London College of Dance Network 75th Anniversary Reunion

What a wonderful day! 

In 1944 Anita Heyworth, one of the great pioneers of dance education in Britain, founded, along with Grace Cone what was to become The London College of Dance……
….and on September 1st 2019 fifty former students and staff from across the decades came to Fairley House School in Lambeth, to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the college.

It was a special, joyous occasion, ably organised by Patricia Snowdon, the Chair of London College of Dance Network (The Old Students’ Association of London College of Dance (and Drama)) and assisted by members of the Committee, plus staff from the school, family and friends. Miraculously the sun shone and so everyone was welcomed with a glass of prosecco and had the opportunity to meet and chat in the beautiful Italianate garden of the school. Years melted away as friendships were renewed and memories and stories shared of our broad and innovative training.

After a delicious buffet lunch a group of current students from the Creative Academy, Slough, provided entertainment with a beautiful duet and challenging contemporary dance sequences that are part of their Degree Course Contemporary Dance Module. It was a delight to see young, committed dancers performing for us and acted as a reminder of the high standards that London College set and achieved over the years for both dance and dance teaching.

Jill Henderson then gave an informal talk, ‘Reminiscences of London College’ where she described her experiences both as student and lecturer. She spoke with humour of the various buildings that housed college during her career, from the beautiful to the less than salubrious, but most importantly she gave an insight to the amazing resilience, strength and determination of Anita Heyworth and her courage in masterminding the survival of the college during difficult, uncertain times.

The AGM followed after which tea and cakes were served, allowing further mingling
and chat of shared memories and career experiences.

Although college ceased to exist in the early 2000s ex-students and staff are still bound together. This is due to our shared experience of the ethos and spirit of the college which created camaraderie and high aesthetic values…… all of which emanated from Anita Heyworth.

The next reunion is due to be held on Saturday September 5th 2020 and if you are a former student or member of staff reading this report and would be interested in joining us for this or future reunions, or if you are interested in the association and /or our partnership with the Creative Academy, which helps keep the name and work of London College alive, please contact us at or on our Facebook page : London College of Dance (and Drama). We would love to hear from you.

Anne Rooney,
Committee Member