Mrs Leigh D.A. Bushnell
Our Founder and Principal
- F.I.S.T.D. I.B.B. M.T.B.
- Life member of the R.A.D. (Royal Academy of Dance)
- Teaching member of The British Arts
Miss Leigh began ballet classes at the age of six in Southampton after telling her mum, "I want to dance like the lady with the sticky out dress"! She danced in Southampton until the age of 16 when she successfully auditioned for many schools. She progressed into full time training at the Bush Davies School graduating from Laine Theatre Arts achieving teaching qualifications with Distinction.
She opened our Mandaleigh in January 1978 with just 20 pupils and quickly established it as a popular choice of dance school in Fareham and surrounding areas. Whilst setting up and running Mandaleigh, Miss Leigh also gained her Licentiate and then Fellowship qualifications in Ballet & Modern. The Fellowship is the highest level of qualification within the I.S.T.D.
Miss Leigh was, for many years, a ballet examiner for the I.S.T.D., travelling to schools throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland. She retired from examining in 1999 to bring up her daughter Alessandra-Rose.
In 2014 Miss Leigh was made a Life Member of the Royal Academy of Dance.
Over the years, Miss Leigh has coached numerous girls and boys through examinations and successful auditions and has seen many pupils go on to have very successful careers within the dance and performing arts industry.
Miss Leigh continues to pass on her wealth of knowledge at Mandaleigh teaching most of our Ballet classes and Modern classes.