Letter from our Principal

Dear Students, Parents and Members,

After fifty-eight years of teaching the art of classical ballet I feel the time has come for me to take a step back and leave you in the best possible hands to continue with your training. I will still bearound to take some of the

classes though.

It has been a very hard decision and I have thought very carefully about who will step into my shoes. I think you will be pleased with my choice.

The School will be purchased by Jim Harris and Adam Harris, (widower and son of Miss Tracey, who some students will fondly remember as a Teacher for a number of years before she passed away in 2015). The sale will be effective from 1st January, 2018. It is coincidental that I am selling it to a ‘new generation’ of Harris’s, (although not related to me), and I am delighted to confirm that I will be continuing to teach at the School, at least for the next year or two.

Adam is a professional ballet dancer with the Croatian National Theatre; he has danced in Europe since graduating from Elmhurst Ballet School in 2012. Adam will bring a modern approach to professional dance to the School, and will be heavily instrumental in supporting those students who aspire to follow his path into vocational training, and onwards into a professional career. Adam continues to perform, as he has done hundreds of times, to full theatres, and in many of the famous ‘big ballets’, so is wonderfully placed to deliver meaningful artistic oversight to the tuition at Downland Dance.

His Father, Jim Harris, has a long Association with the School, and, amongst other things, is a Director of the Elmhurst Ballet School. As such, he is well connected with ballet training at a Vocational level, and he has excellent contacts with professional ballet dance teachers and performers, not least with the Birmingham Royal Ballet, which has formal associations with Elmhurst Ballet School.

I know that Jim and Adam intend to raise the profile of Downland Dance, and have some wonderful new ideas and imaginative events planned that are really fresh and exciting, so please do watch out for information from them which I hope will be forthcoming over the course of the next few weeks.

I look forward to continuing to be a part of the growth of this wonderful organisation.

Fondest wishes,

Judy Harris (Bowles)