The Buckhurst Hill and Woodford School of Dancing was establised in 1922 when Maisie McDougall and Mary Thompson delivered hand bills from house to house in the Woodford area in order to recruit pupils.
Past Principals of the school have been Claire Lawson, Barbara Geoghegan and Doreen Locks. Doreen Locks had two daughters, Sonia Bond and Juliet Locks, now the present principals of the Buckhurst Hill & Woodford School of Dancing. Sonia Bond’s two daughters, Emma Jane Padfield and Lucy Pohl, are full time dance teachers for the school. This family run school is the longest established dance school in the area and continues to grow with branches now in Ongar and Thornwood.
Children from 5 upwards are entered for Cecchetti Classical Ballet and Classical Greek examinations. Other genres offered by the school are Jazz, Tap and Pointework. Children are also encouraged to participate in festivals, competitions and an annual Summer Showcase held at the Harlow Playhouse.
The School’s teachers are highly qualified. The principals Sonia Bond and Juliet Locks, who both trained at the London College of Dance and Drama, are both Senior Examiners of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing. Sonia is a past Chairman of the Classical Greek Faculty, and Juliet is currently Vice Chairman of the Cecchetti Society Faculty, both holding their Certificate in Dance Education. On the closure of the London College of Dance & Drama, Sonia and Juliet were honoured to be awarded the Old Students Cup for the success of the Buckhurst Hill & Woodford School of Dancing. This prestigious cup is to be presented to promising students within the school.
Emma Jane Padfield and Lucy Pohl are Licenciate members of the ISTD and Lucy holds the highest examination in the Cecchetti method of Ballet, the Enrico Cecchetti Diploma. She also danced on the professional stage following her dance training.
The Buckhurst Hill & Woodford School has past pupils attending Vocational Schools. They are currently at: The Central School of Ballet, Northern Ballet School , Italia Conte, London Studio Centre and The Urdang Academy. Four students are attending on full scholarships.
Our pupils’ achievements have made us proud teachers with their work in Royal Ballet Associates, Cecchetti Scholars, Cecchetti Senior and Junior Cecchetti Associates, National Youth Ballet, London Junior Ballet, Mabel Ryan Awards, Ruby Ginner Awards, Choreography Competitions, Summer Schools, Classical Greek Festivals, Epping Forest Dance Festival and Chelmsford Ballet Company.