Dance studio named after local legend

Eileen Walker with her ex pupils and students at the Mandaleigh Studios
Eileen Walker with her ex pupils and students at the Mandaleigh Studios
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A DANCE school has opened a new studio named after a local dance teacher.

In tribute to Eileen Walker’s dance school, principal of The Mandaleigh Studios in Fareham, Leigh Bushnell named the studio after Eileen.

Leigh said: ‘Eileen had the biggest and most established school in Fareham when we first opened in 1978 and she is such an inspiration to all of us.

‘So many women still living in Fareham remember being taught by her and there was a discussion online about her old school and so many were saying “I used to be a dancer there” and so we thought it would be a good way to celebrate a little local history.’

Eileen attended the naming ceremony at the studios.

She said: ‘I was honoured to open the studio in my name at The Mandaleigh Studios and to watch a beautiful ballet class taken by the talented teacher Leigh Bushnell.’

Eileen also had the chance to meet some of the women she taught as children.

She said: ‘I was thrilled to meet up with ex-pupils from days gone by and had a lovely champagne tea compliments of The Mandaleigh Studios.’

Eileen also donated an Eileen Walker trophy during the ceremony.

Her daughter Frances Richardson said: ‘I am thrilled that mother has been honoured in this way and it is great that all her hard work and experience in dance and performance won’t be forgotten.’

Like Eileen’s school, The Mandaleigh Studio teaches a syllabus of ballet, tap and modern as well as contemporary and street dance.

Leigh, 60, said: ‘The studio naming was a great day and it was lovely to see Eileen with her old pupils and she got the chance to see all the youngsters dance in the studio named after her.’