The videos make good class
substitutes too; Olive is a wonderful teacher and an excellent filmmaker
Olive's classes and observing her at work has been a fascinating experience.
I am not quite sure what I expected, but I know it was not what I saw.
Perhaps memories of a stiff, formal ballet teacher barking instructions
and clapping her hands without making any sense to my five-year-old brain
coloured my expectations. Olive Hurley's classes certainly belong to a
In a local hall I watched gatherings
of bouncing, bright and cheerful youngsters, from about five up to mid-teens,
totally relaxed both in each other's company and in Olive's, dancing enthusiastically
either for her, or when it was another group's turn, for each other, practicing
for the sheer joy of it.
Olive herself could not have
been more different to the teacher-image in my memory, as she commanded
complete attention from the children while still being their best friend,
full of warmth, smiling and laughing with all of them, with even the occasional
hug thrown in, quite spontaneously.