Plans to honour city’s beloved dance teacher with unique memorial 

Beryl Manthorp in 1996

Beryl Manthorp in 1996 - Credit: ARCHANT

For eight decades, she taught hundreds of pupils to dance – now, a special memorial to one of Norwich’s most beloved teachers is being planned. 

Beryl Manthorp, the founder and former principal of the Guildhall School of Dancing, was a prominent ballet teacher in the city before she died earlier this year, aged 99. 

A life member and former regional chair of the Royal Academy of Dancing, and a recipient of its President’s Award, she knew after her first dance lesson that it was her calling to teach. 

During the 1990s, Diana Worth (right) welcomed her life-long friend Beryl Manthorp, to live in the family home

During the 1990s, Diana Worth (right) welcomed her life-long friend Beryl Manthorp, to live in the family home - Credit: SUPPLIED

Close friend, Diana Worth, is hoping to honour her legacy by having a flower created and named in her memory. 

She said: “For many years, from the 1990s, my dear friend Beryl lived with my family.  

“She taught dance from the age of 18 and was still teaching until the age of 99. Sadly, she died a few weeks short of her 100th birthday. 

Beryl Manthorp with guests for her celebration lunch in 1996.

Beryl Manthorp with guests for her celebration lunch in 1996. - Credit: Archant

“I had intended to have a celebration of her life but as time has passed, and Covid restrictions continued, I have had to abandon the idea. Instead, I have asked Peter Beales Roses to produce a rose to be named after her. It will cost around £5,000 and will take several years to produce. 

“Beryl enriched many people’s lives with her teaching skills, making her classes fun, with detailed technique and flawless choreography. I thought it would be a good idea to keep her memory alive with a beautiful rose named after her – it will be called the Beryl Felicia Manthorp rose.” 

Beryl Manthorp in 1996

Beryl Manthorp in 1996 - Credit: ARCHANT

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Miss Manthorp’s love of dancing began at the age of four when her parents were encouraged to enroll her in ballet classes to correct a slight curvature of the spine. Aged 18, she began teaching dance full time at the Guildhall Gym before she founded The Guildhall School of Dancing.  

She also authored the book, Towards Ballet, which remains one of the definitive books on the subject used worldwide today. 

Miss Manthorp died on January 9, following a brief stay in hospital. Her funeral took place at Earlham Crematorium on February 10. 

To contribute to the rose memorial, contact Diana Worth on 01603 502529 or diana.worth47@gmail.com