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Bodywork Company Cambridge Dance Studios celebrates 40th anniversary





Bodywork Company Cambridge Dance Studios is celebrating 40 years of training performers in the community – including many who have gone on to the West End.

Bodywork students rehearsing for Fame. Picture: Keith Heppell
Bodywork students rehearsing for Fame. Picture: Keith Heppell

The studio on Glisson Road, Cambridge, where the late Strictly Come Dancing winner and TV presenter Caroline Flack was once a pupil, held a special, sold-out gala yesterday (Friday, June 2) at The Leys School in Cambridge, and some of its former alumni returned to perform.

Bodywork students rehearsing for Newsies. Picture: Keith Heppell
Bodywork students rehearsing for Newsies. Picture: Keith Heppell
Bodywork students rehearsing for Saturday Night Fever. Picture: Keith Heppell
Bodywork students rehearsing for Saturday Night Fever. Picture: Keith Heppell

Ahead of the show, Theresa Kerr, the principal at the centre, said: “We put it out to our alumni and there’s about 12 of them coming.”

Among those who performed were Helen Petrovna, Jason Gray, Emma Barr and James Gibbs. Theresa says that one former student, Lewis Davis, who flew in especially for the show, was in the original cast of Fame, while others starred in Thriller.

Bodywork students rehearsing for Thriller. Picture: Keith Heppell
Bodywork students rehearsing for Thriller. Picture: Keith Heppell
Bodywork students rehearsing for Medusa. Picture: Keith Heppell
Bodywork students rehearsing for Medusa. Picture: Keith Heppell

She added: “The cast of Thriller’s been interesting because they’re all over the world, and the choreographer has actually been working on Zoom because people are all over the place.”

Theresa worked as a dancer on the cult 1960s music show Ready Steady Go! before later founding Bodywork with her late husband, Patrick, a choreographer on the programme, in 1981.

Patrick had been working with one of the choreographers from the film Saturday Night Fever and they put a notice in a local paper in Cambridge for Saturday Night Fever classes.

“We turned up with a record player and there were people queuing round the block,” she recalled, “and that’s how Bodywork started. So we did the class and it got very popular and then we continued to do it.

Bodywork students rehearsing for Six the Musical. Picture: Keith Heppell
Bodywork students rehearsing for Six the Musical. Picture: Keith Heppell
Bodywork students rehearsing for Moulin Rouge. Picture: Keith Heppell
Bodywork students rehearsing for Moulin Rouge. Picture: Keith Heppell

“I was teaching a youth group at Comberton Village College, who entered a national competition, and we went through the heats in East Anglia and then we got to the final at Hammersmith Palais and we won the national competition.

“So the prize for the competition was to appear on an award show, the Carl Alan Awards, which was for the royal family. We were called Scandal, the youth group, and it was very punk, but the BBC thought it was unsuitable for the royal family and the name was definitely unsuitable, so we had to change everything!

“We had some photographs taken in a car workshop, a bodyshop. We put ourselves in sparkly boiler suits and we became the Bodywork Company.”

The organisation continued as a touring company, while continuously looking for premises, eventually finding the place on Glisson Road in 1983, from where it continues to operate today.

For more on on Bodywork, which offers classes for people of all ages, visit bodyworkcompany.co.uk.



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