When three small children knocked at my door, begging me to teach them dancing and acting, I couldn't refuse!
It was not what I had envisaged or planned, having just returned from India with my new, tiny baby and a stage career pending,
but their fresh, expectant faces full of excitement and wonder, made me accept their unexpected challenge.
This was how the York School of Dance and Drama began thirty years ago and is a thriving community today, having nurtured hundreds
of children in their thirst for knowledge in the performing arts. The school now has the pleasure and pride of teaching the children
of children who were the founder pupils and in some cases their Grandchildren!
Many children have passed through our portals, some to further their career in the stage, television and film, others to teach in higher education, some to teach in schools of their own.
The School is privileged to encompass families who have always supported our cause and our sincere desire to ensure that our students experience the "best" in Performance standards and to these people I offer my gratitude and thanks and hope they continue with their wonderful help.
Our own "Quest for the Best" and standards of excellence are unparalleled in the field of introducing new dance techniques and skills to children of all ages. Our emphasis on embracing "the whole person" within the family atmosphere of the school is of utmost importance, whilst nurturing the individual's creative skills and talent.
My own success in choreography, internationally, has inspired and encouraged students to expand, explore and develop their own
choreographic flare. This facet, I hope will be further enriched and expanded by our new Jorvik Arts Academy, for the older students
who wish to explore art, dance, drama and music within the expressive arts arena.
Once again, the Academy has sprung into being, not through my own initiation but that of the students, who I first taught in Spain and
wish to have a centre in this country where they can be allowed to follow their artistic interests.
Where better than here in York, to follow on the great tradition of Y.S.D.D.
I am humbled and overwhelmingly proud of all our students, as I am of my National Kidscape Award, given for my teaching work within the school. Similarly, for being the first person in this country to be invited to choreograph the Church's history at Walsingham and it's healing aspects, using a group of Senior Dancers from the school. The piece,
"Dum Spiro Spero" (while I breathe I hope) contains part of the philosophy of our school. We will always strive to do our best and to give ourselves up to the glorious rapture of pure performance.
Now, thirty years on we have a wonderful Patron, Derek Fowlds, who helps to champion our cause and encourage our students in their quest for the best.
We also have a new set of mums and dads working in the background to provide new funds for the children to enable better performance standards. My heart-felt thanks to everyone.
The school's motto, "Nullos Limos" (no limits) echoes my own philosophy that in our dreams our skills and performance talents are limitless, and if we can make our dreams reality our own joy will be limitless as will that of others who share our dreams.
Please keep on dreaming everyone and thank you for sharing mine. Lesley Ann Eden