Sue Menhenick - Biography

Gary's picture
Name: 
Sue Menhenick
Date of Birth: 
09 September 1955
Place of Birth: 
Benghazi, Libya
Troupe(s): 
Pan's People, Ruby Flipper, Legs & Co
Appearances: 
TOTP
First TV appearance: 
06 June 1974 (Summer Breeze / Isley Brothers)
Last TV appearance: 
17 December 1981 (I'll Find My Way Home / Jon & Vangelis)

 

(Image courtesy of Sue Menhenick)

 

By Gary P. Rose

Susan Menhenick was born on 9th September 1955 in Benghazi, North Africa. The daughter of a retired army major, she was born in Benghazi, where her parents were stationed with the British Army. But her mother brought her back to Britain when she was three and they settled in Farnborough, Hants. Sue began dancing when she was five and went to a local dancing school called the Mayfair School of Dance where she studied ballet, tap and modern dance. She was then classically trained at the ballet boarding school Arts Educational Trust in Tring in Hertfordshire, where she stayed from the age of 10 until she was 16. After leaving, she continued at the student part of the school in London, where she stayed for two years . 

She joined Pan's People straight from school, when she was 18. Flick Colby came to her college, where Sue was finishing her course, looking for someone to replace Louise Clarke. Flick held an open-audition and spotted Sue in a dance class. Flick invited her to meet the rest of Pan's People and join them for rehearsals. Sue got on with the rest of the girls and was told a few days later that she'd got the job. The popular DJ and presenter Dave Lee Travers introduced Sue to Top of the Pops audiences on 16th May 1974 but she didn't appear on the show as a dancer until 6th June. She made her debut dancing to Summer Breeze by the Isley Brothers.

Pan's People split in 1976 and Sue went on to join the short-lived dance troupe, Ruby Flipper, before joining the newly-formed Legs & Co. For the next five years, she enjoyed a successful career as one of Top of the Pops resident dancers. Then, in 1981, the BBC decided to abandon all-girl dance groups from Top of the Pops so Legs & Co were replaced by Zoo. Sue is the only dancer to have performed with three different Top of the Pops troupes; Pan's People, Ruby Flipper and Legs & Co. On Flick's invitation, she was came back to the Top of the Pops studios for one edition in December 1981 and was credited as a member of Zoo on the shows end titles. It was Zoo's final performance and was Flick's way of saying thank you and goodbye to Sue.

Away from Top of the Pops, she worked with choreographer Michael Ho of the Ballet Rambert and also did a workshop for a BBC arts programme called Riverside. Both projects were choreographed by Michael and featured music composed by Mick Karn from the band Japan. In Riverside, Sue danced with a male dancer from the Ballet Rambert but, in the workshop, she performed solo.

Sue has an older sister, Jane, who is a former beauty consultant, and a younger brother, Peter. She is married, has a daughter and a son, and lives in London. 

(c) G.P Rose 2011. On approval of S. Menhenick

Sue's Interview

21 comments

panfan's picture

I've uploaded a video of Sue's duet dance to Mick Karn's music.

cornershop15's picture

I've only found two articles with Sue on her own. 

The first is from the Daily Mirror, 23rd May 1974:

I'm really sorry about the picture quality. 

This one's no bettter.  Daily Express, 6th June 1974:

As fans will know, her first routine was The Isley Brothers' Summer Breeze.

 

Lee and Mary Fan's picture

And what a good choice they made back in 1974, what a gorgeous lady and superb dancer.

panfan's picture

Many thanks indeed to Sue for providing a recent photo of her good self!

Click to enlarge!

Paperboyplod's picture

Indeed, & her self is looking really good for somebody who's,*cough*, on the wrong side of fifty, I'm sure that a full-colour version would be absolutely awesome!

Justin

panfan's picture

Give an inch, eh Justin! :)

Visitors, please do also take the opportunity to read Gary's biography while you're here, if you haven't already!

JEZ's picture

yes its an excellent biography done by gary ,and many thanks to sue for the lovely recent photo of herself

RYAN's picture

First time poster here on PP.com, but ive just got to comment on the recent pic of Sue. Like a fine wine this lovely lady gets better with age.

RYAN

Rusty Carno's picture

Indeed a lovely picture of a lovely lady and good to see an old buddy posting on here too

Rusty

Simon O's picture

Just in case anybody thought you were new to this game. Welcome to the PP.com Ryan.

panfan's picture

And a very warm welcome to the site from me too, Ryan!

RYAN's picture

Hey thanks guys for the welcome. As a lot of you know, ive been strictly a `One for The Dads` kinda guy but ive decieded to spread my wings, so to speak. The main problem i have with your site here is finding my way about, on the dancing girls site i use its a piece of cake, but in time im sure i will get used to it on here. I will try to divide my time between both sites and make comments on PP.com quite a lot, but id like to think some of you guys would register and comment on OFTDs as well. The days of stupid and silly comments are long gone there, and all the BS merchants have long gone also. On both sites we have only one goal, the promotion and celebration of the our lovely TOTPs dancing girls, and for that you have my full support. I look forward to contributing to this site and hope a few of you will respond likewise to `One For the Dads`, after all we have the same common goal !

RYAN

panfan's picture

Indeed, well said, Ryan!  I think many familiar names can be seen on both sites!  We each have somethiing to offer and are but two sides of the one coin.

Sadly we are having issues with the so called "Recent Comments", but I am trying to fix it, with expert help, so you should be able to get a more up to date picture of recent activity.  Meantime, the Popular Content link and the Track feature in your profile can help access recent posts.

RYAN's picture

Thanks Panfan. I havent a clue were to start on this site, but in time i will get the gist of it. My devotion and passion for this stuff is limitless and i like nothing more than discussing the dancing girls of TOTPs.  Ooh ive just realised, am i clogging up Sues thread ? See im so new to this site i dont know were to post ?

RYAN

panfan's picture

That's ok, Ryan, we can move the discussion elsewhere.  There's a Getting Started thread, a forum thread for Introductions, and also Off Topic for general chat, as well as sections for the various troupes.  The structure is still very much fluid and as time goes on, we'll no doubt try to improve things!

Don't forget the search in the top right hand corner too!

gibb1962's picture

What a lovely picture of Sue.It's lovely to see contemporary photographs.

Glenn

Paperboyplod's picture

Agreed with that, Sue could claim to be half her actual age & get away with it, she looks absolutely gorgeous, as I say a full-colour pic, would do her even better justice!

I wonder If Lulu, has aged similarly well, that is hardly at all?

Justin

Paperboyplod's picture

Ryan, welcome to this world, I believe our twains have already met at the other place!

Justin

Gary's picture

She looks as good as ever!

Lee and Mary Fan's picture

Well, Ive just felt my heart flutter as I first saw the recent picture of Sue.

Such a beautiful and graceful lady.

KellyTV's picture

I remember so clearly the first time I really noticed Sue, I believe in 1978 and about 34 years later I'm still admiring her pics. Lovely new pic Sue, all the best.

Kelly x