A Short History

1939 is a date which will remain in the memories of a great many people but, for a former dancer with the Paris Opéra, it had even greater meaning. For this was the year in which Joan Weston started her dancing school in Little Waltham Memorial Hall, a school which has developed and progressed over sixty years and which regularly sends students for professional training and onto a successful career in international cabaret, television and theatre.

Joan trained with Stanislas Idzikowski, a former soloist with the Diaghilev Ballet Company who was himself trained by the Italian danseur, Enrico Cecchetti. It is the Cecchetti method of ballet which is still taught at The Weston today, alongside tap, modern and jazz dance. Joan Weston went on to found the Chelmsford Ballet Company but retired from teaching in 1975. The school, which was housed for many years at The Manse in Chelmsford's New London Road, passed into the experienced hands of Wendy Watts who stood at the helm for twelve years.

The Weston began a new chapter on 1st September 1988 under the direction of Elisabeth Swan and her husband, Geoff Wheatley. Since then it has expanded to take in the Victoria Chappell School of Dancing in Great Dunmow, in March 1989, and four months later the Christina Ballard School of Dance in Ramsden Heath was taken under it's wing.