It's reunion time for the Norman dancers
PUBLISHED: 14:44 05 July 2012
How our stories about Peter and Nancy's special school of dance have resulted in a big reunion in Norwich this summer.
It was a chance remark at the start of the year about a Norwich school which struck a chord with so many readers –and has now resulted in a big reunion this summer.
This was no ordinary school – it was the Norman School of Dancing. One of the few places in the city during the 1950s and ’60s where boys could meet girls... and fall in love.
“It would be great,” said Michael Ives back in December, “if you could run a feature about the school. I am sure it would stir some wonderful memories.”
How right he was. The letters, phone calls and emails, along with photographs, from Norwich, Norfolk, across the country and from abroad from flooding in.
So many people remembered the school at All Saints’ Green run with such style and energy by our very own Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Peter and Nancy Norman.
Along with Peter and Nancy it was the glamorous teachers – Mildred, Moya and Janet who people also remembered with such warmth and affection.
The stories resulted in a host of memories and former member Brenda Shailer (Cossey) meeting up with Moya and Milly for the first time in decades and getting a reunion sorted out.
It was decided that the party should take place on Sunday, August 5 at the Hog in Armour in St Benedict’s starting at 7pm.
All those who remember the school and went to the dances, the classes and the lessons – from the jive and the twist to the foxtrot and waltz – will be very welcome. It promises to be a great night.
The school started life at the Samson & Hercules where Peter and Nancy were hosts of wartime tea dances. They later moved to premises in All Saints’ Green – opposite the old BBC HQ – where they taught thousands of people, from tiny tots to pensioners, to dance over the years.
The dance troupes for the youngsters were a star attraction at events across Norwich and Norfolk but it was the first discos in Norwich – before the word was invented –which people remembered with such warmth.
For hundreds of boys and girls they were the highlight of the week. The chance to meet up with each other. And that last dance was always something special.
An embrace on the dance floor was often the start of couples ‘going steady’ which sometimes led to a lifelong romance. Many couples who met at the Norman went on to get married.
Make a note of the reunion in your diary. Sunday August 5, Hog in Armour, 7pm. For more details call Brenda on Norwich (01603) 405726, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Moya on Norwich 891179.
Watch this space for more of your stories, tales of true love formed on the dance floor, and photographs, looking at life at the Norman.