Tributes paid to dedicated Luton dance teacher Jane Hollis

Tributes have been paid to a much-loved dancer teacher from Luton who sadly died last month.

Wednesday, 9th September 2020, 12:29 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th September 2020, 12:34 pm

Jane Hollis, 67, was the namesake behind Jane's School of Dancing on Falconer's Road.

The school was established in 1985 and specialised in a wide range of styles from street dance, freestyle and Latin American to ballroom.

Jane's school was especially known for its successful hip hop teams, several of which competed in the International Dance Organisation's (IDO) world championship, alongside the likes of Flawless from Britain's Got Talent.

Jane Hollis

"It was just a passion for my mum, she absolutely adored dance," said daughter Sharon.

"Mum loved talent - she loved the children, she loved their personalities. The bigger the personality, the more fun it was for her to teach them.

"It was just her commitment that was so incredible, she made sure no child was left behind and she was always applying for grants and for any scheme that was available.

"There were a lot of dancers who came through my mum's school."

Jane Hollis

Born in Bradford, Mrs Hollis moved to Watford as a small child before the family settled in Luton when she was around seven.

But it wasn't until her early twenties that she discovered dance, while accompanying her parents to ballroom classes.

"Whoever was in charge, they quickly earmarked my mum as someone who should join their teaching team," said Sharon.

"And then there was an opportunity to take over a dance school in Dunstable and my mum just went for it.

Students at Jane's School of Dancing (2011)

"She took over that school and it flourished to become one of the most reputable dance schools in the country, they did lots of competitions and festivals."

After moving to Stopsley in 1985, Jane built her new school on land close to her home and remained teaching there until September last year.

Sharon added: "Her whole life was dedicated to making sure the children got the best teaching and opportunities to ensure that their potential could be reached.

"Despite not being a dancer herself to begin with, she probably learnt more about the dance world than anyone.

"The training that she provided and the encouragement that she gave to those children was second to none."

Mrs Hollis was a proud supporter of the Urdang Academy in London and a fundraiser has been set up in her memory for a scholarship of ten students to the academy. See here for details.