SHE may be leaving the city for a year but popular Nelson Mandela Bay choreographer and teacher Ellen Bunting is not hanging up her dancing shoes just yet.
Bunting, who has choreographed many modern and tap productions in the Bay has decided to take a sabbatical after more than 20 years of teaching and leave the Ellen Bunting Dance Academy in the hands of former student Simone Buchner.
“I couldn’t have chosen better because I’ve trained Simone since she was seven years old.
“She knows what’s expected and she’ll be a lovely refreshing change for the students.”
Born in England, trained and qualified in Zimbabwe, Bunting left Zimbabwe in 1976 to live in Cape Town and in 1987 moved to Port Elizabeth where she opened the Ellen Bunting Dance Academy.
“I’ve always wanted to teach but I didn’t know what and I knew that if I did, it would have to be something active. I decided to combine my love of dance and teaching to open a modern tap dancing studio.”
Bunting said she felt like now was the time to take a breather from dancing and credits shows like
for elevating the level of dancing in the country and raising dance to international standards.
“You need to see what’s out there, to up your game and learn more about dancing and other styles other than your own.
“Dancing has and should become more accessible,” Bunting said.
22-year-old Buchner, a public relations student at Nelson Mandela Bay University, said teaching was always her back-up plan.
“When Ellen approached me, well, it’s an opportunity you can’t refuse because the client base is there, the reputation is there, my passion is there. I’ve decided to take it and run with it,” the enthusiastic soon-to-be teacher said.
Bunting said she’ll be travelling abroad. “I’m going back to my place of birth and visiting my choreographer and musical theatre daughters.
“It’s been an amazing 28 years of teaching dance in PE. I’ve lived my passion and I still love what I do.”