Local Face: Linda Thomas (Kercher)

  |  Published: Sep 4th 2014
Linda Thomas

In July, Aylesbury Waterside was filled with an audience celebrating the past present and future of Wendover long time resident, Linda Thomas (Kercher) as she watched pupils from her long established theatre dance school, with visiting guests from other local dance schools, perform a two and a half hour show, hosted by local celebrity Andy Collins. The event was orchestrated by daughter KT, who had especially flown back from New York and was in celebration of the school’s 40 year existence in Aylesbury, based for most of that time in Walton Parish Halls, Walton Street. 

Linda grew up in a musical family and had an immediate love of dance, attending classes in all genres including ballet, modern, jazz and tap at Diana Broadbents school in Prestwood. She then moved temporarily to Hampton Hill, Middlesex with Diana before returning to begin teaching in Hemel Hempstead, Chesham and then Wendover (behind Lloyds chemist) with Yvette Sargent. Work then took her for three years to the  Arts Educational School, Tring and London before going on to London College of Dance and Drama in Marylebone. During this time, Linda also trained within ISTD (Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance) gaining honours in all genres and grades until eventually being awarded the highest teaching qualification award of Fellowship.  Just recently, ISTD awarded Linda with a Life membership of the society having been involved with them for 50 years.

An opportunity arose to open her own school in Aylesbury and as this grew, she left her other schools behind to concentrate on her own business. Over 40 years, the school has developed into one of the most successful dance schools in the area, opening 6 days a week from 4pm onwards (often till 9pm) and 5 hours on a Saturday morning. The average pupil numbers grew to 200 and this is where it has remained, maintaining Linda’s ideal of limited class numbers to ensure quality of teaching.
Having been married at 21 and widowed at 23 (her husband Michael was killed in a tragic car accident), her dance passion pulled her through a most difficult time of her life.  Linda thrives on helping young people and seeing them grow and at a time when she herself was trying to rebuild a shattered life,  the youth she surrounded herself with gave her huge support.

Some ten years later,  she met ( well actually ran over his foot in the Red Lion car park!) Peter, now known as one of the organists and players in the St Marys Church Music Group. It was love at first sight and a year later, they were married at St Marys and Peter became organist and choirmaster for 7 years, whilst commuting to Uxbridge where he was a deputy headteacher in a busy comprehensive secondary school.  Inevitably, a family came along in the form of daughter KT and son Matthew and both followed the musical and dance path laid out by their parents. Both children currently live in New York trying to follow the difficult show business pathway with Matthew already having appeared on Broadway in two leading roles. KT in the meantime has recently performed off Broadway in a production of “Spring Awakening”  coincidentally written by Duncan Sheik who last year produced Matthew’s debut EP “No Sound At All”.

Both children are immensely proud of their mum for having directed a business from a standing start to what it is today, 40 years on and naturally are grateful for the training and support she has given them in their own careers. While Matthew works towards his next Broadway role, KT is auditioning in New York but also continues to develop the Musical Kidz Company and her own young persons theatrical agency TK Management  Linda’s passion continues to the next generation and the Kercher name will hopefully continue to inspire future generations for the next 40 years.

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