Tallahassee's Dancing Queen

By: Lee Gordon Email
By: Lee Gordon Email

You can never say Eloise Harbeson dances well for her age, because she dances well for any age. Born in the 1920's, dancing since the Great Depression and she's truly had the time of her life.

"When you come to dance, you dance. You don't think about anything else."

Eloise was born in Lloyd, Florida and settled into Tallahassee and Florida High. It was there that her love for dance picked up to a feverish pitch.

"We had our jute box and anytime you could get two student council members and a faculty member together you could dance. So we dance before school, after school, two minute period, lunch hour. We danced all the time."

And she's still dancing. Five to six days a week, and it's not uncommon for her to take five classes a day. She took a break to raise her children, a break that lasted almost four decades. But she's back on the floor and you'd never even know that she left.

"It's not uncommon if she has to miss, we'll call to see that she's ok," said Jim Hurst, franchisee of the Arthur Murray dance studio in Tallahassee.

Eloise says she learned from the great ones. The real professionals. Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire.

"We watched the movies and picked it up from the movies. We danced all the time."

And now, 84 years later, Eloise is still dancing like there's no tomorrow. She's lived through and for Eloise, as long as she's dancing, tomorrow couldn't come soon enough.

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