Regina was choreographer, dance director and designer of the Civic performances which consisted of half hour pantomimes during the interval, the dance troupe were a huge hit with the public. There were 30 dancers who were divided into the 'Lucky Lovelies' and the 'Pony Dancers'.
In June 1942 the United States Army, Airforce and Navy arrived in New Zealand, which helped shoot the Civic Dancers into the heavens....
3000 tickets were available on a nightly basis and these sold out immediately - the patrons were shown a movie which was followed by a floor show by the 'Lucky Lovelies'. After the show the Dancers made a quick change and danced in the Wintergarden as the 'Pony Dancers' - Freda's risque Balloon Dance was a great hit with the troops.
Wartime and its weekly change of show for the forces gave Regina the stimulus for literally dozens of such costume confections. With rationing at its zenith materials were not readily available. Backstage it was a case of 'making do' with fabrics that were available - A kind of plastic material from the hospital was devised into a 'leather look' for bras, and gauntlets, with window dressers mirrored fabric for shiny accents. Medical gauze, mosquito netting and flint paper from the ammunition factory, bakery patti-cups with glue and glitter were used to make flowers that were sewn onto flesh coloured leotards. All with a hand operated sewing machine!
Upon retiring Regina wrote and published poetry and painted in watercolours. Regine’s daughter, Andrea, was a member of the Borovansky Ballet.
Regine passed away February 17th 2009 aged 95 years.
Freda Stark (left) with Regina Raye
The Pony Dancers