The Valley’s Margaret Carlson was honoured by the Royal Academy of Dance last year as the prestigious institution celebrates its 100th anniversary. (Submitted photo)

The Valley’s Margaret Carlson was honoured by the Royal Academy of Dance last year as the prestigious institution celebrates its 100th anniversary. (Submitted photo)

Royal Academy of Dance highlights Margaret Carlson as part of marking 100th

Margaret Carlson taught dance in the Valley from 1954 to 1997

A resident of the Cowichan Valley was honoured by the Royal Academy of Dance, located in London, England, last fall as the prestigious institution celebrates its 100th anniversary.

Margaret Carlson, who died in 1997, taught dance in the Valley from 1954 to 1997 and ran the still operating Carlson’s School of Dance.

The first year Margaret entered students under the Royal Academy of Dance’s syllabus for ballet exams was in 1964.

D. Gwen Carlson-Redcliffe, Margaret’s daughter, fellow dance teacher and a life member of the RAD after 40 years of membership, said as part of the RAD’s centennial celebrations, the experiences of members of the academy have been shared on the website within a section called the “RAD Voices”.

“Every month, we celebrate the extraordinary people from the past and present that have shaped the RAD and continue to support and shape the future,” Carlson-Redcliffe said.

“My biography of my mother, ‘Mrs. C’, was chosen for October. She is one of just eight Canadians in the 106 countries that participated.”

Margaret, who was referred to as the Cowichan Valley’s matriarch of dance when she died, trained as a youth under some of the best dancing instructors of the time and opened the Duncan Studio of Dancing in 1954 with her friend Irene Thorton, and then ran Carlson’s School of Dance until her sudden death in 1997.

Carlson-Redcliffe said that’s when she rejoined Carlson’s School of Dance, commuting from Vancouver to become the new owner and its artistic director until 2000.

“I had encouraging support from Carlson’s teachers, studio secretaries, assistants, students and their families,” she said.

“Carlson’s continued to offer a friendly, safe and inspiring environment for our students and teachers. By the year 2000, I had great confidence that, under the stewardship of the new owners, who were also teachers at Carlson’s, the studio would be assured a successful and sustainable entry into the 21st Century.”

Carlson-Redcliffe also thanked the current leadership and teachers at Carlson’s School of Dance who have continued to offer instruction through the COVID-19 pandemic.

She said the school offers pandemic protocols and provides the option of Zoom for its pupils, and she has been taking some classes herself.

“Even in times of adversity, the dance goes on,” Carlson-Redcliffe.

“In the comfort of my own home, especially when we had the cold snap, it was a pleasure to execute the ballet barre exercises holding on to my kitchen sink.”


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

”It was an angry welcome for Cowichan-Ladysmith MLA Jan Pullinger when she arrived in Lake Cowichan Monday to open her constituency office. She was greeted with some of her long time supporters calling her a ‘liar’. Left to right, Jan Pullinger, Director of Area I, Lois Gage, school trustee Rolli Gunderson, school trustee Pat Weaver, Save our School Committee Chairperson, Tara Daly.” (Lake News/April 17,1996)
Flashback: Garbage, geography and tragedy

Remember these stories from Lake Cowichan?

Tim Schewe
Drivesmart column: Parking permits for people with disabilities

These permits are issued to the person, not the vehicle owner or driver.

Dr. Bernhardt’s freshly planted strawberries. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Hoping for a bumper crop of strawberries

Because our new plot gets a lot of sun, maybe strawberries won’t become consumed by wood bugs

Sarah Simpson
Sarah Simpson Column: Newton’s first law of motion

I could have sworn I told them to help each other get unbuckled and to come inside.

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

Pat Kauwell, a semi-retired construction manager, lives in his fifth-wheel trailer on Maxey Road because that’s what he can afford on his pension, but a Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw prohibits using RVs as permanent dwellings, leaving Kauwell and others like him with few affordable housing options. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Rules against RV living hard on Island residents caught in housing crunch

Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw forcing pensioner to move RV he calls home off private farm land

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Black Press file photo).
Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
Courtenay fossil hunter finds ancient turtle on local river

The specimen will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

Most Read