15 July 2022
Miss Valerie Guy passed away on Monday 4 July at the age of 101 years, at her beautiful home on the Island of Jersey with her friends by her side. Valerie was an icon and a legend on the island, having started her dance school during the Occupation (1941) following training at Bush Davies School.
She was a Life Member of the ISTD, having devoted her life to supporting the Society in modern, tap, national, classical Greek, imperial ballet and ballroom. Her foresight, strength of character and discipline in those difficult times in starting a school was exceptional and provided a shining light for everyone on the island. Miss Guy always insisted her staff were well trained and qualified, following in her discipline and devotion to dance.
The longevity of staff teaching in the school speaks volumes, including dedicated teachers like her trusted friend and colleague Annette Perkins of almost 60 years. Miss Guy never stopped caring, and was always keen to help guide and take interest in teachers like me through their careers. She was selfless in giving every pupil a chance to achieve their potential and express themselves through dance. There are four or five generations of families having been taught in her school during her lifetime. She had a beautiful warm smile and a twinkle in her eye which would be the recipe for any child wanting to learn to dance.
The productions, shows and stories connected with Miss Guy will be well etched in Jersey history. Her legacy will stay alive with the Jersey Academy of Dancing continuing in Laura Reynolds’ safe hands. Most of all she was a genuine friend with a big heart to those who were close to her and an inspiration to everyone.
Thank you Miss Guy, for being you, and a true friend.
Written by Heather Burns, Member of the ISTD National Committee