Dance school celebrates 50th anniversary this weekend

By David Tucker

Wexford School of Ballet and Performing Arts ready for the 50th anniversary show REPRISE.
Wexford School of Ballet and Performing Arts ready for the 50th anniversary show REPRISE.

Wexford School of Ballet and Performing Arts will open the Dun Mhuire Theatre doors this weekend to stage its 50th Anniversary Show, with a production drawing on favourites from five decades of peerless performances.

The curtain goes up at 7.30 p.m. on Friday, December 11 and Saturday, December 12, on what promises to be the best show yet.

Months of voting have gone on to compile the production numbers list and finally the running order is ready.

Act 1 & 2 will be made up from the all-time favourites of 50 years of shows so you can be assured there is definitely something there for every one in the audience.

Suzanne O'Leary said It will be a great honour to welcome everybody to join us on this momentous occasion.

'50 years of music and dance, what an achievement. One year after the next, they bounce through the studio doors in 16 Upper John Street, from the age of 3, and then glide out age 18 usually with tears falling (gracefully of course!),' she said.

What goes on in the years between is a combination of fun, hard work, friendship, bonding, life lessons and of course dance. WSBPA prides itself in attention to detail and this becomes very apparent in its students, often is heard 'she's a ballet school girl.

'We are very proud of our students and know that they will always rise to the occasion and give 110%. Hard work is a natural instinct to them, learning from an early age that if you put the work in you get the results out.

The school was founded by Ann O 'Leary, described as 'undoubtedly the most patient woman'.

It is Suzanne's 28th year running the school and she has written many success stories, directing, choreographing and producing numerous shows, as well as seeing many of her students reach great heights in their own stage and dance careers. WSBPA now employs six teachers and one student teacher and runs five days a week.

It produces two full scale shows a year and students have three examination sessions to choose from. Fund raising has always been a strong factor in the school and so far WSBPA has donated over €25,000 to various charities.

Many past students are returning for the celebrations, some will dance, others will watch on in support from the audience. But some very special past students will perform hand-in-hand with their daughters who now attend the school, as they once did many years ago.

If you haven't already got them, tickets are available on the door at 6.30 p.m. on the nights of the performance.

Wexford People

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