Terri Two Cents: Life and Laughter

10969 terri
10969 terri

Terri HeardSometimes when you meet someone, you just want to sit and talk to them forever. Or in the case of Hip Hoperation star Terri Woolmore-Goodwin, you’d prefer to take her home with you and adopt her.

She is a bundle of love and wisdom, who at 94 is as active as ever and an absolute inspiration.

Terri “Two Cents” (her hip hop crew name) brims with excitement, mischief and laughter and is full of excellent advice. “I eat nutritious food, exercise my mind and body and laugh whenever I can,” she says of he life’s philosophy. “Like any life, I’ve had my ups and downs, but I choose to remember the good things.”

Terri has been married to Bill for 73 years, and although he is now lives in a rest home in Nelson near their son, and his health is in steep decline, she feels lucky to have lived such a long and happy life with such a wonderful man. 

Becoming a hip hop dancer, international performer and movie star in her 90’s may not have been in her life’s plan a few years ago, but Terri says she can think of nothing better to be doing with her time now. “It is an amazing feeling, dancing and being in this film. I loved seeing and hearing everyone’s reactions at the premiere.”

Hip Hoperation follows the true story of Terri, and the other members of the Waiheke Island dance crew, as they learn hip hop from scratch, and end up realising a dream they never knew they had always had – to perform at the world hip hop championships in 2013 in Las Vegas.

It is a funny, truthful, inspiring and poignant story, which leaves those in the audience laughing, crying and humble. 

“The crew are just like family,” says Terri. “Billie (choreographer and leader) is a hard task master, but she gets the best out of us. I knew many of the crew from my life on Waiheke Island, but I know them like family and have such love for them all now. (Fellow dancers) Maynie and Kara are my inspiration.”

Their next goal is to perfect their routine in time for a trip to perform in Taiwan in November. “The routine is a challenge,” says Terri, “but we are the only crew invited from the Southern Hemisphere, so we had better do it well I have really gorwn to enjoy and respect hip hop!”

Enjoying hip hop music and dance is not what you’d expect from your average 94 year old, but then Terri can never be accused of being average. 

For her 90th birthday, she embarked on a 101 day cruise around the world on her own. “I know I could have gone with someone else,” she says, “but I like to potter at my own speed.

“I did have such fun on that trip! One night I was watching a show with a man singing Tom Jones’ songs and a man from the audience threw his handkerchief on the stage. Well, I thought I could do better than that. I went back to my room and got some lovely red lace knickers and took them back and threw them on the stage. I got so many free CDs on that trip – any excuse to laugh!”

Her attitude to life is tremendous. As a much younger woman, she developed breast cancer and faced a mastectomy with a brave and positive outlook, and the unwavering support of her beloved Bill. As she says in the film, there wasn’t a lot of external support in those days, so one just got on with it. She gave birth to a healthy baby only 10 months after the operation.

When asks to share life lessons, Terri’s eyes twinkle with mischief. “I know someone who says that the older they get, the less wisdom they realise they have,” she says. 

“It’s also good to realise that sex gets funnier the older you get. Lots of young people seem to think that old people don’t have sex, but we all do.

“I live, love and laugh as often as I can, and have always tried to fight fair.”

Hip Hoperation is full of the wonderful stories of the crew. They are all such unique characters and human beings, who have lived interesting lives and plan to keep on living that way. Hip Hoperation is showing in cinemas now – go and be inspired today!