The Drury Lane dance studio in Hamilton will celebrate its 50th birthday on Nov 10 and 11 with a special show For the Love of Dance at the Clarence St Theatre.

The studio opened in 1968 with founder Aileen Downey still at the helm today, while her daughter Kerry Davis joined her in running the school in 1975.

The show will feature a dance performance from each year that the Drury Lane has produced, since the first show in 1968.

Drury Lane dancers first stepped before the public in a small church hall in Hamilton East, where a very small group of tap dancers, dressed in costume, gathered for afternoon tea to show their families and friends the dances they had learnt.


Only 20c admission and a contribution to the shared afternoon tea made the occasion a real family affair.

Each year in the hall, there was a Christmas tree and parents would bring presents for the performers and place them under the tree to be handed out at the end of the show.

Since 1968, the Hamilton dance studio grew larger and larger, extending through the years to teach jazz, ballet, hip hop, contemporary, musical theatre and performance.

Additional studios were opened in Te Awamutu, Ōtorohanga, Morrinsville and Cambridge and more tutors came on board.

Everyone who has been a part of the 'Drury Lane Family', either as a student, parent, tutor or supporter is invited to come and celebrate the 50th birthday, watch the show and catch up after with Aileen and Kerry.

Today with three central city studios, in the hub of Hamilton's performance theatres. Drury Lane has made a significant contribution to the development of dance in the Waikato over the past 50 years , delivering training and development to thousands of local dancers over successive generations.

There will be a special 50th Anniversary celebration memorabilia programme for sale at the show, showing many memories of Drury Lane.

Tickets: at Ticketek ( or phone 0800842538.