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Dancers in a spin for final class at Blackpool studios

The farewell dance class at Langley Dance Centre. Front centre, Joan and Ruth Langley
The farewell dance class at Langley Dance Centre. Front centre, Joan and Ruth Langley

Ex-students at one of Blackpool’s longest-standing dance schools have come together for one last class at their former studio.

Based in Coronation Street for 38 years, Langley Dance Centre is moving to new premises next month.

The farewell dance class at Langley Dance Centre

The farewell dance class at Langley Dance Centre

And ‘Langley’s girl’ Hayley Kay gathered together some of her former classmates for a special last class to say farewell to the studio, as well as to celebrate the 80th birthday of one of the school’s founders Ruth Langley.

Sisters Ruth and Joan opened the school 51 years ago, and current principal Sarah Cairns attended the school herself before taking over in 2001.

“We had around 45 people take part in the ballet and tap class - aged from their mid-20s to their mid-50s, and in total about 80 came along,” Hayley said.

“It was lovely to see everyone come and to dance together to the best of their ability after all these years.

The farewell dance class at Langley Dance Centre

The farewell dance class at Langley Dance Centre

“I’ll personally never forget it, and I don’t think Miss Ruth and Miss Joan realised just how much they had impacted all of our lives.”

The school opened when Ruth, then the Tower Company ballet mistress, and Joan, a professional dancer in London, were struggling to combine dance life and having children.

Since opening in January 1967, thousands of dancers have passed through their doors, many going on to the country’s top dance colleges and working in entertainment.
Over the years the school has provided dancers for local theatre companies, as well as the Tower Circus, Children’s Ballet, and the centre produced the Blackpool Children’s Pantomime for 10 years.

The ex-pupils presented Miss Ruth with a scrapbook of their memories for her landmark birthday, and collected £125 on the day, which will be used to buy a gift for the new studio.

Ruth Langley receives a scrapbook from her former pupils, as sister Joan looks on

Ruth Langley receives a scrapbook from her former pupils, as sister Joan looks on