IT was a fabulous festival as the Helen Young School of Dance celebrated its 50th anniversary.
Paisley’s longest established dance school held its popular display over two nights in Paisley Town Hall.
And, as in previous years, all the proceeds from the night were donated to Leukaemia Research in memory of former pupil Josephine Keenan.
In the 21 years that Christine O’Donnell has been Principal of the dance school, a fantastic £36,000 has been handed over to the charity.
And this year £3,500 was given to Janette Keenan from Leukaemia Research who came along to the show.
The theme for this year’s dancing display was Golden Oldies and featured a number of tunes used in previous shows.
Christine said: “All of the tunes in the display were used in previous years and were particular favourites of mine.
“The student ballet dance to Memory was dedicated to Helen Young as this was one of her favourite tunes.”
Helen Young started her school in 1959 with weekly classes in Paisley, Johnstone and Barrhead.
Christine started at the school in 1962 and progressed through the grades to become a teacher in 1969 and was eventually promoted by Helen to head assistant.
Helen sadly passed away in 1987 at the age of just 45. Christine bought the school in 1988 and together with her husband John, it has continued to grow and encourage young dancers throughout Renfrewshire.
Former pupils now have successful dancing schools throughout Renfrewshire, Ayrshire, Glasgow, Edinburgh and even Canada.
Over two nights, audiences enjoyed a variety of classic tunes and excellent dancing. With tunes ranging from Greased Lightning to Bohemian Rhapsody, 42nd Street and Thumbelina there was something for everyone to enjoy.
Christine said: “I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the success of the show – the Town Hall staff, sound and lighting crew and all the front and backstage helpers.
“And also thanks to all the pupils for their hard work and the parents for their continued support throughout the year.
“I’d also like to give a special thanks to my head assistant Jane Mackenzie.”
For the first time this year, local companies helped with prizes for the raffle.
Cardosi’s Restaurant gave a meal for two, the Watermill gave a meal for four for the carvery, Marks & Spencer donated £20 and Des Barr newsagents on Glasgow Road donated £50 of Marks & Spencer vouchers.
Christine added: “It was a great show, very special. It was the 50th anniversary of the dance school, my 40th anniversary as a dance teacher and 21 years since I took over the dance school. There were a lot of anniversaries to celebrate.
“The pupils were all fantastic over the two nights and the audience thoroughly enjoyed the show.”