School continues classical ballet teacher’s legacy
After teaching classical ballet in Matamata for 60 years, well-respected dance teacher Fay Harbottle has retired but her legacy is set to continue as the Academy of Dance takes on her students.
Last year Mrs Harbottle was announced as Patron of the Academy studio which is run by internationally-recognised dance teacher Paulette Reid.
‘‘Fay is a big figure-head here so I wanted to ask her to be patron so that her name can continue on here in Matamata,’’ Ms Reid said. ‘‘Now that she is retired, it is very important to carry on the incredible work she has done and continue pure classical ballet.’’
Ms Reid had lessons from Mrs Harbottle when she was younger while staying in Matamata for her holidays and said she was an excellent teacher.
The Academy of Dance started up last year when Ms Reid moved to Matamata after teaching at the prestigious Ballet and Music Company in Singapore.
She now has more than 90 students and is blown away by the support she has received here.
Over the summer break she gave her new dance studio, on the corner of Broadway and Tainui St, a makeover – making flying across the dance floor a whole new experience.
The carpet has been pulled, wooden floors smoothed out, eight metres of dancing bars put along the walls and large mirrors erected.
Ms Reid, who is now the only registered dance teacher in Matamata, said she was thrilled with how it came up and still has plans for more renovations so even more classes can be held.
‘‘ We have ballet and jazz numbers increasing by the day and I am now teaching six days a week with private lessons on top of the classes so it is getting busy but it is great.’’
Pupils from her performance class have been asked to perform at a number of local events with the next one being the Children’s Day at Matamata Christian School on March 25.