Member Book Releases

Co-authored by Anne Stephenson and Jenny Brosnan this book, recently launched by Mayor Michael Regan, is a lively local history of The Randell School of Dance which stood from 1957 to 1987 at 195 Condamine Street, Balgowlah and before that in Denison Street, Manly. See You at Randell’s was the catchcry of Northern Beaches Peninsula teenagers who attended this popular venue for over 30 years.  

Talented Peter and Val Randell, the proprietors, were at the forefront of Ballroom Dancing in Australia and the Pacific region through their long association with the Federation of Australian Teachers of Dancing (FATD) and the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, London (ISTD).  

With Peter and Val at the helm, the studio at Balgowlah continued to run as a very successful business until it was sold in 1987. Anne and Jenny throw light on this forgotten chapter of local cultural history. Especially in the early 50s, innocent times of dancing and dating under the strict supervision of Val and Peter, who founded what was to become a social magnet for young people from Manly to Palm Beach.

See You At Randell’s intersperses the story of the dance studio with pockets of Australian history, and concludes with a biography gallery, and a pictorial epilogue – a collection of wedding photos of the myriad couples who met at the Randell School of Dance.

Now in her nineties, Val still loves every facet of ballroom dancing, and would still be dancing herself if it were not for the ravages of arthritis. She maintains her longstanding ties with the Dancing Fraternity, still judges occasionally and is the star guest at the annual Randell School of Dance Instructors’ reunion each November. Val’s greatest honour she believes was ‘teaching all these wonderful people who came in aged 15-16 and did not leave until after they married’. She felt very privileged to help them a little along life’s path. As the jewel in her crown, Val was invested with an OAM on 25 November, 2020. 

If readers went to Randells, they will love this book and, if they didn’t, they can read all about what they missed! Along with a potted history of the Northern Beaches1940s until today!