School con­tin­ues clas­si­cal bal­let teacher’s legacy

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By LAURA MCLEAY

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.

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