Celebrating 70 years of dance and drama
Maria Anderson pupils put on anniversary show
PUPILS past and present have come together to celebrate 70 years of the Maria Anderson School of Dance and Drama.
The occasion saw two special performances at the Hayes Beck Theatre on Saturday June 27, with a surprise item by dance school alumni.
The group’s 87-year-old founder, Maria Anderson, started with a couple of pupils after the war aged just 17, and went on to launch her own studio which prepares dancers for the West End.
She said: “It’s quite an honour to have been able to do it for all those years and it’s been a very successful school.
“I built my own studio because we were unable to carry on with the size we wanted to be at Church Halls, which were very nice at the time but we needed somewhere of our own.
“Loads of children have stayed with me right through the school and have gone on to college because with us they can get their college qualifications.”
The purpose-built studio, at 120 Elliott Avenue, Ruislip, has seen hundreds of pupils a year perform with the school and generations within families.
Patricia Napolitano, 62, is one of many successful pupils from the school, who went on to run her own studio in Australia.
She said: “I started dancing aged two, where most of the classes were at Windmill Hall and St Paul’s Church in Ruislip.
“It’s something beautiful, it’s been a life long experience for me. I cannot imagine what my life would have been like without dance.”
Pupils at the school can sit Royal Academy examinations, compete in national competitions and have gone on to have glittering careers in cabaret, teaching and performing in West End shows.
n DANCE STARS: In the centre is Maria Anderson, her daughter Beverly Hague to the left and her grand daughter Lisa Hague to the right. Right, pupils set to take part in the All England Dance Festival some of whom qualified at the regional finals to compete at the All England Finals in July this year at the Hackney Empire