Young performers will be celebrating 50 years of a Blackpool dance school this week.
Langley Dance Centre’s students will be taking to the stage at Blackpool Tower Ballroom on Friday and Saturday for their annual Langley’s In The Spotlight production, marking the school’s half century landmark.
The school opened when Ruth Langley, then the Tower Company ballet mistress, and Joan Langley, a professional dancer in London, were struggling to combine dance life and having children.
They first opened the doors to Langley Dance Centre in January 1967 to four children, but since then thousands have come through their town centre studios, many going on to attend the country’s top dance colleges.
Current Langley’s principal Sarah Cairns attended the centre herself as a child, before taking over in 2001.
“The day I walked through Langley Dance Centre’s door was definitely one of the best things that has ever happened to me,” she said.
“I arrived aged six in a baggy ‘homemade’ burgundy leotard, a little nervous and apprehensive. I needn’t have worried, Miss Ruth and Miss Joan Langley took me under their wing and my love of dance grew with their compelling and captivating teaching skills.
“I soon realised I was at a first class dancing school with the most supportive teachers I could wish for.
“Miss Ruth and Miss Joan Langley taught me through all my grades up to my teaching exams and I genuinely can’t thank them enough for all their encouragement over the years.”
This week’s shows mark the end of months of rehearsals for 230 dancers from across the Fylde coast.
Sarah says she feels very lucky to have an enthusiastic team behind her, including her follow teachers and the school’s parents.
Over the years the school has provided dancers for local theatre companies, as well as the Tower Circus, Children’s Ballet, and the centre produced the Blackpool Children’s Pantomime for 10 years.
Tickets for Langley’s In The Spotlight cost £10 for adults, £8 concessions, from Blackpool Tower.