Sandra of the Secret Ballet / Sandra of the Castle Ballet


List of Appearences:

  • Sandra of the Secret Ballet –  Judy:  #01 (06 Jan 1960) – #55 (28 Jan. 1961)
  • Reprinted – Judy: #325 (02 March 1966) – #379 (15 April 1967)
  • Reprinted – Judy and Tracy: #1306 (19 Jan. 1985) – #1361 (08 Feb. 1986)
  • Sandra of the Castle Ballet – Judy: #56 (4 Feb. 1961) – #62 (18 March 1961)
  • Reprinted –  Judy: #380 (22 April 1967) – #386 (03 June 1967)
  • Reprinted – Lucky Charm: #2 (1979)
  • Sandra and the Runaway Ballet – Judy: #86 (02 Sep. 1961) – #106 (20 Jan. 1962)
  • Reprinted – Judy: #387 (10 June 1967) – #407 (28 October 1967)
  • Reprinted – Lucky Charm: #2 (1979)
  • Sandra and the Frightened Teacher – Judy:  #107 (27 Jan. 1962) – #116 (31 Mar. 1962)
  • Reprinted – Judy: #409 (11 November 1967) -# 418 (13 January 1968)
  • Sandra and the Hoodoo Ballet – Judy:  #119 (21 April 1962) – #130 (07 July 1962)
  • Reprinted – Judy: #419 (20 January 1968) – #430 (06 April 1968)
  • Sandra and the Dancing Doll Judy:  #133 (28 July 1962) – #145 (20 Oct. 1962)
  • Reprinted – Judy:  #432 (20 April 1968) – #444 (13 July 1968)
  • Sandra and the Stranded Ballet – Judy: #158 (19 Jan. 1963) – #173 (04 May 1963)
  • Reprinted – Judy: #445 (20 July 1968) – #460 (02 November 1968)
  • Sandra and the Sultan’s Ballet – Judy: #250 (24 Oct. 1964) – #272 (27 Mar. 1965)
  • Reprinted: Lucky Charm: #19 (1982)
  • Sandra and the Sinister Ballet – Judy: #294 (28  Aug. 1965)  – #313 (08 Jan. 1966)
  • Sandra and the Blackmailed Ballet – Judy: #462 (16 Nov. 1968) – #473 (1 Feb. 1969)
  • Reprinted – Judy:  #876 (23 Oct.  1976) – #888 (15 Jan. 1977)
  • Sandra and the Seven Sisters – Judy: #474 (08 Feb. 1969) – #480 (22 Mar. 1969)
  • Sandra and the Girl Nobody Knows – Judy: #481 (29 Mar. 1969) – #485 (26 Apr. 1969)
  • Sandra and the Baffling Ballet – Judy: #486 (03 May 1969) – #491 (07 June 1969)
  • Sandra and the Backstreet Ballerina – Judy:  #631 (12 Feb. 1972) – #645 (20 May 1972)


Other Appearances: 

  • Sandra and the Sleeping BeautyJudy Annual 1962
  • Sandra and the Sad Star – Judy Annual 1963
  • Sandra and the Backstreet Ballet Dancer – Judy Annual 1964
  • Sandra and the Sad Story – Judy Annual 1965
  • Sandra and the Snow Ballet – Judy Annual 1966
  • Sandra and the Vengeance Ballet – Judy Annual 1967
  • Sandra and the Ballet of Silver Gulch – Judy Annual 1968
  • Sandra and the Captive Ballet – Judy Annual 1969
  • Sandra’s Shadow – Judy Annual 1970
  • Sandra and the Black Rose – Judy Annual 1972
  • Sandra and the Silver Shoes – Judy Annual 1973
  • Sandra and the Ballet of Macbeth – Judy Annual 1974
  • Sandra and the Phantom Ballerina – Judy Picture Story Library: #02
  • Sandra and the Black Swan – Judy Picture Story Library: #08
  • Sandra and the Snow Ballet – Judy Picture Story Library: #32
  • Sandra and the Sabotage Ballet – Judy Picture Story Library: #75
  • The Forbidden Ballet – Judy Picture Story Library: #83
  • Sandra and the Deadly Secret – Judy Picture Story Library: #100

23 thoughts on “Sandra of the Secret Ballet / Sandra of the Castle Ballet

    1. Yes plus if you add up all the times she returned in new adventures, she had a very long run! She was a big presence in Judy up to the mid 70s.

  1. I enjoyed your account of the Sandra stories. Loved paddy Brennan’s artwork. There was a story of Sandra in the Wild West published in one of the later annuals and the artwork was by a different artist. It didn’t work.
    I often wondered who wrote the original story and whether that writer wrote all the Sandra stories. There is a recurring response to all problems that she faces – a dance solves all problems. Which might infer there was an overseeing presence for the series.
    The one thing the Sandra stories instilled in girls was the idea of adventure and pursuing a career. She only ever did housework when she was being oppressed by her step mother or antagonists.

  2. Gorgeous artwork, if a little old fashioned. The characters are very expressive. The blurry and garish colour does it no favours.

    A couple of odd typos, though: “Sandra is able to resist the hypnotism, but he looks her up” ” She ells them a revolution in her county forced her to hide away”

  3. I loved ‘Sandra and the Secret Ballet’ and longed to be Sandra, live with other girls on an island and concentrate on my dancing. And she was always having the most exciting adventures! This is a lovely article ~ I remember all the stories and wish I had kept my comics. Thank you

    1. I would not be surprised if Sandra inspired loads of aspiring ballerinas, the same way Bella was an inspiration to gymnasts.

      Maybe if you ask around, someone might compile a Sandra CD for you.

  4. There is another typo just before the first one Marionette spotted. ‘When Boris catches them snooping room….’

  5. I had the full story of Sandra of the Castle Ballet in a picture book when I was little. I remember it well and am sad I cannot find it. Does anyone know where I may get a copy (even in digital format?)?

  6. I loved this story too. It appeared in the first issue of the Judy and Tracy comic, after they merged in the early 80’s and I always loved the air of mystery about the island. The arrival of the holiday camp ruined that a bit, I think.

  7. Most of the adverse opinions on this site seem totally irrelevant as everyone reading it knew it was fantasy! However, fantasy in it’s primal form, helping readers see the possible motivation behind the unpleasant or spiteful behaviour of others.
    As in so many girls’ comics at the time all the stories provided basically feminist and humanitarian themes. Sandra was a classic example of the girl brought up in poverty who, given the first opportunity, grasps it with both hands and achieves her aspirations whilst remaining true to her own innate good nature.
    One of my favourite stories had the girls travelling with boy ballet dancersto a performance.
    The boys were jeered at for being ballet dancers by passing yobs but later , finding their tormentors’ car head down in a ditch, they proved their masculinity by using their ballet honed strength and agility to easily lift out the vehicle .
    This may seem cheesey now but opened our innocent minds to consider the issue of blindly ignorant prejudice and certainly didn’t do any harm as part of the theme of Billy Elliot !

    1. In one of the Tammy annuals Bella did Billy Elliot, where she met a boy who was being teased for doing ballet. She helped him get the last laugh on the boys who teased him.

  8. Hi
    Desperately after first issues of sandra and the secret ballet, any idea where I can lay my hands on any copies of judy

  9. The first series of ‘Sandra Of The Secret Ballet’, Lorraine, ended in JUDY 55 (January 28 1961), not in 56 as you state above. As a result, ‘Sandra Of The Castle Ballet’ starts in JUDY 56 (February 4 1961), not in 57 as you state above. Further clarification can be found in the comment at the end of the instalment in 55, which is “What Is The Secret Of Madame Sierra’s New Ballet? Find Out Next Week!”

  10. I just got Judy #379 which has the reprint of episode of Sandra of the Secret Ballet from #55 but for some reason the name has already changed to “Sandra of the Castle Ballet”, perhaps as it seems to be all part of one story arc, it was thought the name should change sooner.

    1. I don’t currently have enough time, Lorraine, to check the overall issue numbers and dates for ‘Sandra’. However, I have looked out my issues of JUDY for 1967, so I can assure you that ‘Sandra Of The Secret Ballet’ ended in 374 (11 March 1967), at the end of which we can read “Another exciting chapter in the history of the Secret Ballet School was ended!” ‘Sandra Of The Castle Ballet’ started the following week in 375 (18 March 1967) and ran until 386 (3June 1967). It was itself replaced by ‘Sandra And The Runaway Ballet’ at the start of which, the girls escape with the help of Mr Pickford, the owner of ‘PIckford’s Holiday Camp’, who guides all the girls through one of the secret tunnels beneath the castle to a launch that was waiting to take them to the mainland.

  11. Sandra of the Secret Ballet was my ‘guilty pleasure’ as a child, not that I knew what a ‘guilty pleasure’ was then. I gave up all my pocket money to be able to follow her adventures (in preference to sweets) because my mother had made it clear that she did not approve of comics except ‘Look and Learn’ and had only subbed my original purchases whilst the ‘special offer’ (can’t remember what it was – possibly an introductory price if they had them in those days) was valid. She assumed wrongly (not realising I had an equal tenacity to hers even all those years ago) that I would lose interest in buying a comic instead of sweets. That was when I asked Dad for a ‘pocket pay rise’ and was rewarded with an extra 6d (sixpence). My sister refused to ask for hers and remained on her usual rate after I had soared (over the years) to the grand sum of half a crown! Thanks for the beautiful reminder of ‘Sandra’ and that ‘Secret Ballet’.

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