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Colours of Dance Teachers

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Imogen Knight

Principal

BA, Dip. RAD, Dip. TD (NBS), ARAD, AISTD, RAD RTS

Imogen Knight is a classical ballet & modern dance teacher. Trained at Northern Ballet School in Manchester UK, she holds Diplomas in the Teaching of Dance, is a registered teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance and is an Associate of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance. 'Miss Imogen' continues to learn and to be curious about dance & education, attending courses & classes throughout the year as part of her Continuing Professional Development.

Prior to establishing Colours of Dance in Cambridge in 2010, Imogen set up and taught an extra-curricular Dance Programme at the Taipei European School, offering ballet and modern dance. The Dance Programme continues to grow with a new teacher. Imogen was also involved in various other dance-related activities for the International Community in Taipei, such as teaching the Scottish Country Dance classes for the annual St Andrew's Ball and to the children and staff at the SOS Children's Village located just outside Taipei.

Imogen relocated to Taipei from Singapore, where she owned and ran a dance school. Her students in Singapore successfully passed RAD exams and took part in dance recitals & other performances. The school continues to flourish under its new owners.

Miss Imogen's approach is to teach correct technique and educate students about the art and style of the dance type they are studying in an appropriately disciplined class, whilst ensuring that learning dance is an enjoyable hobby for anybody who likes to dance.  At Colours of Dance, Miss Imogen has established a shool founded on the principles of openness, respect, inclusion and hard work, which reflect her personal ethos.

In 2013, Imogen was thrilled to be asked to establish the role of Dance Coordinator for St Mary's School in Cambridge, working alongside staff to raise the profile of dance in the school as part of the successful education of the whole child.  With the growth of Colours of Dance, Miss Imogen stepped back from this role in 2017, after assisting in the recruitment of her successor.

In the wider dance community, Imogen was a member of the RAD Regional Panel for the East of England and Midlands region, serving a maximum 6 year term and in 2016, she became a Trustee of the Royal Acedemy of Dance.

Charlotte Middleton

Associate Teacher: Ballet, Modern, Jazz

Charlotte Middleton, RAD RTS

A Cambridgeshire girl, Charlotte trained at The Dance College where she gained her FDI in Tap Dance with the ISTD. She also is an Associate of the Classical Ballet Faculty with NATD.  Charlotte is also currently performing as an arielist and is passionate about all forms of dance.

At Colours of Dance Charlotte works both with adults and children in Ballet and Tap.  In 2014, she is launching a Jazz class for Colours of Dance in Gt Wilbraham.

Chrissie Moore

Associate Teacher: Latin & Ballroom

I trained at The Lane School of Dance in Hertfordshire from the age of 9, in Ballroom, Latin, Disco freestyle and Rock & Roll and more recently, Street Dance.

I am an Associate of The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance and have been teaching dance for 25 years. I have my own dance school, 'CAM Dance' and teach regular classes for children and adults in Ballroom and Latin, and Street Dance and Disco freestyle.

Imogen and I were introduced in 2012 by a mutual friend as she was in the middle of renovating the building that became the Colours of Dance Studios.  We sat on upturned buckets in the kitchen and realised we were kindred spirits, and so I have taught at Colours of Dance ever since. I currently teach Ballroom and Latin to children from age 5 upwards on Thursdays, and assist Miss Imogen in the leadership of Streetdance.  

CAM-Dance

Hannah Pyrah

Associate Teacher: Tap Dance

As a passionate and dedicated dance practitioner I thrive off inspiring and engaging the younger generation through creative dance.  My compassionate and caring nature combined with my enthusiasm for dance means I am a dynamic yet approachable teacher who uses a variety of teaching styles to target different ages and abilities.

I aim to inspire children, transfering my knowledge and skills onto them as well as providing the opportunity for them to work creativly, exploring their imagination whilst learning. By using dance as an active way of learning I aim to develop childrens knowledge and understanding of a variety of subjects, enhancing their education, social and emotional development, physical health and welbeing. 

After studying GCSE and A-Level Dance I went on to study at Edge Hill University where I received a First Class BA Hons degree in Dance and Aerial Performance.  I am an associate member of the NATD and I have studied RAD and NATD Ballet, and ISTD Tap to Intermediate level.  I am currently extending my teaching qualifications with the ISTD.

 

Christina Hudson

Associate Teacher: Ballet

I enrolled in dance classes at a young age and quickly fell in love with Classical ballet, which led to a 16-year career as a professional dancer with Ballet Magnificat in Jackson Mississippi.   I had the privilege of performing in over 15 original classical and contemporary works traveling extensively stateside and abroad.

Trained in the Russian Vaganova Method I had the honour to assist and then teach classes of students from a young age whilst still performing.   As is often the case for many professional dancers, I also taught master classes all over the world in addition to a daily studio setting. I really love challenging dancers in the fundamentals of classical ballet, whilst applying the artistry of expression within that medium!

I have just reloacted to Cambridge and will be continuing my devlopment as a teacher by training in the RAD method and taking over some syllabus classes at Colours of Dance.   I will also be assiting Miss Imogen with the more senior students, helping her to develop them to their full portential and perhaps prepare them for a career in dance.

Sally Parker

Associate Teacher: Pilates (Body Control)

I am a Body Control Pilates instructor, and began teaching in 2002 in South Devon. I bring to Cambridge and Colours of Dance a wealth of experience following early training and a career in dance. My ongoing career development through the Body Control Pilates Education programme help ensure my classes are always fresh, safe and relevant to all members of the community; from the complete beginner with no previous exercise knowledge, to people who are already active and interested in sport and fitness, through to the older generation.

I am qualified to Matwork Master Teacher (Advanced) level; trained to teach Beginner, through to Intermediate and Advanced matwork classes. I am a member of the Register of Exercise Professionals, Level 3 qualified.

Federica Gambardella

Associate Teacher: Ballet, Vaganova Method

I started teaching ballet at 21, soon after completing the 8 year-long course for the graduation in the Vaganova Classical and Contemporary Ballet technique, in 1991 at the Accademia di Danza LYCEUM of Mara Fusco, in Naples.

My teaching career starts in 1992, after the attendance of teaching methodology for Vaganova technique, at the Centro Regionale della Danza “Lyceum” di Mara Fusco, in Naples.

I continue to improve my teaching skills year after year, attending classes and workshops with world-renowned ballet masters, like R. Nunez, M. Berkut, T. Weikel, E. Piperno, D. Wayne, along with teachers from London Contemporary School.

In 1997–98 I took part in two seasons of a production of “Sleeping Beauty” with the “Balletto di Napoli” company.

In 2002 I achieved the Master Graduation in Classical Italian Leterature at the University of Naples “Federico II”, with a master thesis about archeologic evidences of dance in ancient Greece.

In 2004-2005 I attended a Master for Educational Dance, at the Mousiké Centre in Bologna (Italy). After the attendance of a number of classes and workshops on History of Dance and of Educational Dance at the “DAMS” in the University of Bologna (held by Eugenia Casini Ropa and Marion Gough), I began teaching Educational Dance both in Dance Schools and in Primary and Secondary schools.

In 2012 I worked with two different Dance School: “Patty Schisa” and “La Ribalta” Scuola di Teatro Cinema e Danza and then in September 2013 I moved to Cambridge and started teaching classes at Colours of Dance.

I have now re-trained as a teacher of Gyrotonics and am steadily building my own business.  However, I can't leave the world of dance completely, so I am really pleased to continue teaching ballet to adults on Wednesday mornings and Monday evenings.

Jane Mansley

Associate Teacher: Pilates (Body Control)

I am a Body Control and ActiveIQ Level 3 qualified Pilates instructor, trained to the Intermediate Matwork level. I am also a qualified Exercise to Music teacher, and run a range of Pilates and aerobics classes in and around Cambridge. My guiding principle is that improving health and fitness should be open to all, whether or not you consider yourself to be strong, coordinated, or flexible. Exercise should be safe and fun, and give a sense of achievement, so that you can enjoy looking after yourself for life. 

Before moving into fitness instruction, I was a scientist, gaining a PhD in genetics, and going on to work as a conservation biologist for ten years. I apply my scientific thinking to my work, and my practice is based on an objective analysis of the latest research. As a Registered Exercise Professional, I am committed to continued professional development, and keep my skills up-to-date with regular courses and workshops.

Rachel Dawson

Associate Teacher - Ballet

Rachel Dawson   ARAD, RTS, TCP

I was born in New Zealand and trained at the New Zealand School of Dance, in ballet and contemporary, graduating with a 3-year diploma in dance performance.

I went on to perform with numerous dance companies throughout New Zealand, including an Australasian tour with Paul Jenden Dance Company. Following from this, I was the choreographer, director and founder of Catapult Dance Company in Wellington, NZ and was excited to be shortlisted for the role of Gollum in Peter Jacksons Lord of the Rings film Trilogy, but was beaten in the final casting by Andy Serkis.

I gained the RAD Teachers’ Certificate with distinction in 2001, and was proud to achieve ARAD initials.

In 2007, I moved to Cambridge, with my husband and two children. 

Since 2010 I have been employed by the Royal Ballet School as a technical teacher on their out reach programme ‘Primary Steps’, and lead their creative workshops in schools across the East Anglia region, a role that culminates in choreographing graduation performance pieces for Primary Steps students.

I am currently teaching ballet for Bodywork Dance Company Cambridge in the vocational 3-year full time training course, having previously taught for Bodywork Theatre School for over 10 years, entering graded and vocational students into RAD ballet exams, whilst choreographing junior then senior end of year ballet shows from 2010-2019. I also thoroughly loved teaching adult get fit, contemporary and ballet classes as part of Bodyworks community adult classes.

I enjoy inspiring students and seeing them reach their full potential. Energetic, highly creative and passionate about all forms of dance, I love to create a positive atmosphere within my classes. I am is very excited to start teaching at Colours of Dance.

 

Lauren Leach

Associate Teacher - Ballet & Pre-School Dance

I was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, where I began training in classical ballet at age 6. When I was 15, I received a scholarship to attend The Rock School for Dance Education's year-round program in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I studied dance and academics at The Rock School for 2 years.  As a teenager, I felt very honored to spend 4 of my summers in New York City while attending the School of American Ballet and American Ballet Theatre intensives.  I went on to study dance performance at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas where I earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.   

After university, I became a certified Pilates instructor. I then taught ballet and Pilates classes in Florida, working with both adults and children of all ages and types of experience.  In 2017 my husband's job brought him to the UK where we have now settled, and in 2019 I joined the Colours of Dance teaching and admin teams and have got to know the school and may of the students and parents in it.  Since March 2020, I assisted in the creation of a library of teaching resources online, combining both my Pilates and dance training.  Looking forward,  I feel so excited and privileged to have been invited to train under Mrs. Imogen to gain an RAD teaching qualification, which will formalise the experience that I have already gained from previous teaching placements and which will widen my involvement with Colours of Dance.

As a teacher, my hope is to share the joy of dancing with others. 

Claire Ludlam

Associate Teacher - Ballet & Pre-School Dance

For me, dancing is an integral part of life, and as a musician, I feel the two elements fuse together beautifully, with dance as the perfect medium for expression of stories old and new.

Being passionate about ballet from a young age, I trained at Alma Kirk’s School of Dance in the North, before coming to study at Cambridge University, where I joined the University Ballet Club. I am still an active member, participating in full-scale ballet productions which have included Swan Lake and Giselle. I believe wholeheartedly that being part of something bringing such joy and fulfilment on a personal level, can add a further dimension to working effectively as a professional.

A love of the expressive arts has helped enable me to imagine indirect approaches of communication with the children I have been privileged to work with as an Assistant Headteacher, musician, dancer and during my MA in Social Care. Finding the voice inside every child has been a quest I consider fundamentally important and I have always strived to facilitate a strong connection with each individual through creative modes.

Whilst training for my vocational grades at Ladybird Borland Dance Studios, I studied for my ballet teaching qualification, recognising the enormous value of dance education as a tool for empowerment, enjoyment and expression for all.  I passed with distinction as a United Teachers of Dance ballet instructor and have been fortunate to teach children and adults at all stages of their journey as dancers and watch them flourish and grow. I also set up my own Bright Sparks ballet classes in St Ives and have enjoyed taking pupils through those all-important first steps on their dance journey.

Joining Colours of Dance, along with my children, I fell in love with the spirit and unity of the school and feel delighted to be asked to become a member of the teaching team under the flagship guidance of Miss Imogen.

Emma Olley

Associate Teacher - Ballet

I started dancing age 4 and it soon became an intrinsic part of my life. I trained in ballet, tap and modern theatre at King Slocombe School of Dance in Cambridge, also gaining experience in a variety of contemporary styles and taking part in musical theatre productions at school. Having completed Advanced 2 in tap and modern theatre, and Advanced 1 in ballet, I then went to Durham University to study Natural Sciences! While there I discovered the joy of teaching and therefore, after completing my university degree, I returned to Cambridge to take my dance teaching qualifications; I am an RAD qualified ballet teacher (DDTS) and an ISTD qualified tap and modern theatre teacher (DDE).

Since completing my qualifications in 2016 I have taught in both Cambridge (previously at Colours of Dance) and London, covering both syllabus work and free classes. I have experience teaching all ages and levels and I also regularly choreograph musical theatre productions in and around Cambridge. Having had a break away from Cambridge for a few years I have now returned to teach at Colours of Dance and I have also been teaching at Cambridge School of Visual and Performing Arts (CSVPA) for many years, where we train aspiring professional theatre performers. Alongside my dance teaching I run an online store for men's dancewear called boysdancetooUK.

Eleanor Ramsden

Associate Teacher - Ballet & Contemporary

Eleanor Ramsden BA (Hons) RAD: RTS ARAD AISTD DDE 

Eleanor trained at the Royal Academy of Dance in London, graduating with a BA (Hons) in Ballet Education in 2013. She has also achieved her Advanced 2 ballet and level 4 Diploma in Dance Education with the ISTD.  She has worked as a freelance dance teacher locally and abroad and taught dance in both the public and private sector. 

Eleanor is delighted to be returning to Colours of Dance in September to teach contemporary, having spent a few years growing her own school in Suffolk.