Tributes paid to former Eastbourne community leader and dance teacher

Tributes have been paid to a former Eastbourne community leader who also taught the performing arts.
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Pauline Stidder, who lived in Langney, died at the age of 78 on July 12.

In the mid 1970s Pauline was best known in the town for her community work with children as she set up the Eastbourne Theatre Workshop.

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Her work was voluntary and she put on many fundraising events, such as fetes, and produced a number of productions.

Pauline Stidder. Picture: ContributedPauline Stidder. Picture: Contributed
Pauline Stidder. Picture: Contributed

Pauline’s children said: “One of the productions, called Entertainment Our Way, was for the children to make up their own performances and pretend they were film stars for a night. The money she raised was used take the children on theatre trips and attend auditions for the West End theatre shows. One of her students was successful and starred in the Minipops series. She was teacher to so many children through the medium of dance, drama, acting and singing.”

Pauline then developed a new dance group for children called ‘Instant Action - Let’s Dance’, with the group aged between seven and 14. The group took inspiration from the latest craze at the time called ‘popmobility’, which is a form of exercise that combines aerobics in a continuous dance routine.

The local resident then went on to form Eastbourne Pom Pom Group – which competed in national competitions and won many awards.

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Pauline’s children added: “In her later years she founded and owned her own dance studio called the Pink Coconut and inspired so many people to get fit and have fun and was affectionately known at the time as Eastbourne’s answer to Jane Fonda.

Pauline Stidder. Picture: ContributedPauline Stidder. Picture: Contributed
Pauline Stidder. Picture: Contributed

"[Our mother] loved to travel and had many enjoyable holidays, particularly [to] the USA where she gained much of her inspiration.”

Pauline devoted her life to her family and leaves being her husband Dave, her three sons Gary, John and Sean, and her daughter Kelly. Pauline was also a grandmother to eight grandchildren and recently became a great grandmother.

The Eastbourne resident’s children added: “She will be deeply missed by so many people who had their lives enriched by an such an incredibly caring and kind person.”

Pauline’s funeral will take place at St Mary the Virgin Church in Church Street, Old Town, at 11.15am on Wednesday, August 2.

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