Pamela Lennon

pamelaLPamela Dorothy Spittles was born on 27th August 1947 at Ashgrove Private Hospital, Ashgrove, Brisbane – the second of three daughters to Edward and Dorothy Spittles. After hounding her parents for some time to take ballet lessons she started dance classes at the age of seven with Jean Finlay in Fortitude Valley.

Her dad insisted, against her will, that she also take tap classes. Pam soon moved to the Avril Binzer School of Dancing at Ballymore in Brisbane’s inner suburbs. She remained under Mrs Binzer’s guidance until Mrs Binzer moved from Brisbane to Melbourne in the early sixties. She had become very attached to Mrs Binzer by this time and was upset that Mrs Binzer had to leave. She moved on to Patricia Mc Donald’s studio, but completed her training at the studios of Elsie Seguss in the Brisbane CBD which is where she finished her RAD exams and received her membership. In 1962, having left school, she began working full time in the Brisbane CBD offices of stock and station agents Clarke & Tait, where she became familiar with many terms related to horses and cattle.

She had also started teaching in 1962 on the front verandah at her parent’s home in Alderley. The “Pamela Spittles School of Dancing” was born. Eventually her dad built a small but well equipped studio beneath the old Queenslander, and it served as her main studio for years after. Over the next few years, with the help of her mother and older sister, Sylvia (who became her pianist), she opened studios at various locations throughout the north western suburbs of Brisbane.

These included Keperra, Stafford, The Gap, Gaythorne, Ferny Grove, Samford, Dayboro, Eagle Junction, Arana Hills and Morayfield. “Pamela Spittles School of Dancing” became a very well known and respected dance school. In the early days, before she began teaching, Pam appeared on many locally produced TV shows in the early years of television in Brisbane – performing with groups on Revue Seven on Channel 7 and Theatre Royal on Channel 9. She also appeared at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Brisbane – the premier venue for theatre in Brisbane at the time. She loved performing but her first love was teaching, and during the forty plus years that she was teaching she passed on her knowledge and love of dance to many thousands of students. Pam’s greatest joy comes with enrolling and teaching the children of former students, who enjoyed their years of dancing so much that they have now entrusted their offspring to the guidance of their former teacher.

In 1968 she married her husband and best friend, Paul Lennon, who has supported her throughout her teaching career. In 1985 Pam and Paul purchased an old block of shops at Arana Hills and converted it into two dance studios and a ballet shop. For the following twenty years this became the headquarters of the “Pamela Spittles School of Dancing”. The name of the school was changed in 1988 to “Footworks Dance Academy”. Many former students have gone on to make a name for themselves as professional dancers with companies in Australia and Europe, and their success is a reflection of the grounding that they received from Mrs Lennon. She is very proud to call them her former students. Many of her former students have also moved on to undertake teaching careers, mostly with ATOD, and one former student, Simone Dawson, is now an ATOD examiner.

Pam and Paul had two lovely daughters, Amanda & Elizabeth, who have both gone on to enjoy dancing and teaching. Amanda took classes for many years and she created and choreographed many prize winning routines for the studio. At the same time she pursued a full time career as an executive in the state public service and became a mother to three of Pam’s beautiful grandchildren. Elizabeth is training to be an examiner for ATOD. She is now Principal of “Footworks Dance Academy”, operating her own studio at Morayfield. Elizabeth also has two beautiful daughters. Since her first involvement in dance as a student in the mid 50’s Pam has witnessed many changes in the world of dance. The advent of different genres of dance failed to faze her.

She took it in her step to teach all styles of dance including, somewhat reluctantly, Hip Hop. She was a director on the original board of ATOD following the break away from SATD. She was appointed as an Examiner in 1987 and served continuously in that role for over twenty years. She is currently a reserve examiner stepping in to fill the role when required. She was very proud to be presented with Life Membership of ATOD before her family, friends and peers at the Australasian Scholarships in Sydney in 2008. Pam would like to congratulate the current and previous board members and past and present presidents on the current direction and success of the company.