The Orme School of Dancing was started in Coventry in 1901 at Gloucester House, Barras Lane.
The original Principal was Miss. Dorothy Orme who lived upstairs and converted the downstairs into a studio for her dancers. She taught ballet, tap, greek dancing and ballroom until her retirement in the early 1930’s.
The school was then taken over by one of her former pupils Miss. Olive Meacham (pictured above circa 1930’s) who had trained in London with the famous ballet master Edouard Espinosa and founder of The British Ballet Organization. Miss. Meacham was an inspired teacher who went on to become an examiner of The British Ballet Organization, the school had much success during her time as Principal producing many fine dancers and teachers. The school was in Albany Road, Earlsdon for much if this time. One of Miss. Meacham’s pupils Bronwyn Charles joined her as a partner in the 1960’s and ran the school herself for a short time at Parkside in Coventry.
In 1978 the current Principal Sandra Clarke a pupil of Olive Meacham and later Miss. Pamela Tidmarsh took over. The school once again returned to Earlsdon to Rochester Rd and remained there until 2009. Since 1978 two new branches have started at Eastern Green and Meriden and a very much wider curriculum is now on offer. The school is now an IDTA school Miss. Clarke being a Fellow (Hons) of the IDTA although she originally trained with the BBO, gaining Membership, Advanced Diploma and Registered Teacher Status. The strong traditions of the BBO still persist in the school, technique remains important and theory and technical knowledge a cornerstone of the work that is done.
2001 saw the school celebrate its centenary year with The Centenary Show which was a showcase of many show numbers that the school had performed over the years including a Chorus Line of ‘old girls’. During that year Coventry City Libraries hosted an Exhibition of 100 Years at The Orme School of Dancing which included a 1925 Programme from Coventry Hippodrome and a pair of pink satin ballet shoes worn by a pupil for her exam in 1924.
Many fine dancers and performers along with qualified teachers are still being produced by the Orme School over a hundred years after Miss. Orme began in 1901.