Earls Barton dancing school to celebrate 50th anniversary with generational performance

71-year-old principal and owner Barbara will perform with her two daughters and two granddaughters

By Callum Faulds
Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 10:09 am
Barbara Allebone

An Earls Barton dance school is celebrating its 50th anniversary next month, marking the occasion by putting on a show at Wellingborough’s Castle Theatre.

Barbara Hooton School of Dancing will be putting on the event, which is taking place on June 3 and 4, which is their adaptation of Cinderella and will be filled with ballet, tap, contemporary and modern dance, with the opening number being a kicking routine.

The show was originally scheduled for October 2020 but like many things, was moved due to the pandemic.

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Principal Barbara Allebone said: “We struggled during the pandemic, like many others. We closed some of our venues and most students moved with us to Earls Barton but some didn’t which is a shame.

“Those who did stay have benefited and it’s given them more confidence. A wonderful thing about dance is that you can lose yourself in the movement.”

Barbara has run the school since 1970 following a professional career as a Tiller Girl. Barbara trained with Audrey Gale and bought the school from her on her retirement.

At 71-years-old, Barbara is still going strong and continues to teach.

During the show Barbara will be dancing with her daughters Nicola, 48, and Katy, 45, as well as her two granddaughters Isobel, 14, and Harriet, 10.

Barbara said: “It was my daughters’ idea for us to dance together. We thought it appropriate and very special to have three generations of the same family dancing together.

“It is a bit harder now and following this show I think that I will be done with performing, because you have to be careful and I’m getting a bit too old.

“But I’ll keep on teaching. People have asked me ‘why haven’t you retired yet?’ and I always say ‘why would I?’

"If I retired I’d have to find another dance school.

“It is quite strange now, to have had the same job for 50 years but when you do something that you love, it’s not really a job.”

To book a ticket for ‘Celebrating 50 Years of Dancing’ visit The Castle Theatre’s website.