Phyllis Bedells


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(b Bristol, 9 Aug. 1893; d Henley on Thames, 2 May 1985)

British dancer and teacher. She studied with Bolm, Cecchetti, and Pavlova, making her debut in 1906, at the age of 13, in Alice in Wonderland at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London. She danced regularly at the London Empire Theatre (1907–16), and from 1914 was prima ballerina there, the first British dancer to hold the post. She then danced in West End revues and in opera ballets at Covent Garden. In 1920 she was a founding member of the Royal Academy of Dancing, helping to draw up its first syllabus. She was also a member of the Camargo Society. In 1931 she appeared as a guest artist with the Vic-Wells Ballet. Following her retirement from the stage in 1935 she became active in teaching and as an examiner for the Royal Academy of Dancing. She published her autobiography, My Dancing Days, in 1954.

Subjects: Dance.

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