68 years of dancing through life with 'the right person'
NORMAN and Nancye Berg may look like any other retired couple at first, yet their incredible story is far from ordinary.
A home filled with black and white photos stuck to the walls and fascinating marionettes dangling from cupboards mirrors the Buderim couple's extraordinary life.
Nancye, a small town girl, met Norman, a city boy, in 1948 as young teens at a dance studio in Brisbane.
It was almost fate for Norman, who was looking for a Ginger Rogers to his Fred Astaire after his previous dance partner moved on.
"Someone said to me 'who's that girl dancing over there', and I said I didn't know.
"Then he said to me 'you better find out', and so I did," he said.
The pair, who were brought together by a love of dance, married three years later and went on to win the Australasian Ballroom Championships in 1952.
"We had a wonderful time dancing. But Nancye's favourite thing about dancing was me," Norman said.
Their successful career as dancers included rubbing shoulders with the likes of Frank Sinatra and Liberace, living at the iconic Cloundland Ballroom lodge in Bowen Hills and opening their own studios.
Yet their journey did not end there, for Norman and Nancye found a new love as puppeteers.
Making the marionettes themselves took the couple overseas multiple times after winning seven national TV awards in Japan.
"We were the first marionette act to ever perform in Japan," Nancye said.
"We combined the dancing and the puppets, and then it was eventually just the puppets, but it was something people hadn't seen before."
The couple eventually gave up the act after years of success and retired to the Lutheran Services' Immanuel Gardens community 21 years ago.
Now celebrating their 68th wedding anniversary, Norman and Nancye's secret to a long-lasting, joyful life is simple: Love.
"Happiness has been Normie and I's main part in our lives," Nancye said.
"We've never been bored. We don't have enough time to talk to each other, even now.
"There's no one time in our lives that was better than the other. We just found the right person."
Although reaching an impressive milestone, Nancye said their plans were low-key this year.
"We decided to get a Freddo Frog ice cream cake to celebrate," she said.
"I'm already planning our 70th party."