1940 Our story begins back in 1940 with Mrs Knowles. Opening her own dancing school and taking the name of 'The Sussex'. This school was to be revolutionary to East Sussex and unbeknown to Mrs Knowles, was to become the longest running dance school in East Sussex.
After many years, the school passed down to her daughter Sylvia and son in law Dennis. This formidable couple had a glittering career as Ballroom & Latin dancers. Their highlights included dancing at Buckingham Palace and performing as the Cabaret act for the prestigious Film Stars Ball at the Lyceum Theatre, London. Along with ballroom dancing, classical training was introduced, such as Ballet, Tap and Modern.
1970 - 1980 Having had excellent professional contacts in the industry, 'The Sussex' bacame the first choice for countless companies during the 70's and 80's, provide children for pantomimes, touring shows, TV work and modelling.
1992 After gaining her teaching qualifications, Sylvia and Dennis, asked Miss Pippa, who had been training and learning at ' The Sussex', to teach at the school. This, she accepted happily and began teaching Classical Greek. Pippa was shortly followed by Miss Lisa, who began teaching the Modern and Tap classes.
2001 - 2010 We are now 'Sussex School of Dance'! 2001 marked the year of Sylvia and Dennis retiring and handing the school over to Miss Lisa and Miss Pippa. Since then, The Sussex has continued in its original traditions of professional theatre training and in the last decade has won two national finals at the Classical Greek Dance Festival, performed at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the Physical Education Spectacular, danced for BBC Music Live for the Queens Golden Jubilee and on the main arena during Airbourne, the world’s largest free seafront air show. All this besides our own Musical Theatre workshop productions and continued excellent examination results (around 8000 to date!!!).
2011 Lisa and Pippa took the decision to relocate the school entirely. The previous premises in Station Street were showing signs of age and parking was a massive problem for everyone and relocated to Hampden Park, Eastbourne. We also decided upon a name change to mark the occasion from Sussex School of Dance to Sussex Dance Studios.
2012 Our first production in the new studio of Scrooge is held, this time starring Tommy Steele. Emily Nash an ex student joined the team who graduated and gained her diploma in Dance Instruction in Modern and Tap.
2014 Two years since moving into our 'Dance at the Trees' studios, to support the ever expansion of the dance school we have now moved into a two level premises at the Broadway United Church Centre, allowing much need space for classes to take place. We've settled into our new home and hope to see you at one of our classes or shows in the future!
2019 Exciting new changes ahead! The next stage in our journey will take place at St Catherine's College, Eastbourne. With this we can expand and grow even more so as a dancing school. We can also welcome Miss Kirsty as a Principal of the dance school.
...to where we are now.
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