After 40 years teaching dance in Aylesbury Linda Thomas has seen almost 8,000 students pass through her school.
And on Sunday more than 200 of them, past and present, will take part in a spectacular tribute show called appropriately enough The Past, The Present and Future at the Waterside Theatre.
Produced by her daughter KT, a performer, choreographer and businesswoman, the show will celebrate 40 years of the Kercher School of Dance and 10 years of KT’s business, the Musical Kidz Company (MKC).
Linda grew up in a musical family and loved dance from a very young age, attending classes and courses in ballet, jaz, tap and national dance.
She began teaching and spent three years working at the Arts Educational School in Tring before getting the opportunity to start her own dance school when she was just 23.
Running the school in the Walton parish halls on Walton Street in Aylesbury was more than a business decision and passion for dance however.
Linda said: “I married at 21 and was widowed at 23 when my first husband Michael died. It takes time to heal, that totally shattered everything in my life. Dance saved me. That’s how I mended, with my dance school.”
Ten years later Linda met her second husband Peter Thomas at the Red Lion in Wendover when she accidentally ran over his foot in the car park. She said: “I got out of the car to apologise and it was wow! Love at first sight.”
They married a year later and have lived in Wendover ever since. Peter is a maths teacher at the Italia Conti stage school in London but he also works alongside Linda in her dance school, playing the piano.
Their children KT and Matthew have inevitably inherited the muscial talent in the family and both enjoy successful theatrical careers. Although they both now live in America, the family is very close and Linda and Peter travel over to the States as often as possible, and have seen Matthew star in Spiderman and Pippin on Broadway.
Linda said: “Any holiday I can get I go over, I like to see their performances. It is very emotional seeing them on stage and very special.”
Now KT is home to take charge of the Waterside show to celebrate her mother’s success. She said: “I am very proud of mum, to have a business of 40 years in the local area is quite an achievement and it’s still a family business.”
The show at the Waterside is on Sunday evening at 7.30pm.
Tickets cost £18.90 – call 0844 871 7607.