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Tutor Spotlight: Ron Widman

Ron Widman left school on a in 1965, as a very shy 16 year old. His “gap year” only lasted a weekend, as he commenced his first job on Monday after he left school. Ron, figured that he would want to find a girlfriend at some point in time and saw dance as the skill that would help him achieve this. At 17 years of age he decided to start attending dance classes.

When he met his first girlfriend at age 19, he was continuing to pursue dance. By the age of 21 he had completed the elementary bronze, bronze, silver, silver bar and gold dance medal tests, all with high distinctions.

Fate intervened when Ron met his wife of 42 years, Kerry Ryan, at a dance hall. This encounter not only ignited a lasting partnership, but also introduced Ron to an opportunity that would change the course of his life.

When Kerry who worked at Macquarie Community College found out there was a vacancy for a dance tutor, she said to Ron “You dance, why don’t you teach it?”.

And that’s when the great last 3 decades of Ron doing what he does best began. Ron has been teaching ballroom dancing and telling dad jokes at Macquarie Community College for the past 33 years whilst simultaneously navigating a successful career by day.

Formerly working as a CEO, Ron later transitioned into running workplace health and safety training across New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania. Yet, Ron has demonstrated an unwavering dedication to his Monday night dance classes, ensuring that his workload and schedule never impacts his presence at the College. This has seen him not miss a class in the 33 years, and he aims to reach 40 years, highlighting his passion for dance and commitment to his students.

Ron’s impact has extended beyond the dance floor. His son, Greg, became his teaching assistant over a decade ago, continuing the family tradition. And just like his father, Greg met his wife at a dance class, showing that there’s something magical about Ron’s classes.

Ron has also demonstrated expertise in choreographing wedding dances, helping many engaged couples. One memorable occasion involved orchestrating a progressive dance for a couple with six bridesmaids and groomsmen. He still cherishes the video of that dance which they performed at the wedding.

Throughout his tenure, Ron’s charm and humor, manifested in his repertoire of dad jokes, have endeared him to countless students, ensuring his legacy as a beloved dance instructor endures. Ron’s legacy at the College is not only defined by his mastery of the dance floor but also by the countless lives he’s touched.