The Grace Johnson Award
Vernon Johnson owned a music shop in the wealthy district of Sefton Park on the south side of Liverpool at the turn of the last century. Whilst he taught pianoforte in the shop his wife taught Classical Ballet in a small studio at the rear.
They had two daughters Grace and Olga who both naturally grew up with a love of music and dance. A career on the stage followed for the girls, doing theatre shows around the country and summer season every year at the prestigious Blackpool Tower Ballroom. The two girls eventually took over the family business and so The Vernon Johnson School of Dance & Drama was born.
Miss Johnson (or the Boss as she was affectionately known) never had any children of her own but saw all the children who passed through her school as her own. She loved to watch the development of toddlers as their first co-ordinated steps and actions would happen and praised the teenagers when those tricky combinations they had practised for weeks finally came together. It was not about being the best it was about being the best you can be…. was her ethos.
The Boss would tell us as students and teachers “No matter how big or small try to learn one new thing every day”
I was very fortunate to be trained by this great lady and indeed spent 15 years learning from her. When she died in 1993 a great void appeared in my life . The school continues on and is now over 110 years old.
In memory of an outstanding lady and indeed my mentor I would like to introduce The Grace Johnson Award For Improvement to the Academy. Each year there will be two winners one from the adult school and one from the children’s school.
Joint Award Winners 2011-2012: