A Marsden dance school will take centre stage as it hosts a reunion to mark 40 years nurturing homegrown talents.

And those behind the celebrations want former pupils to come and join them.

Bernadette Heys set up her namesake theatre of dance school in 1974 and has seen hundreds of hopefuls come through the doors and many have gone on to achieve national dancing recognition.

She started out as a teaching assistant for Doreen France MBE at Slaithwaite when she was a teenager, learning theatre craft and tap. She then went on to open her own school at Huddersfield Co-op Fraternity Hall until the building was closed and she moved teaching to St Thomas’ Church, Longroyd Bridge.

After training in Ballet and qualifying with the IDTA (International Dance Teachers Association) Bernadette went on to open the Marsden based school we have today.

The school’s students have secured places at prestigious schools and colleges including The Royal Ballet School, Elmhurst School of Ballet, The Hammond School and Northern Ballet School.

Yvette Barlow paid tribute to Bernadette saying: “The dedication and devotion to dance Bernadette has for dance is still going strong. She still loves teaching and has never stopped learning herself, going on teachers seminars and courses at the Royal Ballet School every summer.

Bernadette Heys and pupils at her dance school in Marsden
Bernadette Heys and pupils at her dance school in Marsden
 

“This love of dance is passed on to each of her students and many have taken up careers in dance which takes them all over the world.”

Students have gone on to dance for Royal Caribbean and Costa Cruise companiess, performed at the London 2012 Olympics, danced in shows such as Moulin Rouge, Spirit of The Dance and Broadway smash Chicago and joined ballet companies such as Vienna Ballet and San Francisco Ballet.

Seven years ago the school set up a trust fund to be able to invite in guest teachers and pay for workshops and courses for her students to attend.

To celebrate the school’s success a reunion will be held on Saturday July 12 at Marsden Liberal Club from 7pm onwards.

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