Desalyne Dancers began as Desalyne Theatrical Enterprises and was first opened in Semaphore by Principal, Des’ sister, Desme White and her friend, Alan Campbell. It was briefly closed before a 16-year-old Des decided to reopen the school in 1966, and create the Desalyne Dancers we know and love today.
Des first opened the school at St Bede’s Hall in Semaphore. He then began opening branches all around Adelaide including venues at Kidman Park, Blackwood, Aberfoyle Park and Parafield Gardens.
Aberfoyle Park was the longest running additional venue, enjoying an incredible 26-year stint before closing in 2013.
St Bede’s Hall in Semaphore was the first place the school performed their dances. The troupes would dance on the small stage in the Hall while Desme played their music right up there with them. Eventually, the Desalyne End of Year performances moved to the Parks Community Centre before making the big leap to the Festival Theatre, a feat not many have accomplished.
Desalyne enjoyed 13 wonderful years performing at the Theatre, the longest stint of any dance school, before then moving to Her Majesty’s Theatre and now Golden Grove arts Centre.
Des has always had a love for dance after growing up in a dance family. His mother, Vi Wyatt, the matriarch of the Wyatt family, was at class every week to greet students until she sadly passed away in 2001. Desme was extremely successful during her dancing career, even receiving an Order of Australia medal for her contributions in dance education.
The school has performed in different places all over Adelaide including participating in the 1988 Bicentenary. Troupes have performed at the Mayor’s Garden Party, as part of the Life Be In It program and even appeared on the daytime TV show, Touch of Elegance in the 90s.
Many students at the school have gone on to have fantastic dance careers. Some opened their own dance schools while others have gone on to join the Australian Ballet Company, Melbourne Dance Theatre, and all the way to London to perform on the West End!
The Desalyne Dancers have a rich heritage of producing quality dancers and creating life-long friendships. With many of its teachers having danced with the school for more than 15 years, you can see how it’s more than a school, it’s a family.
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