Clarendon School Dancing Competition

26th October 1963

By Watford Observer

The dancers circle and twirl, with graceful concentration
© Watford Observer 1963

The photo shows couples in formal dress (but without numbers on their backs!) competing at Clarendon School on 26th October 1963.

This would be a really fascinating subject to hear your comments on.  We’d love to know if you or your parents or grandparents took part in the competitions and hear their recollections.

Also, do you recognise any of these faces? Do you know who won? Perhaps you taught or worked at the school.  Do get in touch.

This page was added on 12/03/2010.

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  • I took part in that dance competition. I got a silver medal (still got it). We had to do two dances: the waltz and the jive. I use to go to Sid Winter’s dance school in Harrow, near Harrow & Wealdstone station on a Saturday morning. Sid also taught at Holmshill School, Borehamwood. I remember Francis Spiers who lived in Gosforth Lane. I still have the black band you wore around your waist when dancing. Happy days.

    By Nigel Lee (12/08/2023)
  • My parents met at Sidney Winter’s Dance School as teenagers. My dad asked mum to dance and that, as they say, is where the love story began. Mum turns 83 this year but Dad passed away in 2018, his eightieth year.

    If it hadn’t been for Sid and Dorothy’s dance school…… know the rest xx

    By Helen (14/01/2023)
  • I remember dancing with Francis Spires, during lessons at Clarendon Secondary modern school, The teacher was Sydney Winters, I gave up playing football for a year, thought dancing was easier, actually it is very hard work. Francis was always two steps ahead of me, I think she went on to become the world Junior Latin American Champion.. I returned to football but still love to watch dancing

    By Stephen Kelly (10/11/2020)
  • I was taught by Sidney and Dorothy Winters at school Chantry Junior School 1960s was best time of my life, sadly my father would not allow me to go to their studio
    Broke my heart. I will never forget x

    By Sylvianne Delaney (07/11/2020)
  • This is off topic, but I was taught English and French by a Sidney Winters at Buckingham College in Harrow. He’d also regularly phone LBC as Sidney from Hatch End. One of the most encouraging teachers I’ve ever met.

    By Denny (15/06/2019)
  • Sidney Winter was my uncle (my mother’s brother) and his wife lovely Dorothy. They started so many on the road to enjoying the thrill of dancing, and taught several champions. They started me in dance. I am now 82 and still teach dancing. Thank you uncle Sidney!

    By Derek Dightmaker (21/12/2018)
  • I remember the Spires family they were friends of my mums she always said “lovely girl and very talented!” I went to the dancing classes when I was about 14 years of age due in the main because someone said there was a lot of lovely girls there! I did not go to Clarendon but the better one up Oxhey Lane.

    By malcolm wallace (07/12/2018)
  • I too remember Mr Winters and his wife they taught our class as well, even after school classes at the Scout Unit Hall behind the Carpenders Park pub if I remember our star dancers were Roger Rackham, Christine Kernel other males were the Jones brothers.

    By Chris Marden (20/11/2017)
  • I too was taught ballroom dancing by Sidney Winters. I was at Clarendon 1960 – 1964.  I remember Terry Maddams was in our dance class.  I was in Mr.Soester class, then Mr. Brookes, Mr. Templeton and dear old Mr. Elliott, the Bandmaster lastly.  Anyone know what happened to Janis Leharne and Jean Warner?

    By linda humphrys (14/07/2016)
  • I was given lessons by Sidney & Dorothy Winters during the 1950’s when they operated above the Essoldo and later Odeon cinemas at Belmont , Wealdstone and Harrow – I only got up to silver medal. But my school collegues Michael Armstrong and Elaine Welch went on to win amateur and professional world champoinships. We all had lessons at Belmont Secondary Modern School later called Mountview High.

    By John Rowe (29/04/2015)
  • The couple dancing top Left is of myself but can not remember partners name. Last time I visited this page the photo was not there…..

    By Frances Spires (02/04/2015)
  • It was Sidney Winter  (His wife was Dorothy) who taught Ballroom dancing at Clarendon Secondary Modern School and it was indeed my parents who pressed for him to teach dancing there, making it a first to have ballroom dancing on the curriculum…me and my partner Raymond went on to win many major competitions including “The World” championship in May 1969. I have been successfuly teaching dancing for the past 35yrs. 


    By Frances Spires (28/01/2015)
  • Sorry – my mistake.

    By Adrienne Ashmeade (nee Carter) (13/03/2013)
  • My memory tells me Francis Spires….

    By Jim Mason (09/03/2013)
  • Have just seen Alan Leer’s comments – Syd Winters’ star pupil was indeed Judy Spires. I seem to remember that her parents wouldn’t allow her to go to Clarendon unless Mr. Stewart promised that Syd Winters would be employed to teach ballroom dancing at the school.

    By Adrienne Ashmeade (nee Carter) (08/03/2013)
  • My only memories of the dance classes is the name Spires[poss Marion ???] I recall she was Mr Winters star dancer and won many competitions.

    By Alan Leer (25/01/2013)
  • Julie, it was indeed 1964. I was in the same class as you and the Congo twins. I left in the same year when they also left to join the Royal Navy. Mr Teasdale was a geography teacher.

    By Jim Mason (24/09/2011)
  • The dance teacher was Syd Winter – he had a dance school in Harrow. He held lessons regularly at school and organised the annual dance when top amateur and pro dancers gave demos. The girl in this photo might be Carol Spengler who I recall was very accomplished at dance.

    By Peter Swain (21/06/2011)
  • I recall we had a husband and wife dancing instructors from a dancing school they ran in Harrow or Wealdstone I believe. They came to Clarendon and we took dancing lessons (I had a bronze medal for Latin American dance). I recall one such dancing competition where some girls that were fortunate enough to have special yellow dance dresses style like that in the photo. I entered one such competition with my partner Peter Congo (he had a twin brother Paul also in the competition). We were also part of the school formation team. I think this must have been in my last year when I was in 4T (Mr Teasdales class). Others can correct me on that point and the year 1963 or 64.

    By Julie Bird nee Deighton (04/04/2011)