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100+ Years of Dancing

Borne out of an indignance at Mr Whittle’s refusal to let his daughter join the stage with Gracie Fields, Dorothy aged just 14, founded ‘The Dainty Dots’ dance school in a church hall in Portsmouth. A born performer, and a bright and determined young woman, Dorothy married naval man Alan Coleborn in 1934 and after setting up dance schools across the country, as far afield as London and Scotland, the family settled in Bath in 1941.  

Nine months later and her first dance display of ‘The Mighty Atoms’ at the Pump Rooms proved a sell-out success. During the war, Dorothy didn’t let rationing dampen spirits. Home dyed tracing cloth was transformed into eclectic costumes for moral boosting performances, with Dorothy playing the piano whilst instructing her students over the top of her music.

Sadly Mrs Coleborn never lived to see our wonderful new premises at Englishcombe Court, which would have far exceeded her wildest dreams for the School.


Over the years the School has raised many thousands of pounds for local charities, and equally thousands of children have passed through our hands (or feet!) and now we are seeing the children and grandchildren of former pupils come into our classes!


We passionately believe in offering children every opportunity to fall in love with dance and to try something new. If you are interested in finding out more about our classes, summer school or performance opportunities, please get in touch. 

With the explosion of the atom bomb, Dorothy felt it prudent to change the name of the school and so the Dorothy Coleborn School of Dancing was born. With the roof of the Locksbrook Hall now leaking on her baby daughter Annabel, the family moved into 33, Englishcombe Lane in 1946 and transformed the downstairs rooms into teaching studios.

By the time Dorothy reached retirement, both her daughter Annabel and her granddaughter Annette had taken up the running of the school. Ready to take the next grand jeté into expansion, in 1993, the dance school moved to the purpose-built, spacious studios at Englishcombe Court, and today both Annabel, and her daughter Annette, continue the family legacy, proudly leading a fantastic team to teach the next generation of talented students on roll ballet, pointe, jazz, contemporary, tap, hip hop and modern.

Dainty Dots
Annabel aged two
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