"May I introduce you..... how nice to meet you..... and what do you do?" This mundane preamble is typical of introductions at social gatherings and it always strikes dread to the pit of my stomach; a more cosmopolitan person is likely to avoid such an ice-breaker. I know precisely how the conversation will develop. My usual response is, "I'm retired," or, after a few glasses of wine I might try, "I'm a transsexual stripper-gram." No, that will not do – persistence prevails. "Um, what did you do before you retired?" With a hint of weary resignation tinged with enthusiasm I continue, "Education…. boarding school… ballet… theatre." Ears prick-up and nostrils twitch. "Oh really, how fascinating!" (Here we go) "Have you produced anyone famous, someone I've seen on the television perhaps?" My mind goes blank. The question is easily answerable but by the time I have gathered my thoughts to say, "Perhaps not," I can discern edginess and a need to move on.

There are those, however, who are keen to pursue the subject and give one the chance to explain the difference between a 'stage school' and the special nature of a school such as Bush Davies - indeed, Arts Educational and Elmhurst too, as it then was - and describe the different expectations of the Royal Ballet School. Those encounters are truly welcome and one can wallow in a sense of pride and accomplishment. Try stopping me!

'Celebrity', that over-rated buzz word of the past couple of decades, was never a prerequisite to the ethos and to achieving success from the training at Bush Davies. If anything, it was played down. Instead, with all the opportunities on offer, we hoped to develop a well-rounded, well-trained, well-educated confident individual able to face the professional rigours of their chosen path in the Performing Arts, or, indeed, in an alternative career, especially through the 1970s and 80s when the demand for qualifications was increasing.
Many of the students are celebrated in their chosen field without having to bend to the insatiable appetite for mediocrity from a hungry, media-frenzied public. We have been reacquainted with some of them through this web site.
Therefore, in this section, we would like to share with you some of their stories. They are presented in no particular order but as and when the information has been sent to us. Click on links below.

Lauren Fownes    Norma Dunbar

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