A former star pupil at a ballet school has become the principal following the retirement of her teacher.

Lyme School of Ballet founder, Jill Chase, has announced her retirement after setting up the school 42 years ago.

In that time, Jill has taught and encouraged more than 500 pupils to achieve excellent results in examinations set by the Royal Academy of Dance.

Most of those passed with either a distinction or a merit.

Mrs Chase said: "The school has been such a large part of my life over the years.

"It has all been so very enjoyable and rewarding, but I feel that now is the right time for me to retire."

Taking over from Jill will be her former pupil, Freya Lovett.

Freya, age 22 and who lives in Uplyme, joined the ballet school at the age of 12 and went on to become on of Jill's host of top pupils.

Many of them have enhanced the local entertainment scene, featuring in local stage productions over the years.

Jill said: "I wish Freya every success, I am sure she will do an excellent job.

"I am very happy to be handing over to such a keen and talented young lady."

Freya, a registered Royal Academy of Dance teacher, has just completed two years study on a BA honours degree in dance.

She said: "I shall be ever grateful to Jill for the extra ordinary opportunity she has given me, and will always endeavour to make her proud.

"Jill has served the community so well and has worked tirelessly to provide a fantastic educational opportunity for up to three generations of local families.

"Without her encouragement, fantastic teaching and such kindness, I would certainly not be where I am today.

"So many have had the privilege of being taught by Jill, and I am particularly humbled to have been given the opportunity to follow her as principal of the Lyme School of Ballet.

"Her ballet shoes are rather great to even begin to try and fill, but I look forward to dedicating my working life to our students.

"Jill has allowed me to realise a lifelong dream, sharing my love for classical ballet with the rest of the community. I am so excited."

On the news, Luke Rittner, chief executive of the Royal Academy of Dance, said: "The Royal Academy of Dance is incredibly grateful to our teachers around the globe who inspire students of all ages to dance, and encourage them to achieve.

"As a life member who has supported more than 500 students in RAD examinations, I would like to extend my thanks and best wishes on behalf of everyone at RAD to Jill Chase on her retirement.

"It seems fitting that she is handing the baton to a former pupil, and we wish Freya Lovett the best of luck in her new role."

To find out more about Lyme School of Ballet, you can visit lymeschoolofballet.com