Back in 1968, professional dancer, Wendy Catherall formed the, 'The Elsber School Of Dance' in a small upstairs room in a still existing property in Buckley. Named after her parents, Elsie and Bert, Elsber was created and now, almost 50 years later, it has grown to become the most highly acclaimed school in the area.
The school follows the I.S.T.D. (Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing) syllabus and provides training in Modern, Ballet and Tap dance for children between the ages of 3 and 19, with at least 2 examination sessions each year. The school also teaches, 'commercial Irish Dance' and is one of the largest centres of Irish Dance in the area.
In the early 2000's, the dance school was taken over by Wendy's daughter, Rachel Catherall. Rachel is a former professional dancer and an established freelance chorographer (www.rachelcatherall.co.uk).
In addition to the I.S.T.D. syllabus classes, the dance school was incorporating many other styles of dance for theatre and competition work, such as, National, Folk, Greek, and Street to name but a few. It was because of this that the dance school had a slight name change, and became, 'The Elsber School Of Theatre Dance', which just gave a nod in the direction of the sort of style we were teaching. The school also encourages singing and drama within it's productions.
Boys classes are taught separately to ensure that strength and style can develop independantly.
In addition to the many competitions and festivals, each year, the school provides dancers for pantomimes, charity evenys and local dramatic productions. Every 2 years, the school hosts it’s major production at Theatr Clwyd. This is a breathtaking West End style production for every member of the school, incorporating all aspects of the arts and lots of energy. On the inbetween years of the major production, the school performs in a series of ‘Minishows’, or 'Summer Spectacular Shows' as they are now known as, which are to promote and showcase the talented dancers in the school.
Our last large scale production show at Theatr Clwyd was, ’Road 2 Home' which took place in July 2015 with various smaller charity concerts and showcases being performed all year round.
This year, with the ever changing times in the dance world, we have decided to re brand and change our name officially to, 'Elsberdance'. We have done this for a number of reasons. Firstly, we have been known as Elsberdance on the compeition scene and in the media for a while now, and in today's world of social media, and moving trends, especially from America, we feel that the one word title represents where we currently are and where we want to head.
Along with the re branding, we are introducing a number of additional weekly classes, including, 'Technique' classes, such as, turning and additional ballet technique, along with new commercial dance classes. We will also be holding more workshops, bringing in teachers or dancers within the theatre industry to give one off sessions. For up to date information on where and when these workshops will be, keep checking this website and follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
In addition to the excellent dance training received at the school, the fully qualified staff make the lessons both fun and interesting for the children. Not everyone is designed to become a professional dancer or teacher, but all pupils will leave the school with confidence and poise that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.