Established in 1985 by Director Tracy Hawkes, Dance For All amalgamated with the prestigious Theatre School of Dance in Stockbridge in 2000, where full-time, specialist dance training had been offered for nearly four decades.
Our award-winning dance college course is the longest-running professional dance training course of its kind in Scotland and each student is supported by our inspirational faculty to achieve a successful and diverse career within the professional dance industry.
Our talented graduates have progressed to work in choreography, musicals, TV & film, music videos, at theme parks such as Disneyland Paris, on cruise ships and joined dance companies, touring the world. Many go on to teach both nationally and internationally and have even established their own dance schools.
Every year Dance For All, in collaboration with Edinburgh College, offers a selection of very talented, unique graduates who have a variety of specialist dance performance skills and are driven, dedicated and ambitious to the professional dance industry. Scotland’s renowned dance critic Kelly Apter said of our 2013 show:
The diversity was remarkable… I wasn’t bored for a single second
Competing in tough auditions, our alumni win contracts to work in the USA, Bollywood India, Europe, Australia, the UK, Mediterranean, Asia, and the Middle East, performing with international cruise liner companies and/or work at five-star hotels, international dance companies and theme parks, such as Disneyland Paris.
Many also go on to teach in Scotland and abroad, often establishing their own dance schools and businesses – we love seeing where our graduates end up, both in their personal and professional lives.
We do try to keep up with our graduates’ fast-paced careers!
Click the tabs to discover a selection of some of Dance For All’s Alumni Success…
Eva Silverston recently accepted a 6-month contract in Mumbai, India, which will involve performing in a variety of Bollywood productions, from movies, adverts and music videos to live shows and weddings. “l couldn’t be any more excited that my hard work at DFA has paid off and I can start my career, especially in these uncertain times.” Since graduating Eva has been putting in the work to stay fit and keep training her technique as much as possible. Keeping up with ballet classes and some commercial, heels and showgirl workshops – even if they’re on zoom. She found it most useful to stay connected with the dance world through Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with new opportunities. Check out Eva’s showreel here.
Eilidh Gorman is currently based in Orkney which is in tier 3. Although not allowed to attend Just Dance in person due to restrictions, she is still continuing with classes online. Check out Eilidh’s showreel here.
Since graduating in Dance for all in 2019, Shannah McCann has been teaching and performing. When she graduated she was teaching with Dynam-Nic Dance Studios as both their party host and active schools teacher.
Aside from teaching she was performing in corporate events across the central belt. Shortly after, she received her first professional performance contract with Park Club Europe in Tenerife, where she was principle dancer. However, she had to return 4 months early due to the pandemic. Since being home, she has joined NuMoves Dance Studio as a lyrical, jazz, ballet and tap teacher and soon to be an acro teacher. “My knowledge and experience have continued to grow and I’m excited to see where else my career takes me. All thanks to the teaching staff at DFA.”
Check out Shannah’s showreel here.
Since graduating from Dance For All in 2019, Emily Black has gained a 1st class BA Honours degree in Dance and Drama, alongside this she has taken part in many teacher training courses including becoming a qualified acrobatics teacher. Whilst expanding her qualifications she was also teaching 6 days a week as a freelance Dance Teacher and she has also launched her own dance school in Wigtownshire, Dumfries and Galloway. Her goal is to make dance accessible to all.
Tara Simpson began Highland dancing at the age of 4 at Findlay School of Dance, which she then continued to practise alongside classes in Jazz, Ballet and Tap at Just Dance Orkney. She successfully auditioned for full-time dance training with Dance for All College in Edinburgh. Over the course of three years she advanced her skills and gained knowledge in a number of new styles including: Contemporary, Spanish, National, Musical Theatre and Commercial, leaving the college with a HND in Professional Dance Performance.
Tara is a qualified UKA Associate Highland Dance teacher and has passed her ISTD practical teaching exams in Modern Theatre and Tap Dance. She is also a fully qualified level 1 Progressing Ballet Technique teacher. She has been a teacher at Just dance Orkney for one year so far, and looks forward to many more in the future!
Presently, Tara has undertaken an Exercise to Music fitness qualification to gain more knowledge about a range of subjects, which will improve her teaching repertoire in the future.
In 2020 Tara was offered a full-time role in Remarc as part of the entertainment team for the summer season in Greece. Her main duties were fitness and sports activities, contributing to the choreography, and performing in Dance shows.
Chelsea J Tough graduated from Dance For All Theatre School in Edinburgh in 2018 with an HND in Professional Stage Dance. Since graduating Chelsea has performed at various events in the U.K. including The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Pantomimes and the Annual Cruise Wave Awards in London 2019 with Award-Winning Cruise Entertainment Company Peel Talent before performing for 10 months onboard The Marella Discovery Cruise Ship sailing parts of Europe, The Middle East and Asia. Chelsea was due to sail on the Marella Dream next but that sadly could not go ahead. However, in 2020 she performed at various events in Manchester with PopUp Entertainment and performed in a Gandeys Circus production! Chelsea previously competed in the Pom and Lyrical Divisions at the USASF Dance World Championships in Florida gaining a top ten place every time! Her past of competitive cheerleading is where she also learned her tumbling skills. Check out her showreel here.
Fern McKay is currently working a summer season in Zante, performing at the Eleon Grand Resort and Spa. When she returns home to Scotland at the end of October, she’ll go straight into Panto at the Gaiety Theatre in Ayr as a Principal Dancer.
Shannen Caw has officially signed her first-ever professional dance contract and will be moving to Mumbai, India for 6 months to work with KS Productions .
Chloe Peutherer is currently studying for her BA Hons Dance at Northumbria University. Since graduating, she has worked as a gymnastics coach at City of Edinburgh Gymnastics Club and Edinburgh Leisure, performed at Prestonfield House Hotel and taught Acro at Dansation.
Sophy Dowie will be moving to Melbourne, Australia in January 2019 to attend the Flexible Intensive Industry Training (F.I.I.T) course at The Space Dance and Arts Centre.
Rebecca Bain went straight into teaching for dance schools in West Lothian and taught dance clubs in local Primary Schools. In April 2019 she successfully secured her first professional dance contract working for the Sailing Jazz Company, performing in many 5-star hotels around Crete for 7 months. Whilst in Crete she was also asked to be a dancer in a film that was being created in Crete by a Swedish film company. When she returned home she went back to teaching over the winter and in April 2020 she secured another contract working for Showbiz Creations in Zante, doing similar to her previous contract, performing in shows in the Zante Royal Resort. Sadly this has been postponed to April 2021 due to the pandemic. This year Rebecca has also joined Meraki castings, which is an agency providing work for dancers in Scotland.
Cleodi MacKinnon is currently teaching for LMPA (Lorayne McLucas Performing Arts) and has just signed a contract with a sailing jazz company to go out to Crete for 6 months come April. Along with Abbie Short and Rebecca Bain.
After graduating DFA in April 2018, Abbie Short went straight out to her first contract in Crete, Greece for 6 months as a production dancer for the Sailing Jazz Company. After this contract she started working for Showgirl Entertainments and had her first performance with them on New Years Eve 2018 in Windsor. In April 2019 she went back to Crete with the Sailing Jazz Company for another 7-month contract but this year she was invited back as Dance Captain. In between these contracts she has been teaching for Kassy Crawford at Klass Dance Academy and for Step It Up Dance in nurseries and primary schools. In 2020 she was fortunate enough to still be able to go to Crete again for yet another season with Sailing Jazz Company where she was not only a production dancer but also got to be a part of the Lumiere show where she learnt new skills. She is now back in Scotland and covering maternity leave at Klass Dance Academy and couldn’t be more excited about being back at teaching. Check out her show reel here.
Lauren Smith will be teaching commercial and musical theatre at Kutsher’s Sports Academy in Massachusetts for three-and-a-half months this summer.
Yolanda Kelly is having an awesome start to her teaching career working at Janice Marshall Stage School. Yolanda is having an awesome start to her teaching career working at Janice Marshall Stage School.
Lauren Marshall is performing in André Sarrasani’s Cirque FouFou, in Dresden, Germany. Before Lauren jetted off to Germany, she was a Dance Teacher at JHM Dance & Cheer.
After graduating college Sorcha Collins was teaching a lot of her own classes and for a dance school in Stirling. In January 2019 she was offered a dance contract in Rhodes, Greece for the summer season, performing at a 5* hotel, followed by another dance contract for the winter season in a 5* resort in Hurgahda, Egypt. “This contract in Egypt was an experience I’ll never forget, as well as performing our regular shows we performed at two big events for Christmas and New Year for more than 2000 guests. We then were asked for our company to be flown to Cairo to perform 2 nights at ‘Winter Wonderland Cairo’ which was incredible!” Since lockdown, Sorcha continued to teach independently and at various schools and has been signed by Alexander Baker Management agency. “I can’t wait to perform on stage again.” Check out Sorcha’s showreel here.
Hannah Boyle is performing with Twisted Perfection (a local professional Commercial dance group founded by one of our former tutors, Simon Hunter).
Sarah-Jane Brand is currently dancing (together with Jenna Miller) at Benidorm Palace‘s new show, Alegrias.
Rachel Carscadden is teaching and has started her own contemporary class.
Romi Clarke landed her first job for a summer season at a luxury hotel in Cyprus; she is now teaching at Cheryl Crawford Dance Studios.
Chloe Dickson has gone on to complete her BA Dance.
Allyson Eadie got a job before graduating, performing at the MacDonald Aviemore Resort. She is now working a new contract in Zante, Greece.
Megan Joyce is performing with Citymoves Dance Agency, teaching at Kidsize Club and performing in the Spirit of Scotland Show at The Jam House Edinburgh.
Gabrielle McCormick has accepted her first professional dance contract and will be jetting off to Greece for 6 months.
Kirsty Macdonald is teaching and performing in the Spirit of Scotland Show and with Twisted Perfection.
Caitlin Monteith is teaching.
Siobhan Pirie is performing with Twisted Perfection.
Emma Rickis is working as a dance teacher at i2 International Institute of Education in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China (teaching Ballet & Jazz)
Jenna Rivett has just accepted a 6-month dance contract and is off to Greece.
Amber Tracy has started a new job at TUI MAGIC LIFE Candia Maris – Beach Resort in Heraklion, Greece.
Ellen Willis is teaching.
Nicole Reid has been performing with the Elite Pro dance troupe. She was a former dancer at Vegas Showgirls, Germany and at Cirque d’Hiver Bouglione, Paris, France. Nicole has recently accepted a contract with Elonuit Show in Milan, Italy.
Rosina-Anne Groves-Moar is just back from her first contract in India.
Grace McLaren is teaching in Scotland.
Laura Paton is on the books with Disneyland Paris, awaiting her first contract abroad.
Naomi Cunningham is auditioning.
Zoe Miller got through tough auditions to win a contract with Carnival Cruise Lines.
Joanna Cairns is teaching locally.
Anna MacDonald was offered the starring role of Dick Whittington’s cat in the Dick Whittington panto in Inverness, but unfortunately is now recuperating from a knee injury.
Meaghan Robertson is working as a choreographer at Mitsis Alilah in Rhodes.
Bethany White is studying for her BA in Dance while performing part-time with Elite Pro Dance.
Nicola Saxton is enjoying her new contract at Disneyland Paris.
Heather Aitken has been taken on the books of top Scottish agency, SL Talent. She recently accepted a 9-month contract to work as a production dancer at the incredible Iberostar resort in Marrakesh.
Kerrie Edmonston is dancing for The Taste of Scotland show at Edinburgh’s world-famous boutique hotel Prestonfield House
Lauren Lewis has been accepted on to the RAD’s CBTS teacher-training course.
Olivia Riddle is the lead teacher for ISTD Tap and Modern at Dansarena Studios, Ayreshire’s largest dance school. On graduating, Olivia taught for several schools in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Olivia is thoroughly enjoying teaching, choreographing show work and supporting pupils through their examinations from Grade 1 up to Advanced 2 level.
Margaret Morrison is enjoying her first contract with Disneyland Paris.
Congratulations to all of our 2015 Graduates who have each made it through tough auditions and are jetting off on international careers and embarking on their teaching careers very soon after graduating!
Here are some career updates we’ve heard about so far (from left-right)!
Sophie Archer has completed an 8-month contract in the Caribbean. She will be performing for CBG onboard the MS Asuka II starting mid October in Kobe, Japan.
Natalie Smith also made it through tough auditions to land her first cruise contract with Disney Cruise Lines, performing on the main stage, aboard the Disney Fantasy liner. She is currently with Tokyo Disneyland.
Cameron Hunter is dancing with professional Commercial dance troupe Twisted Perfection. Twisted Perfection was founded by one of our former tutors, Simon Hunter, with recent gigs including private, corporate & charity events and the Taylor Swift concert at the Glasgow Hydro.
Gayle Franklyn is enjoying her contract as a Bailarina Profesional at Mallorca’s world-famous dinner show, Son Amar.
Kirsty Emslie had her first dance job in a show called PLAY during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, just one month after graduating from our College in 2015. Soon after, she gained her first professional cruise contract with P&O Cruises and Headliners Theatre Company in 2016, working four contracts back-to-back, aboard the Oceana and Arcadia. Kirsty is back in Scotland after a series of professional-level masterclasses in New York with renowned choreographers and is holding a handful of Advanced Jazz Workshops, combining her professional training and industry experience
Lois Trout’s first contract was with the Blue Lagoon Resort in Kos, Greece.
Katie Hughes has accepted her second dance contract with Costa Cruises.
Katie Morris began dancing with Twisted Perfection before graduating and won her first international cruise contract with Celestyal Cruises, touring the Greek islands.
Lauren Watt has formed her very own Lauren Watt Dance & Fitness Classes.
Zoe Stephenson just completed her first Bollywood contract, which she thoroughly enjoyed!
Kassy Crawford opened her own dance school, soon after graduating and is looking forward to directing her first school show. Kassy has also danced for Prestonfield House Taste of Scotland show.
Kiarra Morrice’s first contract was also with the Blue Lagoon Resort in Kos, Greece. She has recently accepted her second dance contract, this time with TUI Magic Life. She’s flying to Greece until October to perform in a 5-star hotel.
Ashleigh Reid made it through Disney’s tough auditions but unfortunately broke her hand, which required surgery. She’s enjoying her travels but can’t wait to get back into auditioning. We’re all wishing her a speedy recovery.
Jessica Olivia is just back from traveling Indonesia.
Lauren Pearson won her first international contract to perform at the 4-star Louis Creta Princess Hotel in Crete, Greece.
Alexandra Dykes has been working at Sandylands Holiday Parks Resort, Saltcoats as performer & dance fit instructor, as well as teaching for Jitterbugz dance parties.
Congratulations to all of our 2014 Graduates who have each made it through tough auditions and are jetting off on international careers, continuing on to degree courses and embarking on their teaching careers!
Here are some career updates we are hearing about (from left-right)!
Kristina Lowe was ecstatic to be working at Disneyland Paris, alongside a number of fellow DFA graduates and has since been the Open Jazz Finalist in the Dance world Championships, Florida and choreographer at the Children’s Theatre Boness. Kristina is currently teaching Jazz & Commercial Dance at the Central Scotland Ballet School.
Catherine Farrer taught in Orkney at Just Dance, a dance school founded by our 2007 graduate Joanna Davies, before embarking on her first international dance contract in Paphos, Cyprus. She is currently the Choreographer at Club Med in France and this summer will be off to Club Med in Cancun, Mexico.
Hayley Fleming started her career at Disneyland Paris, came back to Scotland to teach and has since worked her first cruise contract with Mirage Productions, aboard Fred Olsen cruises. She is currently a dancer at the 4-star Mitsis Rodos Village Hotel in Greece.
Since graduating from Dance For All, Maeve Foley started off her career working part-time in London with The London Cheerleaders and part-time on an American TV series called Outlander, which is filmed in Scotland. These are both jobs that she has loved and goes back to regularly in between other contracts. Shortly after this, she joined Outlander full time to film their second season. After season 2 she flew to Cyprus for a six-month dance contract. With one day to spare before joining her next job she dyed her hair to the colour required and dived straight back into the filming world for another six months. Since then she has worked on many professional dance contracts around the world in countries including France, Spain, Portugal and Lebanon and have bumped into many other DFA past students along her way. She never thought she would travel so much but she has grown a passion for it. Maeve’s most recent job was as an international dancer at the Benidorm Palace in their production of Aqua where she worked for a year. This has been her favourite job to date! She will be back on the set of Outlander for their sixth season and hope to do more travelling and work abroad in the future. Check out our interview with Maeve here.
Robert Wilson moved to London soon after graduating, successfully auditioning to work on many different projects including: Bollywood film sets; music videos; Mary Poppins popup events; and performances with the commercial flash mob troupe, Club Mob. At the end of 2014, Robert was delighted to join the cast of A Night of Dirty Dancing for a UK Tour, which commenced in January 2015. Since then Robert has toured aboard the Royal Princess ship, with Princess Cruises, taught Commercial Dance classes for Simon Says Dance, performed in Funny Girls and worked with Awesome Dog – a motion capture company – on various projects. Robert is now heading off on his next dance adventure, rehearsing in London for a month then touring around Holland with Spirit Productions. We caught up with Robert to find out how his career is going and he gave us some fantastic audition tips in this article.
Ashley Campbell won her first international dance contract soon after graduating, working a season at a hotel on Greek island of Kos. She has since worked in panto and TV and embarked on further international contracts at hotels in Malta and Greece.
Ashleigh Innes began her career by performing in The Taste of Scotland show at Edinburgh’s world-famous boutique hotel Prestonfield House, then a season run in Cinderella in Motherwell while continuing to teach in local dance schools. She soon won her first cruise contract aboard the NeoRiviera, with Costa Cruise Lines, sailing the Mediterranean. Now Ashleigh is excited to be off on another cruise contract – this time in Asia, embarking with Seacruise in January 2018. While here she has been teaching and performing with the Prestonfield team
Lana Benson started her career performing on stage as a ballet dancer in the opera Aida, as a Can-Can dancer at events and modelling. She has since won international contracts, performing at hotels in Paphos, Greece, in Cyprus and is now back performing in Greece, in Khalkidhiki.
Seonaid Cleland set off travelling around Australia soon after graduating. When she came back, she embarked upon her DDI Ballet teacher training exams. Seonaid enjoyed her travels so much that she’s planning another trip back!
Mandy Fletcher started her dance career performing across the UK. She’s currently performing as a magician / dancer in the House of Illusion in Salou, Spain. Mandy is actually a third generation magician in her family and is thrilled to be combining her professional dance and magic expertise.
Leanne Graham has been performing in the Prestonfield House Taste of Scotland show and with local professional Commercial dance group, Twisted Perfection, founded by one of our former tutors, Simon Hunter. She has recently passed her ISTD DDE (DIPLOMA IN DANCE EDUCATION).
Chanelle Derighetti is Head of Jazz Dance at a local dance school and is also teaching ISTD Modern and Tap.
Megan Baird completed her summer season in Paphos, Cyprus and is back home for a few months before jetting off on another contract as a Kanika All Star at the Elias Beach Hotel in Limassol, Cyprus.
Jennifer Foulds initially moved to London after graduating, successfully auditioning to perform in commercial dance projects, including a music video with American rapper, Flo Rider and with Show Stoppers’ productions. Since then Jennifer has won contracts to perform in Marrakech, Morrocco and Dubai, UAE. She recently founded her own professional dance troupe, The Stiletto Sisters.
Lauren Brown was made Head of Street Dance at a local dance school and also taught at Dance HQ in Glasgow, before jetting off to India. She performed on stage in Scotland before winning her first international contract to perform in Indian Bollywood stage shows & movies, music videos and TV shows, involving travel all over India. Now back in Scotland, Lauren is teaching at three local dance schools in the Lothians.
Congratulations to all of our 2013 Graduates who have each made it through tough auditions and are jetting off on international careers, continuing on to degree courses and embarking on their teaching careers!
Here are some career updates we are hearing about (from left-right)!
Jenna Miller is a dancer at the Benidorm Palace, Spain, where she has just had an amazing opening night of the new show, Alegrias.
Sarah Gibson began her career working as a performer in Disneyland Paris and has since performed in the UK and Europe, amongst her travels to California and Europe.
Rachael Skillen also started off in Disneyland Paris. She then enjoyed two seasons at the Louis Phaethon Hotel in Paphos, Cyprus with fellow graduates Rachael Bell (2013) and Emma Dongworth (2010); and has just started at the Candia Maris Resort & Spa Hotel in Crete.
Rachael Bell landed her first job even before graduating in 2013. She performed for six months in Bollywood movies/tv shows in India (and across the world depending on where they were shooting!). She then stayed 10 months in Cyprus singing and dancing for the Louis Phaethon hotel. She auditioned next for TUI Magic Life as dancer/fitness instructor and completed 7 months in Crete. She also did a short 2-month contract in Lapland in -40 degrees performing an elf show and spending the day with Santa. Rachael then moved to England for a job at Alton Towers as a show presenter and dancer during Scarefest (10 months in total). She contacted TUI again and was offered a singer/dancer role for Ibiza and spent 7 months performing there! After a short month home Rachael successfully auditioned for Disneyland Paris and has spent the last 2 years performing in shows and parades as various face characters and herself.
Jill Erin Morton also balanced college and show rehearsals, performing in a new show Piece of Mind for the Edinburgh Fringe with choreographer Ashley Jack from Jackin’ the box. Jill has been fitting travelling across Europe in between teaching her in Scotland.
Claire Grieve’s first international contract was at a 5-star hotel called ‘Breathless‘. She then returned to the Dominican Republic hotel for a second season. Since then Claire has continued to develop her acrobatic skills and she finished her summer season as an acrobatic dancer at the Calalandrusa Beach Resort in Catanzaro, Italy. She’s currently with Viva Wyndham in the Bahamas, teaching flying trapeze lessons and performing dance and aerial, including flying trapeze, silks, circus and acrobatic numbers. Read more about Claire’s journey here.
Lauren O’Brian has joined her fellow graduates out at Disneyland Paris.
Lesley Conn immediately embarked on her teaching career.
Holly Simpson enjoyed a six month contract in Egypt and is now auditioning for her next job.
Victoria Cairns went on to study for her BA in Dance and is now performing with the Elite Pro Dance troupe.
Megan Hughes’ first international contract was in Egypt, performing at a five star hotel complex. She’s now also performing with the Elite Pro Dance troupe.
Maria Koumi is teaching locally and will soon be studying for her RAD teaching CBTS.
Abby Douglas has been busy fitting auditions in around work and travelling – watch this space!
Laura Martin has had several international posts so far. Her first contract was with the Spanish cruise company Ibero Crueros and she’s since toured the UK with Diamonette Showgirls, performed with Costa Cruises and explored the seas around Japan & China with HNA Cruises. Laura is now off to a new adventure with MSC Cruises.
Ellen West started a trend for signing cruise contracts before graduating! She landed a job with P&O Cruises on her very first audition. We interviewed her to find out more about her audition experience…
Congratulations to all of our 2012 Graduates who have each made it through tough auditions and are jetting off on international careers!
Jane Heggie (left) and Vikki Baigrie (right) are thrilled to have both won cruise contracts so soon after graduating.
Vikki is touring the Greek Islands with Costa Cruises and Jane is touring the Mediterranean, Canaries and Caribbean with P&O Cruises. Read Jane’s feature interview about her time abroad in the Daily Record…
Sarah Noon (left) and Alanna Aitken (right) thoroughly enjoyed their hard-won 6-month dance contracts! Alanna performed at a 5-star hotel in Egypt before returning home to teach and coach in the Lothians. Her street dance crew, Pulsationz won the 4th in the World spot at the 2013 UDO World Street Dance Championships.
Louise Lunn-Rockcliffe (left) is thrilled to be working with the award-winning dance school, Intergr8 Dance, in Winchester. Louise is thoroughly enjoying teaching and passing on her knowledge, experience and technical training she received at Dance For All while continuing to develop her dance career.
Kim McDonald (right)has gone on to a Degree Completion year at Edinburgh College and we expect she has a fantastic career ahead of her.
Anna Muszynska also made it through rigorous auditions in London to gain work on Lush’s new ad campaign. You can see Anna perform a cracking number of very difficult fouettes en pointe in our very first YouTube video.
Sarah Huguet (left) has already realised her ambitious dream and opened her own dance school, Huget Boogie Performance, in Tranent & Direlton. Fellow graduate Ellen Cole (right) is also teaching at Sarah’s new school.
Amy-Francesca Shevlin is thoroughly enjoying her teaching career in central Scotland, working freelance for local dance schools, including Step It Up and the Broadway School of Performing Arts in Falkirk.
Stacey Graham spent the summer 2012 season dancing in Greece and is looking forward to her next position. During her time at Dance For All, Stacey passed her RAD Advanced 2 Ballet with Merit. We are very proud of her and Principal Director, Tracy Hawkes, says “the award is very well deserved”. This follows on the back of Stacey achieving her ISTD Advanced 2 Modern with Distinction and ISTD Advanced 2 Tap with Merit. She is completing her ISTD DDE Teaching qualification, which we are sure she will ace with flying colours! Stacey also won our Outstanding Student of the Year 2011 and we expect she has a blossoming career ahead of her.
Left-Right: Lauren Cunningham, Jennifer Lyall, Emma Smith, Lisa Aytoun
At a highly competitive audition in London, not long after graduation, Lauren Cunningham won a contract with the renowned Costa Cruise Company. She joined fellow DFA graduate Louise Ferrier (Dance Captain) to tour internationally and now Lauren is working as Production Singer and Dancer aboard Carnival Cruise Lines.
Following completion of her ISTD Teacher Training, Jennifer Lyall is enjoying her very rewarding teaching career. She is teaching themed educational workshops in nursery and primary schools in and around Edinburgh for a local performance arts organisation.
Lisa Aytoun performed at the 2009 MOBO Awards Ceremony during her final year at DFA. She has been dancing around the UK at various festivals and events for singer Scarlette Fever and her gymnastics team was selected to represent Scotland at the 2010 European championships in Sweden. In 2011 Lisa won a contract with Octopus Entertainment in Mumbai, India which included performing in Bollywood films, music videos, adverts & theatre shows. In 2013 she performed in the Sunshine on Leith film and performed in ten times a week in a new show called Clockwork which toured the UK. When in Scotland she teaches dance and coaches gymnastics. Read Lisa’s feature interview about her career so far in the Daily Record… Watch Lisa perform an aerial hoop in Dubai in 2016.
Following graduation, Emma Smith secured a position in the Robbie Williams Tribute Show on a Balearic Islands Cruise with Main Feature Productions and was one of only three singers/dancers in the production. She is now the Dance Support Officer for SkyeDance, which is the resident dance company of Aros Arts Centre in Portree. SkyeDance is a registered charity that deliver a diverse range of dance classes to remote communities in Syke and Lochalsh. They also have a youth company and are involved in national dance projects. Emma is making dance more accessible to people with a disability, creating & performing with Indepen-Dance 4 (IND4). Read more about Emma’s journey here.
Following graduation, Gemma Lawson and Rebecca Stenhouse toured China in Best of Musicals. Gemma has been working on P&O cruise ships since 2011 and Rebecca is a performer with Universal Studios in Japan.
Klair Smith auditioned for Disneyland Paris immediately after graduating and won her first contract. She loves Paris and working at Disneyland so much, she has worked there ever since! She does occasionally come ‘home’ to Scotland to visit family and she’ll often pop into Dance For All to say hello and catch-up. She says her time at DFA was “the best years of my life!” Read more student testimonials.
Since graduating David Bathe has enjoyed several international world tour cruise ship contracts and is currently performing in London.
Tutor Charlotte with daughter Lily and graduates from 2008 at our Reunion then L-R: Lisa Roberts, Kylie Stevenson, Charlotte Nicol and Susan Baggott.
Charlotte Nicol has been building up her rewarding career in teaching and now teaches RAD Ballet and Jazz Dance to children here at Dance For All as well as in Livingston at a local dance school run by her friend and fellow DFA graduate Leanne Mallace.
Following graduation Lisa Roberts worked with Thomson Holidays in Spain, she has now returned to the UK and says “I loved my time at DFA and the best part would be my life-long friends that I made.” Read more student testimonials.
Following completion of the 2008 Foundation Year at Dance For All, Susan Baggot went on to Reid Kerr College in Paisley and completed her BA (Hons) degree at Telford College. Susan is now working as a dancer for a local entertainment agency.
Kylie Stevenson performed on the European 2008-09 tour of the Best of Musicals show and has been entertaining passengers on the Carnival Cruise Line since 2010.
Jennifer Ward currently teaches in the Stirlingshire area for Alloa Ballet Company and Stirling Dance Academy and recently joined Head Over Heels Dance Fitness. She has taught at numerous Scottish stage academies and dance schools and provided community outreach dance workshops with Govan Youth Info Project.
Lyn Stewart is a dance captain & choreographer in a local dance group and a dance tutor for North Lanarkshire Council, teaching in schools & sports centres to children, teens, and adults, including over 50’s.
Kim Leonora Anderson has just graduated in Musical Theatre from Stella Mann College Of Performing Arts, Bedford. Kim has sung at many high profile events, such as the Emmerdale Charity Ball and The Energy Ball, both held at the AECC. In 2011 she was a Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer Of The Year Finalist. “Dance For All really helped me work on and improve my dancing. Prior to Dance For All I had no dance experience. I spent a year at DFA and it definitely made a difference and I am so glad I went, as it gave me a good grounding for coming to Stella Mann College.” Read more student testimonials.
Joanna Davies ARAD set up her successful dance school in her home region Orkney in 2008, teaching child, teen, and adult classes. She has choreographed numerous dance shows, pantomimes and musicals, such as: The King and I, Annie, Oliver, 42nd Street, and Cats which feature many of her talented pupils.
During Louise Ferrier’s four years with Costa Cruise Lines, she toured South America, the Mediterranean, and the Indian ocean. Starting out as a performer, she soon became a production manager and dance captain on the Costa Romantica. She returned home to Scotland for a short stint of teaching and will be jetting off to the Broadway Dance Centre in New York, USA this summer.
Amie Taheri was selected for Rangers Dance Squad immediately following graduation. She has worked aboard Costa Cruises and Classic International Cruises and is now enjoying life in Dubai.
After completing her Foundation year at Dance For All, Jodie Reynolds lived in London working in the HipHop crew TKSpin Masters of Movement. She performed in a number of music videos and worked with George Sampson and n-dubz. In 2009 she graduated from The Centre Performing Arts College in Greenwich and returned to Edinburgh the following year to finish her teaching exams at Dance For All. Jodie has also worked a summer season in Greece and performed vocals for a few DJ’s and music producers.
Jo Sutherland (née Davies) ARAD set up her successful dance school, Just Dance Orkney, in her home region Orkney in 2008, teaching child, teen, and adult classes, including Ballet, Acro, Contemporary, Highland, Modern, Jazz, Tap.
Jo has extensive performing and teaching experience. She has toured throughout Scotland and was selected as a dancer for the Commonwealth Games Handover Ceremony 2010, India. Jo was honoured to take part in the Patron’s Lunch parade for the Queens 90th birthday celebrations representing the RAD which was broadcast live on the BBC. This involved a very special performance dancing with Darcey Bussell and other RAD members for Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Family.
On our full-time college course, Jo gained performance and dance teacher training, including an HND in Professional Stage Dance, teacher’s qualification with the ISTD and advanced dance qualifications ISTD and the Royal Academy of Dance. She is a registered teacher with the RAD.
Jo’s choreography work includes local productions of “The King and I,” “Annie,” “Oliver,” “42nd Street,” “9 To 5” and “Cats” which featured many of her talented pupils. She has also choreographed numerous pantomimes and cabaret shows.
The Copacabana theatre show was Maria Boyle’s first acting principal role. Maria’s career has included music videos, Boogie Nights the Musical and she featured as part of the Beyonce world tour marketing campaign in the UK.
After completing her Foundation year Gillian Elizabeth Lawrence danced for the Edinburgh Military Tattoo and taught Highland, Ballet, Tap and Jazz dance for a few years until she started her family.
David Sneddon went straight into employment for the Curve Foundation then onto the Magic Flute Opera. He has toured Taiwan in the Las Vegas Fantasy 2 show and worked at Europe’s largest casino, Estoril, in Portugal. He came back to the UK working in pantomime and as a dancer, singer, actor & choreographer for Bourne Leisure and has toured the UK with Viva Productions and the Kylie Mania Tour.
Since graduating Claire Ritchie has worked professionally as a Show Choreographer for New Horizon, Cabaret Singer and Children’s Character Performer including many children’s favourites – performing in shows such as Bob The Builder (Trained by Rainbow) for TED Group in England, Spain, and Greece. Her diverse career so far has also included being a Puppeteer, trained by Avenue Q and a Production Show Vocalist for 5-star hotels in Greece and Spain. Claire has also been filmed for dancer rehearsal DVDs, a Production Dancer, a Dance Leader, Children’s Presenter and has acted in cartoon-style character shows for family audiences. Claire is now working in London teaching Zumba, as a children’s party character and writing her own music.
L-R: Heather McKendry, Claire Roberston, Claire Bungay, Jenna Freel & Kerry Millar
Following five years with one of Edinburgh’s five-star hotels, Kerry teamed up with DFA graduates Claire B, Claire R and Jenna to work on the Taste of Scotland Show – they had also previously worked together in Pantomime. Claire B has toured Italy with the band Saor Patrol, taught in Hutherford and worked in Warner Hotels. Claire R runs her own dance school and is a freelance teacher. Jenna has performed in shows in London and the Fringe and worked with numerous companies including Rhythm Ink. Kerry is now working with fellow Heather, running a local dance school teaching children RAD Ballet, ISTD Tap & Modern and Hip Hop. They also worked together to help deliver the Active Schools programme. Additionally, Heather has been teaching in various dance schools across Edinburgh and Glasgow and delivering workshops in primary schools and she taught a recent West End ‘Billy Elliot’ star.
Karen Sproull’s professional career so far includes: Lead Vocalist with Oriana Theatre Company aboard the Oriana P&O Cruise Ship, Freemasons Centenary at the Royal Albert Hall in London, Aladdin at The Kings Theatre in Edinburgh and a lead role on the Annie UK Tour.
Following her Foundation year with Dance For All, Victoria Knowles continued her training on a musical theatre course in London. She first toured the UK with an educational theatre company, often playing lead roles, then toured again with Spirit Productions Spirit of Dance show, which subsequently returned their stationary theatre in the USA. Living in Chicago, Victoria still works with Spirit Productions today both in the USA and touring the UK. Shows have included Broadway the Star Spangled Celebration and the Spirit of Christmas. She has taken occasional breaks to spend seasons at the Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City and the Niagara Falls Casino.
Since graduating Amy Watson has worked on cruise ships; with artists, Sonia Messer, Linda Dickson and Nicky Pyrah; and is now teaching Ballet, Tap, Modern & Jazz in Scotland.
Mary Healy began her career performing in a London holiday park and in Panto. She then went onto work with Costa Cruises, traveling the Mediterranean.
Rachel Barbod (middle) has been teaching Ballet, Modern & Tap in Edinburgh since she graduated in 2004.
Jenni Inglis (left) is the Assistant Artistic Director at the Edinburgh Dance Academy and she teaches on the Specialist Dance Programme at Broughton High School.
Gemma Galbraith (right) completed her HNC in 2003 and now runs Glasgow dance school: Lillian McNeil School of Dance
Susan Winton has taught on various professional dance and musical theatre courses in Glasgow, training students in both schools and colleges and has been Head of Dance for the Glasgow Academy of Musical Theatre Arts. At present Susan is a dance lecturer for Motherwell College and teaches on their Musical Theatre Course, as well as being the ballet tutor for the Merce at Motherwell Contemporary Course. Within this Susan delivers the Higher Dance program. She also runs her own dance school Performers Dance Academy, which is based in Glasgow and provides tuition for children in classical ballet, tap, modern and jazz.
Julie McInally has been teaching throughout Edinburgh and the Lothians since she graduated and now runs her own school in Penicuik. During this time she has also performed in and choreographed many productions, including Connect Festival, Children 1st Moulin Rouge Ball, North Lanarkshire Burns Federation Homecoming Concert and Festival Scavengers. Julie has worked with numerous organisations, including Midlothian Active Schools, Edinburgh University, North Edinburgh Arts and Dance For All.
Lindsey McGlade is enjoying her rewarding teaching career, nurturing children & teenagers through RAD Ballet and ISTD Modern syllabuses.
Following graduation, Leigh Douglas immediately won a contract with Disneyland Resort Paris. She has also worked as a professional cheerleader and toured with Riverdance. Leigh then returned to Disneyland Paris – she is thoroughly enjoying living in France.
Laura Geddes is currently teaching at two Glasgow colleges and runs her own dance school. After graduation, she danced with the Claymore Cheerleaders: the Scottish Rockettes and then launched and coached the Rangers Dance Squad. Laura has choreographed and performed in many shows throughout Scotland.
Our graduates continue to delight us when their dedication, skills, and determination pays off – we couldn’t be more proud and we will bring you more Graduate News soon!
Page last updated: 10 March 2021.
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