Dalton Street, Hartlepool
01429 295946 07840 554755

HISTORY

Carol Hammond Dance Studio

 

Carol began dancing from age of 3yrs attending tap and ballet classes participating in pantomimes. From the age of 7yrs started ballroom and latin classes and eventually competitions and at the age of 19yrs eventually joining the professional ranks of the ballroom world and worked on P&O cruise liners as a lecturer.

It was 30 years ago that she left Rolls Royce and eight months pregnant with youngest daughter Kate.   Kate was born 17th August and during the month of September opened her dance school at St Andrew’s Church Hall, on the Headland, with only 7 pupils.   Both Kate and Adele were taken to class and supervised by the 'dance mums'.  From St. Andrew’s Church Hall, classes were then moved to Morrison Hall, also on the Headland, next to St Hilda’s Church.   Another cold, old building but then again it made the pupils work harder to keep warm!   At the same time, classes were also held in various other venues in the town across different ages and genres. 

After a few years of travelling from venue to venue the opportunity came to lease premises in Everett Street and combine all classes into one place.   Both children and adults were taught in Everett Street together with functions for  birthday parties, christenings, weddings and even funerals.   This was a big learning curve! The dance not a problem, she now learned how to host, and, importantly, how to pull a pint!

After a number of wonderful years in Everett Street, making memories, the huge chance came to buy her own Studio. This was a big step and risk to take!   But dancing was always front and centre of her life and supported by her dancers and their families she made the decision and jumped in with both feet and has never looked back!   

The great advantage of her premises in Dalton Street is that it has two separate studios, both with wooden sprung floors, which means two classes can be held at the same time, or private lessons.   These two studios have proved very useful in 2020 as it helps divide classes into bubbles due to Covid-19, allowing teaching to continue whist still staying within the government rules.  

She has been in Dalton Street now for 20 years.  During that time, Adele left Hartlepool to live in the USA and Kate to Australia.   Both living their own dreams now just as Carol is living hers!  The girls still very much have the dance school in their hearts and it is the first place they come when they return home to Hartlepool. 

Over the past 30 years she is very proud to have gained the highest qualifications in many dance genres and is now a Fellow of the International Dance Teachers Association in Ballroom, Latin American, Classical Sequence and Freestyle.   She enjoys lecturing and examining both in the UK and abroad, and has travelled both sides of the Atlantic to examine and adjudicate both amateurs and professionals in exams and competitions.

Carol has taught dance in Primary Schools, both mainstream and additional needs, to enable children from all backgrounds to enjoy the art of dance and has delivered numerous dance demonstrations and performances for the Council and various community groups.

She is an active organiser and promoter for local charity events involving dance, and her school always supports charities close to their hearts.  Throughout the 30 years she has taught dancing she has always actively supported the Hartlepool Hospice and to date has raised over £35,500 for them.  This simply will not stop.  The Hospice is as much a part of the dance family as anyone else.

Carol has taught so many children over the years both for recreational and competitive hobbies.  Before 2020 adult classes were full to capacity! She feels very honoured that some of her original child members are still attending the Studio as adults and, two of the original 7 pupils from her very first class now bring their daughters to class.   It is so gratifying to see children grow from their baby ballroom class to taking the stage at the famous Winter Gardens to competing now in the adult sections.   One of her baby ballroom pupils not only competed as a child and adult but then continued to study for her professional qualifications and is now one of her teaching team.     

It would be remiss not to mention the competitive success of the Studios, whilst many children and adults enjoy dancing quite simply to escape their everyday, there are others who have been lured by the physical and technical skill required, plus a little bit of sparkly glamour that Blackpool liberally scatters around and have become competitive dancers.  Over the last 30 years the school has had huge success on a national stage, so many regional and national titles have lived in the Studios across all age groups from three year olds right up to the over 60’s team.  Her competitive squad continue to be successful, committed and immeasurably talented bringing home swathes of trophies from every competition. It is lovely to look back on 30 years of Blackpool memories made. Hopefully there will be many more successes to come and memories to make.