HARTLEPOOL woman Edith Harrison has a date at the Palace as her reward for nearly 80 years of involvement in dance.
The 79-year-old who runs the Edith Harrison Performing Arts academy has received an invitation to Buckingham Palace, to attend a garden party on May 12.
It’s just reward for someone who has been dancing since she was three and who has been a mainstay on the town dance scene for decades.
Edith has been qualified as a dance teacher since she was 16 and joined the Hartlepool School of Dance and Drama when Winnie Warnes was principal and the line-up of teachers included Freda Compton and Lillian Pinkney.
Eventually, Edith took over the Hartlepool School of Dance and Drama and became the principal.
Then, after a period of ten years working as a nanny, she joined the town’s Gilbert and Sullivan Society and became the choreographer. She held a similar post at English Martyrs for 15 years.
I could not do this without the help of all these other people.Edith Harrison
Then, in 2003, she started up her own school, which is known for bringing performing arts to families with underprivileged children.
“It is for children and parents who cannot afford to send kids to a dance school,” said Edith.
“I have about 50 members aged from four to over 20 and I have some senior members who help. I could not do this without the help of all these other people.”
Now, Edith has had a letter from the Lord Chamberlain, saying he had been instructed by Her Majesty the Queen to invite Edith to Buckingham palace.
She said it came at a busy time for her and her academy, which would be staging its new show A Complete Package almost as soon as she returns from London.
In May, the Edith Harrison Performing Arts academy from the town will put on a performance which will run from Wednesday, May 20, to Friday, May 22.
Performances start at 7pm each evening and will last until around 9.30pm at the Town Hall Theatre in Raby Road.
The show is called A Complete Package and organisers say it is filled with song, dance and drama. They have described it as entertainment for all ages.
Tickets are £8 for adults, £7 with concessions and for children.
For details, contact the theatre box office on (01429) 890000.