Last waltz for Brian as dancing teacher ends ‘fabulous’ career

Brian Costley has taken his final bow as the ballroom teacher waltzes into retirement.

The 84-year-old has been running the school with his wife Margaret since 1974
The 84-year-old has been running the school with his wife Margaret since 1974

He has officially called it a day after more than 40 years of teaching people of all ages across Wolverhampton the finer points of the art.

The 84-year-old had first dabbled with dancing as a 14-year-old, having been invited to go to a dance school with his girlfriend at the time.

He said: “I was madly in love at the time and went with her as she said she’d dance with me, although when we got there, so many lads wanted to dance that I never got a look-in.

Dance teacher Brian Costley has announced his retirement at the age of 84. He is pictured with his daughter Angela, who is taking over the school

“I persevered for a while, and it paid off when I was at Technical High School on Old Hill Street as they started teaching us dancing at school.

"The little bit I’d done at the dance school paid off and made me better than any of the other lads and, suddenly, I was very popular with the girls at school.”

Brian kept his love for dancing going throughout his youth, even meeting his future wife Margaret at Wyn Boydern’s Dance School in School Street in 1953, dancing with her in competitions.

Brian, his wife Margaret and their daughter Angela around 1988

After retiring from his role as a chemistry lecturer at The Polytechnic, as the university was called then, in 1974, Brian said he was thinking about what to do next when he and Margaret went to an evening dance class in Wombourne.

He said: “I found out the couple running the classes were dancing for England and I said to the wife we were as good as they were, so that tempted me to get back.

“We then got a lucky break when we were spotted by Lord Harmar-Nicholls, who owned the Connaught Hotel, and suggested we start a dancing school there.

Brian with Nicki Roddis in 1993. Nicki is help Angela to run the school

"We started that in 1974 and have run from there and other places since then.”

The BM&A Costley dance school has helped to train thousands of dancers across Wolverhampton, with several going on to win international honours, such as International Latin American Dance champion Debbie Inskip.

Brian said they have been teaching people of all ages, from three years old up to their late teens, and said he took great pride in the success of those who had passed through.

Dance has been part of Brian's life since he was 14

He added: “It’s always great to see people succeed, such as Debbie, and it’s just one of the great memories I will take away with me from this.”

While Brian is retiring the dance school will continue as his daughter Angela Holmes, alongside teacher Nikki Roddis, runs the school from St John’s Methodist church and Beckminster Church in Wolverhampton.

He said: “It’s all been fabulous and I’m glad I did it all.”

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