One of Brackley’s most illustrious performers is to appear in a BBC documentary about dance and is also holding an exhibition of her artwork – all at the tender age of 81.
Last month a BBC Four crew interviewed Ann Steedman, of Old Brewery Walk, ahead of the Tuesday evening dance lessons she teaches in Farthinghoe.
She was being filmed for the documentary When Britain Fell In Love With Ballet, which is to be aired next year.
The 81-year-old is one busy lady as although she retired from active teaching in July, she still teaches five pupils who are due to take their Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) exams in December.
And throughout October, illustrations for her children’s story My Fairyland, alongside more of her work, are on display at the Indigo Art Gallery in Market House Courtyard.
Mrs Steedman now hopes her illustrations will attract some attention with the aim of either getting her stories published or potentially turning them into an animated version for television.
“I can’t hop about like I used to, but I’m really enjoying teaching this last group and, hopefully, some fairy godmother is going to find a place for my fairies,” she said.
Although the founder of Brackley Ballet School is mainly known for her dancing she has painted all her life and at one time was uncertain whether to pursue a career in dance or in art. But she came from a family with a love for performing and she was also the first girl in Northamptonshire to be given a county grant for training in the ballet and theatre world, so that became her career.
Now that she has almost retired, she is concentrating on her written and illustrated work. On display at the gallery just off Market Square are illustrations in colour and black and white for her 15-part children’s story My Fairyland, a humorous tale set in an imaginary world with a cast of 40 characters.