Tributes To Much-Loved Dance Teacher Valerie Guy

Credit: Jersey Heritage

Tributes are being paid to Jersey dance teacher Valerie Guy, whose death at the age of 101 has been announced.

The Jersey Academy of Dancing says it is with great sadness that it shares news of its former Principal's passing peacefully at home on Monday night (4 July).

Miss Guy taught thousands of children to dance over many decades. The school says she was an inspirational lady who will be greatly missed.

"It is with great sadness that we share the news that Jersey Academy of Dancing’s much loved & respected former Principal, the wonderful Miss Valerie Guy, passed away peacefully at home last night.

She was an incredible 101 years old & shared her love of dancing with thousands of children & her zest for life with her much loved adult keep-fitters.

A truly inspirational lady, she will be greatly missed by us all xxx"

Scores of islanders have paid their respects, describing Miss Guy as an icon and a legend:

"An iconic and inspirational lady who will be missed by so many. She commanded respect like no other, and instilled a love of dance and discipline in so many who will no doubt feel the same way as me today in hearing this sad news. Keep on dancing up there Miss Guy" - Zara.

"Very sad news. Miss Guy has left an amazing legacy, there cannot be too many in Jersey who have not been taught or know someone who has by Miss Guy." - Kirsty.

A truly wonderful lady who inspired so many of us and so many successful dancing and teaching careers to come from JAD and her years of influence. Sending all the love to the JAD family, past and present x - Rebecca.

Valerie Guy was interviewed by Jersey Heritage in 2020.  She spoke about how she came to Jersey on holiday, but ended up staying here because WWII broke out on 3 September 1940, the day she was due to go back to London.

That led to her setting up her own dance school:

"One of our friends had three children, and they used to go to a (dance) school in town, and they couldn't get to town anymore because there were no buses.  She said, ‘Valerie, Why don't you start a school here?…You have got my three children to start.

I started with six (children), and by the next week I had 36!"

The interview, by Alastair Layzell, recalled the 'Pav Parties' at the former West Park Pavillion

Valerie Guy

DANCING AT THE PAV For much of the 20th century West Park Pavilion was at the centre of Jersey’s social life. Many will remember the children’s Christmas parties – some of them organised by a young dancing teacher, Valerie Guy. ‘Miss Guy’ – as she came to be known to thousands of budding dancers who passed through her hands in the following 70 years – founded her own school, The Jersey Academy of Dancing…watch Valerie’s story on Jersey Heritage TV. #heritageathome

Posted by Jersey Heritage on Thursday, June 18, 2020

Miss Guy went on to open the school on David Place in 1941. 

She turned 100 on 18 May 2021, and many former students celebrated her landmark birthday.

Miss Guy said she was 'really proud' of her life's work.

"It's lovely, it is something that I am really proud of."

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