About the school.
Wendy, our Principal, was first given the idea of teaching by her own ballet teacher in 1989. She started to teach in Sawtry on Saturday Mornings for the Community Education. The opportunity of classes then spread to Huntingdon Community Education. The student numbers and amount of classes grew steadily. She added to the classes by teaching in her own name at the Hartford Village Hall, Huntingdon. The old hall was a little run down and was demolished in 1998/99. This was a trying time. We had to split classes between 2/3 different halls to fit in the hours we required.
The school has grown during the past 27 years, to have in excess of 250 students and 40 classes a week covering Ballet, Tap, Modern and Jazz. Vast improvements have had to be made. In 1998 Wendy left the shelter of Community Education and started to run her own school independently. This meant she could expand the classes and move into the newly built Hartford Village Hall near Huntingdon, which had improved facilities, including air conditioning and given her the perfect main base for the school. However, over the last few years she had to expand and utilise more local halls. Classes were also run from the Medway Centre and St. Mary's Church Hall in Huntingdon and the Old School Hall in Sawtry.
Students have been entered for Royal Academy of Dancing and Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing exams every year since 1990. The school's
exceptional pass rate with both societies continues to keep the work at the very best of standards.
We had also been involved in pantomime for some years and performed dance displays at the end of term, which always received great support. So in 1997
we put together our first full length show with all students from the school. From then on there has been
a show every year during the Christmas Season.
Summer 2000 brought about our first Summer School, which was a fantastic success. Students put together their very own show, which included songs, dances and a script. During the course, which lasts one week, students are mentored in stagecraft and they also get heavily involved in the preparation of scenery and props. The week finishes with their performance on the Friday night, which includes front of house responsibilities as well as performing.
January 2013 saw the School opening its own premises in the centre of Huntingdon. We can now incorporate many more styles of dance and drama. A recording studio is also planned for the near future.
The GDA studios have more than 300 square metres of floorspace with a comfortable reception/social area and the main studio measuring 11 metres x 10 metres !
At a glance:
School running for 27 years.
Fully qualified teaching staff.
Exams every year, RAD & ISTD.
Exceptional pass rate in all exams.
1st class facilities.
Full length performances every year.
Centre of Huntingdon Location.
My mother took me to ballet classes at the age of 3. Little did she know that I would still be dancing
40 years later!
Having passed all R.A.D. Ballet exams up to and including Elementary (executant) I was advised of a teaching opportunity which, at the age of 23, I decided to try my hand at. I found that I enjoyed teaching children the art of dance, so I registered with the teaching programme of the Royal Academy of Dancing. I passed the Teaching Certificate examination with a Merit (just 2 points short of distinction!).
I decided at the age of 21 to try Tap Dancing.
Although I was a mature student I still liked the challenge of taking exams and have again passed exams up to and including Elementary. During the process of taking these exams I started teaching Tap to adults and children. I only started Modern/Jazz Dance at the age of 25 but found that it was very much my thing and quickly worked to acquire all the Major examinations up to and including Advanced.
I continue learning as a teacher and attend courses on a regular basis to keep up to date with all the changes that take place.
My mother was 44 years old when she gave birth to me in Changi Hospital, Singapore in 1967. Being born into an R.A.F. family meant we moved around a lot. Always having to make new friends, fit into new schools and dancing classes was part of the life.
I have two sisters and a brother who are all older than myself. I have always been referred to as 'the baby of the family'.
I was very fortunate at the age of 11 to spend two months with friends in Texas USA. (Leaving my parents in England!)This was the start of independence. My father retired and we were settled in St. Ives, Cambridgeshire. I finally went to one school and one ballet teacher to whom I owe a lot.
I became involved with lots of amateur dramatic societies and was invited to be an extra with the London City Ballet when they performed in Cambridge. I worked in London for many years taking short term dancing parts.
I met my husband at a young age and married in 1985. We had our first child Jessica, in 1990, just as I started teaching. Life was changing a lot! We had our second child, Joshua, in 1996.
We bought a cottage in the South of France in 2004 and have gradually renovated it over the past 13 years. I always had it in mind to also take dance classes in the Charente region of France and the August of 2009 saw my first venture into teaching abroad. It is my hope that students from England may travel to classes in France for a weeks 'Holiday'. All in all, things have been rather good and the future is looking solid. I am lucky enough to have some outstanding students and some fantastic parents, of which i am fortunate enough to call friends.