Louis Godfrey was born in Johannesburg, and received his early training in his hometown from leading South African ballet teachers Marjorie Sturman, Ivy Conmee and Poppy Frames. He left South Africa at the age of eighteen to join Alicia Markova and Anton Dolin for a tour of England, and in 1950 was invited to join the newly formed London Festival Ballet (now known as the English National Ballet) as a founding member and principal dancer.
While with Festival Ballet, Mr. Godfrey performed such principal roles as the Nutcracker Prince, Prince Siegfried in, Swan Lake, the title role in Petrouchka, the Golden Slave in Scherherazade, and the Drummer in Graduation Ball, among others. He also created roles in several new works, among them Anton Dolin’s showpiece for maledancers, Variations of Four with John Gilpin, Andre Prokovsky, and Fleming Flindt, who were all then at the start of their distinguished careers.
In 1969, Louis Godfrey returned to South Africa to join PACT Ballet as ballet master. In 1973, he and his wife, Denise Schultze, became co-artistic directors of PACT Ballet. Together they worked on building a strong classical repertoire for the 70-member company and hosted acclaimed guest artists, among them Merle Park, Ivan Nagy, Peter Breuer, Anthony Dowell, Margot Fonteyn, Eva Evdokimova and Natalia Markarova while nurturing the careers of several eminent South African ballerinas.
After leaving PACT Ballet in the late seventies, he and Denise Schultze joined Ballet West in Salt Late City in the United States as ballet master and ballet mistress, where they staged the major classics such as Swan Lake, Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty, Les Sylphides, Graduation Ball, and others from the standard repertoire.
Louis Godfrey’s reputation and knowledge of ballet has earned him invitations to work throughout the ballet world, principally in America. He spent seven years with Nevada Dance Theatre as associate artistic director, and two years at the National Ballet School of Canada in Toronto.
Together with Denise Schultze, he staged The Sleeping Beauty (2002) and Romeo and Juliet (2003) for The South African Ballet Theatre.
In 2004, with his wife Denise Schultze, he staged Swan Lake for The South African Ballet Theatre.
In 2007, Louise and Denise staged Swan Lake for Orlando Ballet.
Louise Godfrey has been a faculty member of the Boston Ballet Summer Program for the last nine years.