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Previously The Ruth Osborne School of Dance, the school was established in 1981 by Ruth Osborne with just 6 girls from the Wotton Dramatic Society Chorus, Ruth having been their Choreographer for productions. Rehearsals took place in Wotton Court Rooms (at the end of Long Street, now flats) and John Grimes Hut (Gloucester Street).  Ruth added Adult Tap classes to the weekly timetable and in 1983, with Ruths daughter Mandy also teaching, branches were established in Dursley, Yate and Nailsworth.

In 1984 a Cantata originally written to celebrate the 700th anniversary of the foundation and consecration of St. Marys Church, ‘Richard De Wotton, was performed at Coventry Cathedral produced by Ruth and featuring dancers of The Ruth Osbourne School of Dancing.

Mandy introduced the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) training syllabus to the school and in 1986, Wotton hosted the very first Ballet Exam session in England for the ISTD. Established in 1904, the ISTD is an Internationally recognised Dance Society striving to advance excellence in dance teaching and education across the world. With 6000 members in 59 countries worldwide, The ISTD conduct over 120,000 examinations each year. It is amazing that the very first Ballet exam day took place here in Wotton. ROKH Dance continues to follow this tradition and hosts on average, 6 days of examinations in Ballet, Tap and Modern dance each year.

Under the direction of Ruth and Mandy, the school produced annual ‘Happy Feet shows at Wotton Town Hall and raised large sums of money for Charity. Mandy taught dance to generations of Wottons children before passing the school to current Principal and former pupil, Kathryn Hurley in 2015. The school, alongside The Kathryn Hurley Dance Academy, was rebranded as ROKH Dance in 2016 and has since grown from strength to strength whilst maintaining the schools historical ethos that Dance is for all encouraging each of our pupils to reach their own potential and give all our dancers and actors the opportunity to shine and perform.

ROKH Dance now offers Ballet, Tap, Modern, Street and Contemporary Dance as well as weekly Drama classes for children aged 2.5 years 18 years. We have branches in Wotton, Iron Acton and Frampton Cotterell.

We have our own fantastic unique Pre school Dance Programme (Mini ROKH Stars) which supports the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) working on developing each childs motor skills and coordination, developing creativity and self expression and encouraging imagination and musicality.

At ROKH Dance we aim to ‘Inspire Passion, Creativity and Confidence through our weekly classes and we continue Ruth and Mandys passion for show production by producing our bi-annual shows held at The Olympus Theatre. Our Drama students perform regularly throughout the year with both devised work and scripted work. In 2018, we entered our first group of Drama students for their LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) Exams, resulting in Distinctions for all. We continue to enter students annually for LAMDA exams as well as continuing to enter students for ISTD examinations.

The children also love to perform in the Community and we enjoy performing at local events and fetes. In 2022, we successfully auditioned to perform at Disneyland Paris on stage and in the Parade.

We seek to continue the legacy created by Ruth and Mandy and the regular Charity fundraising they did by regularly holding fundraising events for Charity including our annual Choreography Sharing and fun activities throughout the year for our ROKH Dance families, including this years Easter Egg Hunt. We support a different charity each year and have supported Winstons Wish, Crohns and Colitis UK and The Jane Reynolds Dance Trust to date.

Kathryn, Principal of ROKH Dance, is so proud of our history of Dance teaching in Wotton and the generations of children who have gained a love of dance, music and theatre and long may it continue for another 42 years and more!