Former professional dancer who opened ballroom dancing school celebrates 100th birthday

Bournemouth Echo: CELEBRATION: Eileen Spittles celebrates her 100th birthday with her family and the Mayor and Mayoress of Bournemouth, Cllr Rodney and Mrs Elaine Cooper CELEBRATION: Eileen Spittles celebrates her 100th birthday with her family and the Mayor and Mayoress of Bournemouth, Cllr Rodney and Mrs Elaine Cooper

WORLD champion dancers performed at the 100th birthday celebrations of a former professional dancer who opened a ballroom dancing school in Bournemouth.

Eileen Spittles started the Michael Gwynne School of Ballroom Dancing based in Bournemouth Square just after the Second World War.

She learnt to ballroom dance in her late teens and performed at numerous dance competitions and demonstrations in London.

Mayor of Bournemouth Cllr Rod Cooper joined Eileen’s friends and family members for her birthday party at Westbourne House yesterday.

Her grand-daughter Catherine, who flew over from Australia for the occasion, said: “Living life with inherent charm and consistent determination has been a trademark throughout her many accomplishments. One of which, was learning to become a ballroom dancer in her late teens.”

The current under-14s World Champion latin and ballroom dancers Glenn Boyce and Kayleigh Andrews also gave an impressive demonstration at the birthday celebrations.

Eileen’s daughter Jacqueline and son-in-law Cecil flew in from Florida for the party and her other grand-daughter Elizabeth also flew in from the USA.

Elizabeth said: “Retirement from dancing meant more time for Eileen's next adventures, travelling the world, visiting South Africa, the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, and the Far East. Since 2003 she has been a happy resident of Abbeyfield in Westbourne, where she has enjoyed a very social and caring environment.”

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