Skip to content

Dancing legacy

Penelope Cay School of Dance

The dancing sisters Penelope and Patience Cay opened their school in 1925, the time of the Charleston and Black Bottom, with an office based in the Gowings building on the corner of Market Street and George Streets in Sydney. There, they took bookings<br>for dance classes held in suburban halls where students from Cranbrook, Ascham, Kambala, Sceggs and St Ignatius learnt to foxtrot and waltz.

The original studio was at 205 Pitt Street in Sydney, moving from there to bigger premises to Elizabeth Street, city and then on to bigger premises again to Castlereagh Street city, finally ending up at the Christadelphian church hall in Regent Street<br>near Sydney Central Station.

The studio from the mid 1950’s through to it’s eventual closure in the early 2000’s was under the leadership of Enyd Connelly and Jan Blanch, both of whom were Fellows and Examiners for the Federal Association of Teachers of Dance, Australia and the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance, London.

The Cay School as it was more affectionately known, also ran its own Latin American Dance Festival in Hornsby, NSW known as the ‘Latin Fiesta’. This proved extremely popular as it was the only competition of its nature that still featured live band music for the enjoyment of the competitors and supporters alike.

The studio prided itself on being able to introduce dance to people from all walks of life starting from beginners courses through to competition graded couples and was recognised as one of the leading studios not only in NSW but Australia wide.

Even though the Penelope Cay School of Dance is no longer operating, teachers that have learnt their love of dance from within its walls still carry on the same principles and ideals fostered from the very beginnings under Penelope and Patience Cay.

The Reeve Dance Academy

The Reeve Dance Academy (Reeves and Maloney) was started in Thirroul, a beach town just north of Wollongong in NSW in 1953. The studio principals were Ray and Margaret Reeve.
Ray and Margaret’s dancing career as professionals saw them achieve three times undefeated Ballroom South Pacific champions before turning their talents to furthering the growth of dance throughout the Wollongong and surrounding districts.
Both Ray and Margaret are respected adjudicators and examiners under Dancesport Australia as well as Fellows and Examiners with the Federal Association of Teachers of Dancing Australia and the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, London. Margaret achieved that status after completing seven solid years of teaching and mastering the theory and techniques of all competitive styles of Ballroom and Latin American dance and at the time was the youngest Fellow of the Federal Dancing Association<br>in Australia.
The studio has fostered the development of dance and has successfully run their own recognised competition, which is held annually at Wollongong Town Hall. This event attracts competitors from all over Australia. Ray and Margaret taught many Australian champions in both Latin American and Ballroom, many of whom gained world-wide recognition in international competitions in Europe and America.
Ray and Margaret retired from the studio in 2006 with the reins being handed down to their children, Donna and Adam who have maintained the same drive and devotion to dance as their parents. The studio has been since renamed Dancespace 383.