VERA LEYS An Appreciation of Miss Turner

The news that Miss Turner was giving up teaching came as a tremendous shock to all who had ever enjoyed the Thursday lessons. Miss Turner seemed, like the dormouse, to sleep half the year, and, with one or two rare exceptions, the School never saw her at all throughout the summer months. Nevertheless, we said good-bye to her at the end of the spring term without any doubt that she would reappear in the autumn with her usual smile and unfailing recognition of all whom she had ever taught, and it is difficult to believe that this autumn will not find her with us once more.

Her humour and sympathy were the most outstanding things about her, and rose to every occasion. In the days before the new floor was in the hall, dancing was not infrequently stopped by the dangerous appearance of large nails, which had to be hammered down, but this never upset Miss Turner, any more than did the rare occasions when all the electric lights went out. Her sense of humour never failed. Her personality was felt by all, whether devotees of dancing or not. Anyone who listened to her teaching the babies in the two-fifteen class, and saw what latent powers she brought to light, could not fail to be lost in admiration of her gift for teaching. In the other classes she helped us to appreciate the charm of old-fashioned dances as well as the most modern one-step and fox-trot, and she taught them side by side.

Dancing itself was, after all, one of the least important things that Miss Turner taught us. Lessons in the Hall were capable of infinitely wider application than the ball­room; they enter into every part of life. By her insistence upon grace of movement and the rhythm which is to be found everywhere she has shown us the way to appreciate so much of what helps to make “this too much loved earth more lovely.” 1923.


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