On Saturday, Aug. 3, students, former students and friends of Dance Works Academy celebrated both the 20th anniversary of their performing arts school and more than 50 years of exceptional and caring teaching by its founder and ballet mistress, Penny Lea Hudson.
Born in Vancouver and raised on the Sunshine Coast, Hudson studied dance in London, England, and has performed in Vancouver, Montreal and London.
When she came home to found performing arts schools in White Rock, Delta and Gibsons, she became one of the first teachers to introduce Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing dance exams in B.C.
Her students have gone on to study at Juliard, Bush Davies, the Winnipeg Ballet School and the National Ballet School.
She is a mentor for the Royal Academy of Dance Teachers Training Program, and her passion for helping dancers of all ages, level of experience and body type has helped many dancers overcome physical limitations in their dancing and careers.
Recently, she was awarded life membership by the Royal Academy of Dance, recognizing her 50-plus years of service, loyalty and dedication to the art form.