This week our student of the week is current staff member Chrissie Eccleston-Tuohy. Chrissie was a senior school dance student from 1981 -1984.
What is your favourite memory from The Hammond?
I will never forget being chosen by Paula Hinton-Gore to be in her ballet “Peep Show”. I cannot explain the honour I felt and true disbelief that she thought I was good enough. There were only three of us in the piece – Paul Jenner, Jason Barker and myself. It was the most magical time rehearsing with this scary but knowledgeable lady. She was a legend!
What did you go on to do?
I went on to teach at Mvsika Centro de Estudos in Goiânia, Brazil. I taught ballet, modern, jazz and tap to students aged 4-24. I also danced with the older students in the schools performing company. On my return I was asked by the then Head of Dance at The Hammond, Gillian Anthony, to work for the school. I taught in the associate department and senior school initially and then began teaching in the lower school. My role at The Hammond evolved into a full time teacher of modern, jazz, tap and Pilates.
What do you do now?
I now teach lower and senior school students and on The Hammond Associate programme. My teaching involves the relatively new Pilates Tutor Training and other responsibilities include Fitness coordinator, Social Events and Health and Safety Officer for the Dance Department.
Anything else you would like to add?
I have worked at The Hammond for 30 years now and have truly loved my career so far. The school has been supportive of me and my goals, allowing me to attend courses throughout my time at The Hammond and helping me to develop as a teacher. I have probably taught hundreds of students and try to remember them all but it is proving more difficult as the year’s progress.
Given the chance, I would do it all over again. I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to teach every student who has passed through my classes.