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South Shields dance teacher to hold reunion for pupils past and present

Dance teacher Viv Needham.
Dance teacher Viv Needham.

A South Shields dance teacher who has seen generation of pupils pass through her classes is hoping to reunite pupils past and present at a special event in the town.

Viv Needham, 70, who runs Viv Needham School of Dance is holding a reunion for students she has taught at her school and at the Jean Heilbron school over the years.

Dance teacher Viv Needham.

Dance teacher Viv Needham.

The event is set to take place at Sutton Hall in South Shields on Saturday, March 31, from 7pm onwards.

Everyone who has passed through either school while Mrs Needham was teaching over the years are welcome to come along.

Mrs Needham - formerly Noble- started dancing aged three, along with her youngster sister Jennifer.

She teaches Latin American; Modern Ballroom; Modern Sequence and Tap and Stage.

Dance teacher Viv Needham.

Dance teacher Viv Needham.

In the past she has also taught keep fit.

Her classes are taught at Harton Methodist Church and at Sutton Hall in South Shields each week.

She said: “I left school at 15 and went to work for dance teacher Jean Heilbron in South Shields and worked there for 30 years until she died aged 86 in 1995.

“I then went on to set up my own school in 1996 which has been going for 22 years.

Dance teacher Viv Needham.

Dance teacher Viv Needham.

“In that time I have taught thousands of pupils and even taught ballroom at Plessey factory and keep fit at Deans Hospital.”

She added: “I have taught three generations of families and have a couple of members of staff who have been with me for years.”

Viv’s school teaches dance to children as young at three, with her eldest pupil being in her 80s.

She has been teaching for more than 50 years and said that dance has been her life long passion and since TV show Strictly Come Dancing took off she believes she has seen an increase of students take up ballroom.

Dance teacher Viv Needham.

Dance teacher Viv Needham.

She added: “It is a life long passion, there was never anything else that I wanted to do.

“Since Strictly I have seen a lot more people coming in and being interested in ballroom, although people expect to be able to dance like that straight away!

“I think it is lovely that shows like that have helped increase it’s popularity, it has been good for business.

“I would love to see a good turn out for the reunion.”

Dance teacher Viv Needham.

Dance teacher Viv Needham.

'Me and My Teddy Bear at Spennymoore Open Air Dance Show' in 1955. '(L-R) Margaret Coulson; Marilyn Bistrow; Dance teacher Viv Needham then Noble; Lesley Marshall; Marion Callaghan; Ann Pippet; Helen King; Valerie Hussey.

'Me and My Teddy Bear at Spennymoore Open Air Dance Show' in 1955. '(L-R) Margaret Coulson; Marilyn Bistrow; Dance teacher Viv Needham then Noble; Lesley Marshall; Marion Callaghan; Ann Pippet; Helen King; Valerie Hussey.

Dancers at ther Majestic Ballroom in South Shields in 1957.'(R-L) Barbara Hall; dance teacher Viv Needham  - then Noble; Dorothy Bainbridge; Sheila Laidler; Kathleen Pattison; Linda Green; Marion Callaghan; Margaret Coulson; Cherly Robinson; Adrienne Smith.

Dancers at ther Majestic Ballroom in South Shields in 1957.'(R-L) Barbara Hall; dance teacher Viv Needham - then Noble; Dorothy Bainbridge; Sheila Laidler; Kathleen Pattison; Linda Green; Marion Callaghan; Margaret Coulson; Cherly Robinson; Adrienne Smith.

(L-R) Maureen Gascoigne; Val Ellens; dance teacher Viv Needham; Ina Hogg;  Nora Pritchard.

(L-R) Maureen Gascoigne; Val Ellens; dance teacher Viv Needham; Ina Hogg; Nora Pritchard.

(Front L-R) Dance teacher Viv Needham;  examiner Mavis Whiteside; Lilian Main.'(Back L-R) Val Ellens; Ina Higg; Jill Cooling; Jean Cartner; Margaret Laws; Janet Phillips; Walter Richards.

(Front L-R) Dance teacher Viv Needham; examiner Mavis Whiteside; Lilian Main.'(Back L-R) Val Ellens; Ina Higg; Jill Cooling; Jean Cartner; Margaret Laws; Janet Phillips; Walter Richards.