Fifty dancing years

Bobbie Drake (centre), director of the Dore School of Performing Arts, is pictured with its principal Kate Riley (front) and pupils.
Bobbie Drake (centre), director of the Dore School of Performing Arts, is pictured with its principal Kate Riley (front) and pupils.

A SHEFFIELD stage school is marking 50 years, so what better name for an anniversary show than Let’s Celebrate.

The Dore School of Performing Arts was formed in the autumn of 1961 when 16-year-old Bobbie Drakeford persuaded her vicar to let her use a small back room at the local church hall.

The school has been meeting in the hall ever since and graduates have gone on dance careers around the world. Currently there are around 120 students, aged from two and a half all the way to 93.

“The celebration show appropriately had a definite flavour of the 60s but also showcased the many dance styles we teach here,” said Bobbie. “We have classical ballet, jazz dance, theatre craft, tap, hip hop, street dance and freestyle – we’ve had to move with the times over the years.”

She added: “The years have flown by, it’s amazing that we are celebrating a whole half century.”

Proceeds from the three shows will help support the education of a young Nepalese woman, Shanti Poudel, whom Bobbie and her husband met five years ago.

She has to walk five hours a day from her home in the mountains to get to college. The Dore school has paid for her uniform and equipment and is supporting her as she trains to become a teacher.