A St Albans ballet teacher is set to make her final curtain call when she retires after more than 40 years.

Described as a ‘true community champion’ Stephanie Ledger will say her final farewell on July 12 after 42 years of running the Stephanie Ledger School of Dancing, which has schools across St Albans and Harpenden.

The end of the term sees her final curtain call for the school making way for new principal Helen Brewer who has herself been teaching at the school since 1987.

Mrs Ledger has not just been a ballet teacher to hundreds of children and adult running classes six days a week for age three upwards; she has also aimed to bring the joys of ballet to the wider community. She regularly provided support and entertainment to Age Concern and also supported St Albans Festival and a number of charities.

Mrs Ledger was also involved in launching flash mobs on unsuspecting St Albans shoppers raising money for St Albans boy Bailey Sarwa, who battled cancer.

She said: "Ballet is not only great exercise, it gives you a chance to be creative, express yourself and most importantly have fun."

Mrs Brewer will take over the school from September ensuring Mrs Ledger's legacy of high standards and musicality is continued.

She said: "Stephanie has always been passionate about the importance of live piano accompaniment and this will continue for all classes."

Mrs Brewer not only has a wealth of experience in the school itself, she also brings experience from the wider world of dance with a particular interest in special needs teaching.  For some years she taught at the Royal Academy of Dance on their programme for children with special needs. She has also taught visually impaired children and adults for the Royal Opera House Education Department and has run workshops at Sadler’s Wells for hearing impaired children.

Mrs Ledger said she was happy to hand over the school "to someone who shares the same vision for its future."

She said: " I know your children will not only continue to have strong and efficient ballet training but will also have fun at the same time."

"I have enjoyed many years of teaching in St Albans and have fond memories of the children and families I have taught.  After 42 years I feel ready to hand over to someone younger and with more energy"

A personal farewell gathering will be held at the Age Concern Hall, Hall Place Close, St Albans on July 12 from 1pm to 3pm.