Tragic sudden death of inspirational dance teacher Donna George

A well-loved dance teacher collapsed and died while taking some of her pupils out for a treat

Donna George with husband, Ken, on holiday in San Francisco
Donna George with husband, Ken, on holiday in San Francisco

A well-loved dance teacher collapsed and died while taking some of her pupils out for a treat.

Donna George, 48, somehow managed to pull her car over to the side of a steep road when she was taken ill in Lepton.

She then collapsed at the side of the road from a brain haemorrhage.

Despite a valiant battle by paramedics and then doctors at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary they were unable to save the popular mum-of-two.

She has taught thousands of pupils over the last 20-plus years and her grieving family have talked about the high esteem so many people held for Donna.

She had taken around 10 teenage pupils out for a meal at Orlando’s at Grange Moor on Wednesday night and was travelling down steep Rowley Lane in Lepton with four of them when she suddenly became ill at around 10pm.

Husband Ken – an actor who appeared on TV programme Gladiators – said: “Donna’s motherly instincts must have taken over and she managed to steer into the kerb. The dancers had been really helping her so she decided to take them out for a meal as a treat.

“The girls were brilliant. While a 17-year-old gave Donna CPR, a 14-year-old stopped traffic and they called 999. They kept going until paramedics arrived.”

Ken revealed that Donna’s heart had stopped for around 30 minutes, but the 999 crew managed to restart it in the back of the ambulance and she was rushed to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary where an emergency team was waiting to take her straight to the intensive care unit.

Donna died on Thursday at around 3pm with her family – 22-year-old son Elliot and 19-year-old daughter Courtney – at her side along with Ken and Donna’s sister, Lisa.

Courtney is training at the prestigious Lane Theatre of Arts in London. Ken phoned her at 1am on Thursday to break the terrible news and she caught the first train up in the morning to be at her mum’s side.

Elliot has just qualified as an engineer at David Brown’s.

Ken said: “Donna remained in a deep coma until the end, but we would like to think she knew we were all there with her.”

He said tributes continued to pour into the family’s home in Shepley from across the world as well as this country.

Donna George with daughter Courtney
Donna George with daughter Courtney
 

“I knew Donna was so special, but now I realise that everyone else thought the same,” said Ken “She helped to shape so many lives in such a positive way.

“She was a very caring person who lived life to the full and she wanted everyone to reach their full potential. She was very good at guiding people and had a sixth sense of what to say to get the best out of people.”

Donna was born in Dewsbury, educated at Earlsheaton High School, and did most of her early dancing in Batley.

She and Ken married at Shepley Methodist Church in 1992 and she set up the Georgie School of Theatre Arts the same year in a village hall in Shepley.

The school is now based at Barncliffe Mills in Shelley, where Ken runs his film production company.

 

 
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