The Italian Pauline, like all young ladies of the time, was sent to dancing classes in Nottingham; she may even have taken her first ballet steps in Florence. She obviously loved it and, being a "resourceful and forceful character by nature," decided, after her marriage to Arthur, that housewifery was simply not for her. So, at the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, at the age of 32 she opened her own dancing school.
Over the years it became recognised as one of the leading such establishments in the region and was well known in London circles. Naturally, Noreen was guided by her mother in her early dance training and eventually added her name to that of her mother's school when she began her teaching career in Nottingham. The charming photographs of the decorous Noreen on this page may just illustrate the pride and ambition that her mother had for her young daughter!
Pauline's younger sister, Clementine, married into a Kemp family in Nottingham and managed the commercial side of the school. Her son, Travis, Noreen's cousin, also attended the school. Indeed, it is noteworthy that during the '20s and '30s many boys attended ballet classes and other dance styles at the school. In a letter from Reg Maxfield to Paul Leopold-Kimm in 1990, he writes, "I don't know whether Vic or Noreen ever mentioned the three Maxfield Brothers. We started training in ballet with Noreen in 1923 and, on leaving school at 14 years, continued with ballet full time. Later, when Vic introduced tap into the school we decided to concentrate on that - we had a closer affinity and ballet was too much like hard labour! Vic was a wonderful tap dancer as well as his other accomplishments and it is most probable that, with his connection with Fred Clements, he arranged for us to appear in Dick Whittington at the Opera House in 1931, which is when our career started. I also remember Noreen's cousin, Travis as well as the Galliard brothers, who lived in. That period was such an important part of our lives and we have only fond memories of the 'Bush School'."
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