Dancing on the ditch: Candy leaves for love
The lovers will return to New Zealand for their wedding. Photo/Michael Rooke
She’s a New Zealand dance icon and one of the country’s favorite TV stars for years. But Candy Lane is about to cross the Tasman.
“If there’s anything we’ve learned during the lockdown, it’s that we don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, so we really have to live for the day,” Candy told The Weekly at her home in Mt. Eden in Auckland.
“With my career, I haven’t spent as much time with my family as I would have liked, so there’s no better time than the present to do that.”
For Candy, that means packing up her villa, complete with whimsical touches like her leopard-print rug, and moving to the Gold Coast to be closer to her daughter Jaz and three-year-old grandson August.
This house on the outskirts of town certainly holds a lifetime of memories for Candy. Among the photos of former Hollywood greats that adorn the walls are memorabilia from his impressive career, including a wall dedicated to his many weekly covers, celebrating important milestones over the years.
Upstairs, we sit in a room that once served as a nursery when Jaz, now 28, and her son Zak, 25, were born. Looking out at her sunny back garden where her children used to play, Candy is both moved and excited as she tells us about her decision to pack up and move to Australia.
In the end, it all came down to coming to terms with the changes that have swept through her life over the past 12 months.
In July last year, the 61-year-old’s world changed dramatically when she lost her beloved mother Mary, who lived to the impressive age of 100. The pair shared a close bond, with Candy describing her as “my toughest critic and my best and proudest supporter”.
She lived in the house next door to Candy for nearly 20 years after the death of her husband and Candy’s father, Keith, in 1999. As her dementia progressed, Candy was the caregiver. Mary, and even when she had to move into a house for extra support, Candy visited her every day.
She’s still emotional when she talks about her mother, but says, “I’m at peace with that because I spent so much time with her and there was nothing left unsaid.”
After an intimate family funeral, Candy fled to the Gold Coast to take a break and visit Jaz, who has been living there since 2016 with his wife Leesha and August.
Before Covid, Candy could easily come and see them whenever she wanted, but after New Zealand’s borders closed in early 2020, this was the first and only time she could visit them in the past two last years.
With the combination of some much-needed family time and the warm Australian weather, Candy realized that without her mum at home to look after, there was nothing holding her back in Auckland.
“I saw mum every day and she needed me, so I couldn’t really go anywhere. I could only take short trips,” she explains.
When Aotearoa’s borders closed unexpectedly during her visit, Candy and her fiancé Ricky Hancock, 48, found themselves stranded in Australia, giving them time to imagine what their new life might be like. life on the Gold Coast, and confirmed it was time for a fresh start. .
“I loved getting up in the morning without shivering. It was so pleasant and warm,” enthused Candy. “Ricky and I walked around and looked at areas where we might be interested in living.”
And she already has a wish list for her new dream home.
“We want to live looking out over the water and we absolutely want a pool. I want to be able to have a nice carafe of my favorite cocktail and sit outside in the sun while I watch Auggie in the pool,” laughs Candy. .
Whenever the subject of her adorable grandson is mentioned, Candy lights up. Although she never passed on her love of dance to her children, she is delighted that August seems to have inherited her passion.
“It’s always buzzing,” she says. “Jaz sends me videos of him dancing in the living room, so I might take him to a few competitions to watch, and then Ricky and I might be able to train a little champion. They say sometimes it jumps out of a generation.”
No doubt he will have plenty of time to work on his moves because Candy has many hours to catch up with her grandson.
“Jaz is a midwife and works different hours so she will definitely entrust me as a nanny. I might have to turn off all the lights and hide to have some free time, but I’m so glad to be here for her,” jokes Candy.
The past few years have been difficult for Jaz and Leesha. After welcoming August in 2018, they tried to give him a sibling, but a host of health issues prevented them from fulfilling their dream.
They spent thousands of dollars on IVF treatment and suffered four heartbreaking miscarriages. Then, last year, while Leesha was having tests to find out what could be causing the miscarriages, she discovered that she had endometriosis and type 1 diabetes.
Jaz has also suffered from endometriosis – a painful disorder where similar tissue found in the womb grows outside the womb – since she was a teenager and has been the driving force behind Candy’s fundraising efforts on Celebrity Treasure Island last year.
“My daughter is thrilled to have me there to support her now. They are strong women,” Candy said. “I think most women are – we roll with the punches.”
As she’s excited about her new chapter, Candy – who’s done everything from running her own dance studio to launching her own casual wear line and becoming head judge on Dancing with the Stars – admits having said goodbye to his home, his friends and his students in Auckland will be difficult.
But Candy feels lucky to be able to easily continue her teaching and professional dance work, having won several Australian professional dance titles throughout her career and is highly respected in the Australian dance industry.
Her career has taken her around the world and now she must begin the difficult process of combing through the memories of her life.
“I’m a bit of a hoarder,” she admits. “I’m not someone who has one thing on a table. I have 10. And I’m a collector of memories – everything I have has memories.”
Last year’s lockdown not only gave Candy time to start deciding what to move to Australia, but she says it gave her some extra time with Ricky, who is also a ballroom dancing champion and teacher.
“We didn’t mind the lockdown because there was so much to do around the house, sort things out, and it was nice spending time together because we both work long hours.”
As prominent figures in the New Zealand dance world, Ricky and Candy had always known each other, but it wasn’t until Ricky came to teach at Candy’s studio that they began to get to know each other better.
Although Candy says their relationship started off as a slow burn, things got serious quickly and they got engaged just a year after they started dating.
Candy struggles to remember how long they’ve been together and is shocked when Ricky tells her they’ve been engaged for five years. She’s adamant there are only three, but the weekly cover proudly hanging in their foyer agrees with Ricky.
“Well, here it is,” she laughs. “Time flies when you’re having fun!”