Dance veteran Pat Bennett is celebrating the 60th anniversary of her dance school with a production of The Slipper and The Rose in aid of Brighter Futures.

Pat, from Swindon, is in the process of organising auditions and rehearsals through the Estelle School of Dance for a retelling of the classic Cinderella story, which will be performed at the Wyvern Theatre this June.

When asked how she maintained her energy levels to run the school over such a long period, she said: "Most of the time I love doing it, and I've got a lot of enthusiasm for this show."

She spoke of the crucial need for a new radiotherapy facility in Swindon: "I know a lot of people who have that long journey, it's awful. This appeal was particularly important."

Swindon patients seeking radiotherapy treatment currently have to travel to The Churchill Hospital in Oxford. The Brighter Futures Radiotherapy Appeal aims to put an end to the 70-mile round trip locals face by funding a specialised unit at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon.

Pat said of the show: "It's not just ballet, it's the whole works. There will be fairies, birds, butterflies, the servants in the palace - everything."

She made it clear that the musical production was still in need of male performers for a mix of roles, and that locals were welcome to join in.

Pat is due to be the subject of a community-funded documentary that explores her journey through dance, with a focus on the inspiration she has provided to hundreds of students over the past 60 years.

Trish Daniels, who is doing publicity for The Slipper and the Rose, said: "She's so hard working and determined, but she is also unassuming.

"She is doing it out of love for the students."

Trish nominated Pat for the Pride of Swindon Awards last year, which Pat eventually went on to win for her remarkable work in the community.

Speaking of the upcoming musical performance, Trish said: "It's full of humour and a lot of banter.

"It's a huge thing, not just an amateur production. One backdrop alone cost £400."

To find out more about the musical and support Pat in her fundraising efforts, visit: