Pamela Darlington School of Dance History

Pamela Darlington School of Dance began in 1982 at the Elliot Cavendish Hotel, Newquay, Cornwall and soon after opened a branch school in Bodmin.

Classes have been running for 40 years.

Many pupils have progressed to vocational schools, The Royal Ballet School, Elmhurst Ballet School, Laine Theatre Arts, Doreen Bird College, Arts Educational School, London Studio Centre, Hammond, Performers, Laban and Urdang Dance Academy.

The school works with Bbodance and examinations are conducted several times a year, in classical ballet, tap, contemporary dance, musical theatre and modern.

‘Showtime’ is the school’s show held at the Hall for Cornwall, all students have the option of being involved and it is a wonderful opportunity for pupils to enjoy the ‘magic of the theatre.’

Pamela Darlington – School Principal

Miss Pamela trained with the British Ballet Organisation in Newcastle under Lyme, at the Minnie Skerrett School of Dance, gaining her Advanced Ballet and her Teachers Qualification, before becoming a professional dancer.

Pamela worked on cruise liners, summer shows, cabaret circuits and the highlight of her professional life was a tour of Italy with Kodak as part of the ‘Imagine Life’ dance group. Often Pamela was head girl and would sometimes fly out before others to rehearse the orchestra and prepare the theatre technicians, she particularly enjoyed this part, rising to the challenge. After 8 years Pamela decided Newquay was too beautiful to keep leaving and she set about starting her own dance school, her first premises were at the Elliot Cavendish Hotel, courtesy of Chris and Susie Hayman and she began her first Saturday with 8 pupils, the rest, as they say, is history and her school has now become part of her life, as are all her pupils, past, present and future.

The British Ballet Organisation has always been part of Pamela’s life, so it was a natural progression to re-join them as a teacher and it was not long before they saw the potential and invited Miss Pamela to become an examiner for the organization, a position she was thrilled and honored to accept. She has since been made a Senior Examiner and relishes in her numerous trips to residential courses, always returning to the school with re-newed excitement and inspiration to pass onto her students.

She was asked to join together with Deborah Clarke, to visit Australia and New Zealand, to examine their vocational students and to teach the new B.B.O. syllabus at their summer courses, she was away for 6 weeks and really enjoyed the experience and again returned home full of ideas and passion.

In 2011 Miss Pamela was awarded her Diploma in the Lifelong Learning Sector (Dance) by Dame Beryl Grey, the course was accredited by both the Bbodance and Trinity College, London.

As a Senior Examiner, Miss Pam has recently examined in Malta, Mombasa, Kenya and Kuwait and generally loves to travel

2022 will be the 40th birthday of the Pamela Darlington School of Dance – an amazing milestone in this day and age – and long may it continue!

Rebecca Old – nee Shipway – BA(hons)RAD RTS PGC

Rebecca started to dance at Pamela Darlington School of Dance at 3 years of age and worked her way through all bbodance levels of exams from Pre Primary through to Grade 8 in Ballet, Tap and Modern.

She performed at Hall for Cornwall in their pantomimes for 7 consecutive years. With bbodance she has attended courses at White Lodge and at 14 was selected to take part in a ‘one off showcase’ with Wayne Sleep.

At 18 Rebecca was offered a place at the Royal Academy of Dance in London to study a BA Honours Degree in Ballet Education. Rebecca graduated in 2009 achieving a 2.1 with her final year speciality being Performance. She also was awarded her RAD teaching certificate at this time.

After graduation Rebecca returned to Cornwall and was offered a job as a Community Dance Teacher, running curriculum linked workshops and After School Dance Classes in Primary and Secondary Schools. She also taught dance based therapy workshops with vulnerable and disabled children and young adults.

Rebecca then returned to London to study a Masters Degree in Ballet Studies at Roehampton University.

Returning to Cornwall she spent a few years teaching with Jason Thomas but is now back home with Miss Pam, where Rebecca started her teaching career as a Saturday Student helper from 13 years of age!!!!

Miss Becky is mummy to Maddie, Lewis and Theo, but she still manages to teach Saturdays and Tuesdays and Thursdays – Welcome back Becky, we have missed you!!!

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