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Gell, Heather (1896 - 1988)


Glenelg, South Australia, Australia
South Australia, Australia


Heather Gell was a pioneer of eurhythmics and a dance teacher. After obtaining the Diploma of the Kindergarten Training College, Adelaide, in 1918, she studied at the London School of Dalcroze Eurythmics for two years. Gell returned to Adelaide to set up her own studio in 1923. She became a specialist in Eurhythmics and taught at the Kindergarten Training College. In 1930 Gell returned to London to study for the Licentiate degree at the Royal Academy of Music. On her return she was appointed to the Elder Conservatorium.

In 1934 Gell directed the Girl Guides' farewell to Lady Zara Hore-Ruthven and in 1936 the 'Heritage' pageant for the State's Centenary celebrations. She returned to London in 1937 before settling in Sydney where she established the School of Music and Movement. From 1938 she began presenting "Music Through Movement", a weekly radio broadcast for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, which lasted 27 years. Gell stayed in Sydney until her retirement, establishing the Dalcroze Society of Australia and the Dalcroze Teachers' Union.

Heather Gell was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire services to music on 31 December 1977. She returned to Adelaide in 1982 and died in 1988. In her Will, she left a bequest to be used to establish, assist, and promote Dalcroze Eurhythmics in Australia. The Heather Gell Dalcroze Foundation is the result.

Sources used to compile this entry:,-1,0,B/frameset&FF=dgell+heather+1896+1988&2,,2 and accessed 2004-05-11.

Related entries

Archival resources

National Library of Australia

  • [Biographical cuttings on Heather Gell, containing one or more cuttings from newspapers or journals], Bib ID 370538; National Library of Australia. Details

State Library of South Australia

  • Heather Gell : SUMMARY RECORD, 1886 - 1998, PRG 633; Gell, Heather (1896 - 1988); State Library of South Australia. Details
  • Interview with Heather Gell and ABC Radio school broadcast [sound recording], 24 January 1994, PRG 633/43; Gell, Heather (1896 - 1988); State Library of South Australia. Details

Anne Heywood

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