A Kickstarter page has been launched to raise funds for a biopic film based around Pat Bennett, who has run Swindon’s Estelle School of Dance for over 60 years.
The Estelle School of Dance was started in 1958 with just 2 pupils and has been has been open and run by Pat for 60 years, even without modern marketing tools such as a website, facebook or Twitter.
Ex-pupil Melissa Lo, who now studies film media in London, would like to make a documentary about her life and her incredible achievement.
Melissa said: “Patrica Bennett has been running Estelle School of Dance for 60 years. Opening its doors on her 18th birthday, today, it is one of the longest running dance schools in Swindon, Wiltshire. What makes Estelle School of Dance unique though, is the fact that only one person is behind the scenes.
“Miss Bennett has taught, supported and inspired generations of dancers. As she approaches the school’s 60th anniversary, she is still teaching classes of all ages, choreographing entire theatre shows and pantomimes, designing costumes and raising money for charities and her local community.
“This documentary marks that remarkable journey through those 60 years of dance, determination and dedication, and how her passion for dance and teaching has shaped the lives of all those that have walked through her doors.”
“Without Miss Bennett I can honestly say I would not be the person I am today. Every one of her pupils is treated with love and respect, every one is seen as an individual and every single one of the pupils she teaches has had their life enriched for having been a member of the Estelle School of Dance.” – Hannah Duncan, current Estelle dancer
“The energy Miss Bennett has alone, is inspiring – her encouragement to us as pupils to try and if at first we don’t get it, work harder, practice and you will improve. There are little things that I do in every day life that when I stop and think, are the things Miss Bennett has instilled in me through her teaching.” – Laura Curtis, current Estelle dancer
“I admire her determination, hard work and passion she puts into everything she does and her kindness and compassion she always shows.” – Abigail Daniels, current Estelle dancer
“Miss Bennett has inspired me in so many ways over the years. Come rain or shine (or with two broken wrists!) she never lets us down!” – Ellie Swatridge, current Estelle dancer
“Miss Bennett is so encouraging no matter what level of skill you have she perseveres with teaching and helping you to improve. she doesn’t discriminate against any ability level. She allows a healthy balance of learning, fun and social in class, and we’ve all built great friendships over the years.” – Tanya Birnie, current Estelle dancer
“Miss Bennett was my first ever teacher of Dance. She has and always will inspire me in ways that have formed me as a person today. She taught me that you have to work hard in order for achieving your goals. Miss Bennett carriers herself with such poise that again I have taken from her. For me, she created my dream and love of dance from the age of 3.” –Laura McAllister, former Estelle dancer & professional dancer in Paris
“These are just a few of the individual stories and experiences from Miss Bennett’s pupils. Over the years, she has created such a strong and unique bond between teacher and pupil, something that holds strong 60 years on.
Telling her story, is also about telling the story of those she has inspired, encouraged and influenced. How her generous nature and teachings have affected hundreds, making them the people they are today.”
If you would like to support Melissa’s film, follow this link to the Kickstarter page and donate: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1157477271/estelle-a-dance-documentary
The cut off date is the 15 November.