The family that dances together ...

Rasa School of Dance members (from left) Lesley Armitage, her daughter, Kim King, her daughter,...
Rasa School of Dance members (from left) Lesley Armitage, her daughter, Kim King, her daughter, Sophie King, Greta Neilson, her mother, Jessie Neilson and her mother, Jenny Neilson. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Genetic lines will be weaving among the dance lines in this year’s Rasa School of Dance annual show.

It is quite literally a family affair, given there will be two families with three generations — grandmother, mother, daughter — and a mother, father, son trio among the performers.

Lesley Armitage (67) said she started attending dance classes at Rasa this year after daughter Kim King (38) suggested it would be a good way to get some exercise and make new friends.

"So I started and then my 6-year-old granddaughter [Sophie King] started coming along.

"And then I said to Kim, ‘you need to come along as well’ — that was me getting even with her for suggesting I needed more exercise."

Three generations of the Neilson family also started dancing at Rasa starting with 12-year-old Greta.

Soon after, her mother, Jessie Neilson (39), started dance classes and then her grandmother, Jenny Neilson (67),  decided to join in too.

Both Jenny and Jessie said they frequently relied on advice from Greta to help them get through their dance routines.

"It really is a case of the young ones teaching the ‘matured or experienced’ people," Jenny said.

Rasa owner Lisa Wilkinson said it would be the first time the show had three generations dancing together.

She said it would also be the first time a family of mother, father and son would dance in the show.

Simon Heptonstall (49) said his son, Ashton (8), had been attending for the past four years and  wife Janet (49) had been attending for the past two years.It was only a matter of time before he was pulled in too, he said.

"I didn’t have much choice. It’s great fun though."

Mrs Heptonstall said she only intended to do the class for one year, but when she told Ashton she was quitting this year, he quickly changed her mind.

"He said to me, ‘but Mum, this is what we do together’. It’s good family time."

All three families will be among 550 students from Rasa who will take to the Regent Theatre stage on Sunday for the annual show.

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