Zadie Smith’s former Queen’s Park dance school celebrates 50 years
- Credit: Archant
Queen’s Park’s oldest and most popular dance school is celebrating its 50th anniversary with show stopping performances this weekend.
Adele’s Dance School, founded by Adele Maxwell-Miles in 1967, is celebrating its bicentenary with a show called For the Love of Dance at Sion Manning Girls School, St Charles Square, Ladbroke Grove, on Saturday and Sunday at 6.30pm.
The school, in Christchurch Avenue, opened 50 years ago in a hall in Claremont Road, with just six pupils.
Now run by Sherine Medley, more than 200 pupils a week come to learn ballet, tap, jazz and street dance.
Ms Maxwell-Miles, said: “The dance school started up this time 50 years ago with my mum and me. It’s amazing really. Hundreds and hundreds of children across Brent, Camden and Barnet have come since then.
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“It was my mother’s idea that children ‘pay as they come’, so that even if they didn’t have much, they could come for the experience.
“These days we can’t do that as prices of halls are so expensive but we always dance to a nice pianist, not tape recorders.“
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Past pupils include novelist Zadie Smith, whose latest book, Swing Time, is loosely based on her dancing days at Adele’s.
Joanna MacGregor OBE, now a concert pianist, conductor and curator, played for the school.
Other pupils have gone on to the stage with one young man now dancing with Matthew Bourne’s theatre company.
Over the years pupils have danced for the Queen’s granddaughter, Princess Beatrice’s sixth birthday. Pupils often danced on stage with Michael Jackson when he was performing in the capital.
“We have lovely memories including the St Patrick’s Day Parade in Kilburn, holding our annual show at the Hampstead School, and organising charity functions for schoolchildren in Ghana and for other needy causes,” said Ms Maxwell-Miles.
She added: “The school is still going strong, we have a lovely feeling. We put the children through exams but we also veer away from the syllabus.
“We want everybody to get a wonderful feeling of dance.”
Love of Dance, October 7-8, Sion Manning Girls School, St Charles Square. Tickets for the performance costs £10.