Dancing and Keep Fit

Jenny Berwyn-Jones moved to Fovant in 1983, and after talking to other mothers at the school gates, decided to start a dancing school in the village, using her professional surname of Paule on the basis that it would be easier for the children to pronounce. As with so many village organisations, the Village Hall was the venue for lessons in ballet, modern, tap and national dancing, once mirrors and barres had been fitted. There was a considerable amount of crossover between the dancing school and F.A.M.E. as both groups made improvements to the hall for the purposes of performances.

Classes were held on weekdays after school, for all levels and for ages from toddlers upwards, but pupils were not entered for examinations. Instead, attention was focused on putting on shows once a year. Four shows had to be held over two successive weekends in order to ensure that as many admiring relatives and friends as possible could attend. When the village school closed and the Rainbow Centre took over its premises and set up a nursery school, Jenny ran classes there, and every year these pupils would put on a small show at the Village Fête.

Also in the 1980s, owing to the popularity of fitness videos, such as the ‘Jane Fonda Workout’, Jenny responded to demand by starting keep fit classes for adults and subsequently line dancing was introduced as well. The dancing school officially ceased operating in 1992, because the younger pupils had grown into teenagers with other interests and schoolwork to occupy them. However, adult tap lessons plus a range of keep fit classes, some of which incorporate seated exercise for those with limited mobility, are still well attended in 2004.