

“We heard the music, parked the car, ran across the road … and we danced.

“We will line dance wherever we can find space and we just cannot not dance.

“It’s like a drug.

“The music goes on and the attitude comes out.”

The women said they were always mindful of the entertainer and tried not to get in the way of the performance.

“Often we won’t take the floor unless we’re asked. “We are itching like anything but we are respectful of space.”

People appreciated watching them dance, Mrs Ngata said. “We love seeing the enjoyment on people’s faces.

“We get these people, they beam when we dance.

“They say ‘you girls have got so much energy’.”

The pair travelled throughout the North Island line dancing and their friend Tau Arai usually joined them.

Unfortunately Mrs Arai, who is in her 90s, injured her back and could not come.

They like to support their musician friend Raymond Haika-Solomon when he performs.

“We have heaps of fun.”

The women wear pink shirts and had been dancing together for about 14 years.

“People call us the Pinkies.

“Our reputation [precedes] us.”

On the East Coast there was not the same interest in country music, they said.

“This is an immersion in country and we’ve just soaked that up.”

The pair had enjoyed their time in the South very much.

“We have been spoilt.

“Thank you Gore.”