Valerie, 72, has retired to spend more time with her family after five decades of many astonishing achievements, including her students performing at the Royal Albert Hall and others having won scholarships across the UK.
She said: “It has been a privilege and an honor to be a part of so many lives over the past 50 years.”
One of the greatest joys, she said, has been “just to see the children progress and improve their confidence.”
Students from two years old to 90 were taught by Valérie. A group of 50 represented England in Los Angeles and performed at Disney.
His son Craig Armstrong spent 12 years in the musical Billy Elliot and is currently filming at Disney Studios for the musical Wonka.
Another of her students, Caroline Renno, was head dancer at the Moulin Rouge in Paris, while Michelle Andrews has performed in numerous West End shows, and is
currently touring the UK with Chicago.
Valerie herself was the director of the Northern Counties Dance Association for many years and was recently awarded the title of Life Member.
All of this translated into a successful career for Valerie, who said she had “trained many students who have become qualified teachers and run successful dance academies in South Tyneside”. “
She has also “trained former students to become professional interpreters in the West End and in Europe”.
Valérie celebrated her 50 years of activity in style.
She explained, “I decided to do a parachute jump and it was awesome, out of this world.”
Leaving the academy was “a big tear”. It has been a part of my life and it has been a great privilege to be a part of the lives of so many lovely children and students.
But she thinks the time has come to retire and “enjoy my grandson more and have a vacation.”
Valérie sent her best wishes to Lauren Fox and Linzi Tomlin ‘and to the LAAOD team every success in the resumption of the academy’.
Nine I’m A Celebrity contestants we’ve seen in South Tyneside in recent years