New hip puts spring in step for Sheffield dance teacher June Fletcher

June Fletcher with some of her cheerleaders and trophies they have won
June Fletcher with some of her cheerleaders and trophies they have won

For almost six decades she has taught the people of Sheffield how to dance.

And now some of the first students at June Fletcher’s Dance Academy are returning with their children and grandchildren.

Dancers from June Fletcher Dance Academy at their annual variety show

Dancers from June Fletcher Dance Academy at their annual variety show

Despite June being in her 70s and celebrating 58 years as a dance teacher this year, she is showing no signs of hanging up her dance shoes just yet.

Her cries of ‘just once more girls’ are set to continue to echo around her dance studio in Gleadless for a while longer.

Grandmother June, of Charnock, Sheffield, says: “I never see myself giving up, although, like all dance teachers it effects your joints and takes you a while longer to recover.

“I had a hip replacement and was meant to take six weeks off, but I was back after two-and-a-half weeks.

Dancers from June Fletcher Dance Academy at their annual variety show

Dancers from June Fletcher Dance Academy at their annual variety show

“A lot of the kids I teach, I’ve taught their mums as well. I remember them all – the only trouble I have is remembering their married names.

“I have to admit I am lucky to have done something I wanted to do and that was my work.

“I have loved every minute of it.”

June founded the academy in 1956, after leaving school at 15 and going straight into a dance apprenticeship.

Dancers from June Fletcher Dance Academy at their annual variety show

Dancers from June Fletcher Dance Academy at their annual variety show

The school started out on Moorland View, Charnock, Sheffield, in an old Nissen hut.

As the school expanded, June continued dance classes from various social centres and church halls around the south side of Sheffield.

In 1984, she purchased her own dance studio on Briarfield Road, Gleadless Town End, where the academy is still run today.

Children aged two-and-half up to adults learn all types of dance, from ballet to jazz.

The academy also puts on an annual variety show at Davys Sporting Club, Prince of Wales Road, Darnall, and for many years also took part in a pantomime at the Montgomery Theatre, on Surrey Street in the city centre.

Some of the girls have also performed for most football squads in the region as cheerleaders.

They have spurred on Sheffield United, cheered Chesterfield FC and now appear at Rotherham United’s New York Stadium.

June says: “I go to every game. I love saying I’m off to New York most weekends.

“We do a range of dance and started cheerleading because we start to lose children when they are aged about 14 and start noticing other things, like lads, so this keeps their interest.”