Miss Anne Desbruslais
Principal of WSD 1985-2010
In 1985 Karen passed the school onto Anne Desbruslais and David Walker.
Under Anne and David, the school grew to over 800 pupils with many starting at aged 3 and not leaving until 18 when they went off to University or dance/drama colleges. Anne taught ballet and other dance subjects at Stamford Junior school, Copthill school and Witham Hall school. During her time as Principal, many of Anne’s Welland school pupils have taken up careers in theatre both amateur and professional. All the local societies are full of Anne’s past and present pupils with many shows produced/directed and choreographed by past members. Over the years Anne has seen thousands of girls and boys through their dance exams with excellent results.
Anne attended the Laine Theatre Arts school in Epsom from the age of 7 learning ballet, tap, modern theatre, Greek and national dance then from 16 as a student on the teachers training course. As a student danced on more than one occasion on the BBC show, Come Dancing, appeared at the Albert hall, toured Ireland as a dancer in the Opera, Aida and many other productions both amateur and professional.
At 19 was invited to teach at the prestigious Arts Educational school, Tring(a vocational school). In her 8 years at the school Anne taught some of the countrie’s top young dancers. Many would go on to have leading careers in the theatre and television, performing in all the main shows of the day including Cats and others dancing with top ballet companies. During this time Anne toured with the Festival ballet rehearsing the Tring pupils involved in their productions. Anne was also given the task of a ballet assessor for the London School, giving on one occasion to a young Adam Cooper, a maximum A+.Anne took over the Welland School in 1985 and has seen the school grow from under 300 to over 800 pupils with many starting at aged 3 and not leaving until 18 when off to University or dance/drama colleges.
Anne is also a former lecturer and adjudicator for the Cecchetti ballet society of which she is a fellow. She has given classes for other teachers around the country and was honoured to be invited to give a London Master class for the societies 80th anniversary and was one of only two teachers from the provinces invited to give lectures, others were teachers from the Royal Ballet including Monica Mason. Anne gave a class on learning techniques for the young dancer to an all-teacher audience and started by astounding them by introducing by name the 20 demonstrating students as they entered the studio, although she had only meet them briefly 10 minutes before; the point being to emphasize the importance of knowing and calling children by their names.Anne is a member of the R.A.D regional committee and as well as our school shows, displays, exam and festival dances, Anne has choreographed work for nationwide ballet competitions and local productions including West Side Story with the Stamford Boys & Girls High school. Devised and choreographed Peter and the Wolf with the Stamford Chamber Orchestra, and many more.