This is the hardest post I’ve ever had to write!
You may have heard rumours regarding this, so I am writing to let you know that, after 25 wonderful years at the ABC Ballet School, the time has finally come for me to hang up my ballet shoes and move on. I will be leaving at the end of this summer term, but not without securing the future of the school so that it can flourish and continue to provide creative and engaging ballet tuition for the children in our community.
The ABC Ballet School has been part of this community since 1998 – this year is our 25th anniversary! I did not want to pass it on to just anyone or allow it to dwindle & fade away. I have spent some time searching for & finding the right person to take over the school, someone who I know will carry on the current ethos of the school, while extending the range of classes available & introducing exciting new resources as well. As a result, I know it will flourish under the new leadership of Claudia Bagley who is currently the Principal of The Vacani School of Dance. Claudia, and the other teachers at Vacani, are young, energetic & have lots to offer. Having more teachers gives the opportunity to introduce other genres such as contemporary and jazz. There will be some taster workshops this term in different genres, & Claudia will visit the school this term on each of the different days.
I myself started teaching at Vacani many years ago; it was a valuable time and one where I learnt so much as a teacher. I was actually approached to take over the school myself at one point but I felt that I wanted to start my own school in the community I lived & where my children went to school. It feels like life has come full circle & Vacani are now happily poised to take the school on, embracing & extending the range of classes and genres available while continuing to invest in the local community.
My husband & I have always meant to move out of London once we retired but due to personal family circumstances, we have felt it necessary to move now. We want to be closer to our children, settled in Edinburgh & Manchester, & we need to find a home with downstairs living accommodation for my ageing parents. We also feel by moving now we will still have the energy to engage & become part of a new community. Also, having grown up abroad & close to the sea, my desire has always been to live on the coast, so we are relocating to the town of Alnwick in Northumberland!
I love working with your children. I love seeing them grow and develop, especially growing in confidence & self-esteem. I hope that this term we will all focus on having fun, learning new things, building on performance skills & technique & learning to choreograph. If there is enough interest, we may even have a choreographic competition! I do not want to focus on the fact I am leaving at the end of term. What would make my leaving easier is knowing that I have your full support to encourage your child to continue with the school in September. I know it will take time to get to know the new teachers, but I do know that they are as passionate as myself in teaching and getting to know each individual child and investing in the local community.
My passion has always been to work with children, now even more so. I have seen how doing the ballet show has brought out your children’s personalities and confidence. Dance is a powerful tool to accomplish this! My plan, once we get settled, is to study more about mental health in children, & in time to work with children using dance as a therapy. I hope to also continue to teach a few classes but without the stress of running my own school!
I am so grateful to have been so welcomed by the local community & seeing the school grow to what it is today. Thank you for trusting me with teaching your children. What an incredible 25 years it has been! 🥰