Introducing Lizzie Gunson

Honley Village Centre
Author Velella Licence CC BY-SA 2.0 Source Wikimedia Commons


When Sir David Bintley was the artistic director of the Birmingham Royal Ballet, that company used to insert the following words into its programmes:

"Huddersfield is not as famous in the world of classical dance as St Petersburg, Paris or London, but it was the birthplace of David Bintley - one of the most consistent and significant forces in British ballet."

That statement was inaccurate in two regards.  First, Sir David came from Honley which is a village near Huddersfield but quite a separate entity as anyone from these parts will have you know.  Secondly, this corner of Yorkshire has contributed more than most communities of similar size to British ballet. The late Brian Shaw who was described by Debra Craine and Judith Mackrell as one of the finest classical male dancers of his generation" also hailed from here.  As you can see from the video, there is no shortage of talented young artists from our Pennine fastness to follow in Sir David and Brian Shaw's footsteps.

The teacher who has coached that talented young woman is Lizzie Gunson, the proprietor of Elizabeth Gunson Dance in Honley.  Lizzie teaches all styles of dance to adults and children.   I have attended her adult ballet class since September. Lizzie also coaches me even though I am at the opposite end of the scale from her talented pupil in the video in every possible regard.  However, I have learned a lot from Lizzie which is why I have invited her to be our guest ballet mistress at our company class on Saturday 26 Feb 2022 at Dance Studio Leeds between 15:30 and 17:00.

Lizzie has an inimitable style of teaching which is unusual but very effective.   She has a knack for diagnosing issues before her student is even aware of them and she always has an imaginative way of addressing them.  As I have always been an adult dancer nobody I had picked up lots of bad habits which she has rapidly eradicated.   She treats every student as an individual which is great for a company like ours with a wide range of abilities and aptitudes.

We are opening Lizzie's class to anyone who wants to train with our regular dancers with a view to joining the company.   That includes all my fellow dancers in Honley.   As space is not unlimited we ask you to register in advance here.  I look forward to seeing as many of my readers as possible on Saturday.


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