Sue Menhenick - Biography
(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