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Pupils quiz ballerina Darcey Bussell for author project
06 May 2018
by Dani Wozencroft

Who was the most famous person you met at school? Imagine interviewing Dame Darcey Bussell in year 8!

A world-famous ballerina who’s turned her hand to writing visited a Shropshire school as part of a project on authors.

Students at Ellesmere College were tasked with interviewing someone who had written a book, and Year 8 pupils Zoë Mabaquaio Lennox and Abi Manford chose Dame Darcey Bussell to quiz.

The ballerina, who danced with the Royal Ballet for more than two decades and has appeared on top BBC show Strictly Come Dancing every year since 2012 as one of the judges, paid a special visit to Ellesmere in north Shropshire for the interview.

Assistant Head Stephen Mullock said: “We were delighted when Dame Darcey Bussell agreed to visit the school as part of the Year 8 interview project.

“All of the pupils were thrilled to meet her and it was fantastic for Zoë and Abi to have the chance to quiz her on writing a book as well as all of the other aspects of her career.

“Many people will of course know her from Strictly Come Dancing, but her career really is outstanding – from her incredible talent being noticed back when she was at school herself, to having multiple roles created for her, to the work she has done since retiring from dancing a decade ago – from appearing at the London Olympics closing ceremony to supporting multiple charities.

“She’s certainly someone for the pupils here to look up to – someone who has achieved so much through hard work, dedication and passion for their chosen profession.”

As well as her judging commitments, the dancer launched the Diverse Dance Mix fitness brand (DDMIX) two years ago which is aimed at men and women of any fitness level, teaching them dance aspects from different styles including tango, waltz, jive and Bollywood.

Ten years ago, Dame Bussell came up with the idea and storyline for the Magic Ballerina series of children’s books released by HarperCollins, she co-wrote The Young Dancer and also released an autobiographical picture book about her career in 2012.

She’s also the patron of a number of charities and dance companies – so there was plenty for Zoë and Abi to ask her about.

Visit https://www.ellesmere.com/ for more information about the school, an independent co-educational day and boarding school for pupils ages seven to 18, founded in 1884.