Teacher : Ballet Technique and Contemporary
Laura began dancing with Angela Beardmore’s school of dance at the age of 3 and this is where she gained her love of dance. She gained a BBO scholarship at the age of 11 and a Royal Ballet Senior Associate place at 13. She also completed five seasons with National Youth Ballet, where she danced the role of Little Alice in Wayne Sleeps Alice in Wonderland.
Laura then went on to train at Central School of Ballet and danced in their touring company. Following one of these performances of Northern Ballet Theatre’s “Fireside pas de deux” she was cited as a “New Name” to look out for in the Nationwide Dance Awards. While still a student she was chosen to dance with the Kirov Ballet Company at The Royal Opera house.
She then professionally went to work with theensemblegroup in Edinburgh, Scottish Ballet performing in Ashley Page’s Nutcracker, English National Ballet (Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet) New English Contemporary Ballet, Valencia Spain TTG (Natcho Duato, leading Roles) and Scottish Opera.
Laura has over 15 years teaching experience and teaches for numerous dance schools in the Staffordshire area. She has organised and taught ballet workshops around the country and toured with Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Education department.
Miss Laura teaches all of the Ballet Technique Classes for our Ballet Associates.
BA (HONS) Dance. BBO-ATS
Penny started dancing at 2.5 years old, firstly studying Ballet & Tap, and then progressed to Jazz, National and Modern styles. After completing her A-Levels, she decided to further her dance passion and education and went to study Contemporary Dance at York St John University, graduating in 2007 with a BA (hons) in Dance.
Whilst at University, weekly ballet classes were also taken at the Northern Ballet School in Leeds, and intensive courses at the Yorkshire Ballet Seminars, and the BBO dance days at White Lodge, London. She was also chosen for a ballet solo in the Opera ‘Aida’ at the York Theatre Royal, and then went on to perform in ‘The Nutcracker’ with the English Youth Ballet.
After graduating, Miss Penny followed her lifelong ambition to become a dance teacher. She trained with the BBO and completed her Level 4 Diploma in Dance Teaching in 2010. This Approved Teacher Status enables her to teach the BBO syllabus and enter students for exams. She started teaching directly after completing her Teaching Diploma in 2010, and then opened her dance school 'Penny's Dance Academy' in 2011. 5 Years later, the perfect location and dance school was founded - 'Oak Tree Dance Studio', with fantastic facilities, and more dance classes on offer.
Dance has always been her passion, she has always loved everything to do with it; from performing, to spectating! Dance is more than just a hobby for children; not only is it fantastic exercise, it teaches correct posture and alignment, increases confidence, children gain performance skills and it also teaches discipline & musicality whilst gaining friends for life.
Miss Penny's teaching approach is to teach in a fun yet disciplined manner so children can enjoy learning different dance styles; children will learn best when they are confident, relaxed and enjoying the class!
Miss Penny teaches the Conditioning Classes for our Ballet Associates.
Teacher : Body Conditioning & Ballet Repertoire
Born in Japan, Kei Akahoshi started ballet at the age of 4. After a successful audition, aged 14, she came to UK to study at Elmhurst Ballet School. Kei then progressed her training at the English National Ballet School at the age of 16.
She was offered a professional contract to work with UK’s largest International Touring Ballet Company at the age of 18 with the English National Ballet.
Kei was promoted to Junior Soloist during her 13 years career as a Ballerina. She danced all over the world, performing over 30 different Classical and Contemporary Dance Productions. Collaborating with the best dancers of the generation including Alina Cojocaru, Vadim Muntagirov, Akram Khan, Flawless and more.
Currently Kei teaches Ballet, Contemporary, Stretch and Private Lessons at Newcastle-under-lyme. She is also the Senior and Upper Mid Ballet Teacher at Ballet Boost.
Miss Kei teaches the Ballet Repertoire Classes to our Ballet Associates.
Teacher : Ballet Technique
Julie has over 35 years of experience working within leading vocational colleges in the UK and overseas. She trained at the Northern Ballet School, Manchester where she gained her ISTD Associate teaching qualifications in Ballet, Modern, National and Tap along with the RAD Teachers Certificate. Julie then moved to Malta to perform with the Tanya Bayona Dance Company.
Upon her return to the UK, Julie joined Tring Park School for the Performing Arts. During her time there, she initiated the A-Level Dance Programme, Associate Programme and developed her professional practice by gaining the ISTD Fellow. In addition, Julie choreographed productions, coached students towards their teaching qualifications and was invited to examine on the AQA ALevel dance programme.
During her 6 years in Sydney, Australia, Julie’s highly successful dance studio hosted touring artists including Kimberley Wyatt (Pussycat Dolls), Lady Gaga’s dancers, Guy Sebastian, and Lauryn Hill as part of ‘The Only Australian Masterclass’. She also hosted a series of highly successful workshops throughout Australia for Janet Jackson’s choreographer, Gil Duldulao.
Julie devised and led a pre-show warm-up and motivation programme for the finalists of ‘So You Think You Can Dance Australia’ and worked alongside artists such as Jason Gilkison, Tabitha and Napoleon, and Adam Parson.
On her return to the UK, Julie gained her Masters degree in Dance Pedagogy and joined The Hammond, Chester. Part of her role as Performance Vice Principal involved auditioning hundreds of young dancers and performers. She has mentored students towards successful careers in the performance industry; including West-End hit musicals such as Newies, Heathers, Mama Mia, along with major dance companies and cruise ships. In addition, Julie served on the board of trustees for the CDMT (Council for Dance & Musical Theatre).
Julie’s career has since developed further towards freelance consultancy, mentorship and training for young people and teachers within pre-vocational dance and performance training. Her research and practice is geared towards towards encouraging autonomy, self belief and intrinsic motivation. Julie’s aim is to empower young dancers, performers and teachers in how best to engage and fully unite with the requirements necessary to progress into successful careers.