Daphne Peterson







From Miss Daphne, or Miss Peterson, depending on which school you attended!
I'm sure all past pupils who walked through those doors of "The "Studio", Romford, will like me have such happy memories. Mine started aged 7 years (before the union of the two schools). I was quite a sturdy child looking more fit for a football team than dancing! However, Miss Davies after much time and patience finally improved this ugly duckling!
When very young I performed a solo song and dance, decked out in a polka costume at a garden fete (as one used to do in those days). Whilst dancing some retires backwards on a makeshift stage disaster struck! I fell off leaving only my feet visible clad in red shoes. Miss Davies and my mother rushed to my rescue and finding me in one piece urged me to perform again. So I went on with a tearful rendering of ‘You should see me dance the Polka'. I received generous sympathetic applause. Lesson learned: the show must go on.
I remember vividly the dressing rooms with their chintz curtains and locker covers. Two small studios and one Big studio (we always referred to it as Big!!) which these days would hardly be considered large but to us in those early years it was just magic!
The Big studio had various dancing photos on the walls, some were of Miss Davies to whom we desperately wanted to aspire to. I'm sure all past students will remember our Tap classes with dear Mr Stan Ward, a superb pianist. He always gave us an encouraging smile whenever we were taking a Tap exam!
In later years when dear Joyce and I were assistant teachers a grand occasion was when we really did have a large hall built in the garden, with the necessary changing rooms and cloak rooms. It really was a wonderful  feeling to have space and of course the hall was used for choreographic competitions we held for our Senior students and also for demonstrations that parents were invited to attend.
Another personal memory when as an assistant teacher at our annual school show happened during the last number of the dress rehearsal. It was a large and elaborate number but the ending had been lengthened and re-choreographed by Miss Davies. Unfortunately, when the great moment came at the end of the show, Joyce and I completely forgot the alteration and I gave the order backstage for the curtain to be lowered far too early! Miss Davies was not amused and it was a long time before I was forgiven.
I'm sure all past students who have had such successful professional careers, many of whom have become I.S.T.D examiners will remember those happy days well. It was such an uncomplicated time, how fortunate we all were.
Email received from Daphne Peterson dated 3 May 2009
Dear John,
CONGRATULATIONS!!  Although I have not had time as yet to read it all, I am absolutely thrilled with the Bush Davies website. You have done an excellent job, it was a marvellous idea, beautifully carried out. You must have devoted many many hours along with Lyndall to set this up.

It will give me and I'm sure many others a great deal of pleasure. It is lovely to come across old friends and past students, hearing all their news and reliving all the happy memories, showing the immense influence Bush-Davies had on their lives. I'm sure like me both you and Paul enjoy this trip down memory lane.
Much love to you both Daphne xx
PS :- the photos have come out remarkably well!



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