Dancers’ Barre is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a production of Beauty and the Beast.
The full length show – the Laxey dance school’s 14th at the Gaiety Theatre – will be performed on Sunday next week (May 7).
Some 50 dancers aged from four to 19 as well as 2022 Arts Council arts graduate intern Sophie Linham will perform the traditional fairy tale.
Rachel Withington, who runs the school, told Island Life: ‘I really can’t believe Dancers’ Barre is 30 years old this month.
‘It is lovely to look back to all the fun and excitement we have had along the way, including our 13 previous shows at the Gaiety Theatre, with fabulous dancers and actors, a host of amazing costumes, props and scenery and fantastic examination success with The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing.’
Dancers’ Barre started in April 1993.
Rachel was trained at Bush Davies Schools and before completing her degree and postgraduate secondary school teaching certificate was qualified to teach ballet and drama.
Classes originally took place in the old ballroom at The Riverside Restaurant in Laxey Glen Gardens.
There about 12 students enjoyed the beautiful surroundings and spacious sprung ballroom floor.
‘We enjoyed several years there, and even fixed very sturdy ballet barres to the walls and you can possibly find some of our early attempts at scenery stored underneath the ballroom,’ Rachel said.
A change in ownership of the building saw the dance school move to Laxey School.
‘I would like to thank the caretakers for looking after us so well whilst we were there,’ she said.
This year, Dancers’ Barre moved to the ‘smaller but very comfortable’ Laxey Working Men’s Institute.
‘The central position and the use of the two halls has been really useful and we look forward to working more within the Laxey community in future,’ Rachel said.
Over the years, Dancers’ Barre has nurtured dancers who have progressed to train alongside the Royal Ballet, performed with youth dance companies in the UK and gained firsts in their dance degrees.
‘More than the fame and fortune some have gone on to achieve, we are proud to provide a safe and friendly atmosphere to enjoy a weekly dance class,’ Rachel said.
‘It will always be a privilege to work with young people who want to learn about dance and become involved in the arts, and the families and friends who support them.’
She thanked everyone who has helped or been involved with the school over the last 30 years.
Performances of Beauty and the Beast take place at 2.30pm and 7.30pm on Sunday, May 7.
Tickets (£20 for adults, £13 for over 65s and under 16s) are available online at villagaiety.com