Tansin's tale

PUBLISHED: 10:57 04 July 2007 | UPDATED: 11:15 24 May 2010

Left to right: Tansin Shallish (holding hoop), Elizabeth Robinson, Lynn Taylor, Anne Spencer and Carol Johnson.

Left to right: Tansin Shallish (holding hoop), Elizabeth Robinson, Lynn Taylor, Anne Spencer and Carol Johnson.

TO CELEBRATE the 60th anniversary of the Weston Junior Arts Festival, the Weston & Somerset Mercury has been looking back at tales of talent through the years. This week we heard the story of Tansin Benn, maiden name Shallish, who first took part in the f

TO CELEBRATE the 60th anniversary of the Weston Junior Arts Festival, the Weston & Somerset Mercury has been looking back at tales of talent through the years. This week we heard the story of Tansin Benn, maiden name Shallish, who first took part in the festival in 1957.Weston born Tansin, of Kingsley Road, participated solidly each year from the age of five until she left the town for teaching training when she was 18. Tansin worked hard and was taught ably by Mavis and Doreen James at the Mavdor School of Dancing. With her close friends from the Bournville Estate she kept busy by dancing and enjoyed the fun-filled times that they had at the festival working on duets and group pieces and creating the costumes at various Mum's houses. Performing at the festival each year at the Winter Gardens or The Playhouse was a highlight for the girls. Tansin achieved an immense amount at the festival, namely in her last year when she won every trophy in the aged 13-18 category.Tansin now lives in Birmingham and works at the university as a lecturer and teacher in physical education and dance. She also leads a masters degree programme for professional dancers of the Birmingham Royal Ballet and supports an Indian Dance Company in residence at the university. A keen traveller, she said: "I will never forget the fun, friends, skills and confidence that dancing, and the Junior Arts Festival gave me in my early years."* If you too would like to share your memories or have any photos of festivals gone by, send them to: Junior Arts Festival, Weston & Somerset Mercury, 32 Waterloo Street, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1LW or email: newsdesk@the-westonmercury.co.uk

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