Photo credit: Stewart McPherson
Laura Andrews RAD CBTS RTS
'Miss Laura' - Co-Director and Ballet Teacher
Laura started dancing aged 3 at the Parkewood School of Dance in Southampton and trained for 15 years under the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) syllabus, reaching vocational grade Advanced. One of Laura’s proudest achievements was securing a place at the Central School of Ballet in London. She chose an academic path, completing a Business degree at the University of Bath followed by a 17-year career in event management where she was able to use her instinctive organisation skills in running large and high-profile events; a background that has proved valuable in running the School. Laura continued to dance throughout these years, rediscovering her love of dance as an adult dancer.
The move from dancer to dance teacher has been a natural progression for Laura who is passionate about dance and dance education. Her vision for the School is to provide students with a holistic dance experience through offering classes that support RAD training, including Contemporary Dance to encourage versatility and Ballet Fitness to build stamina, muscle strength and joint flexibility. Laura believes dance benefits both physical and mental wellbeing and ensures a welcoming atmosphere for all students, allowing them the opportunity to grow as individuals and contribute to classes and choreography for the School’s end of year shows.
Laura is a Registered Teacher with the RAD, having completed the Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies (CBTS). The RAD offers one of the highest quality teacher programs and their qualifications are a mark of excellence. With an internationally-recognised portfolio of examinations and assessments designed to encourage, motivate and reward students of all ages and abilities, working to the RAD syllabus provides a structure for our students to progress their learning and achievement in dance. Laura is also an RAD Silver Swans licensee and a Certified Teacher in Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT), a revolutionary programme that uses fit balls and resistance bands to help train muscle memory.
Raquel dos Santos
'Miss Raquel' - Co-Director and Contemporary Dance Teacher
Raquel is an award winning freelance dance artist, physical theatre performer, choreographer and dance teacher based in the South West of England. She's also the Co-Director of the school, alongside Laura.
Born in Porto, Portugal, Raquel started her training in Classical Ballet and then went to Balleteatro Escola Profissional where she completed a 3-year course in physical theatre and contemporary dance.
After taking a year to travel, perform, teach and choreograph in several projects, Raquel moved to England and graduated with a first-class BA (Hons) Degree in Dance from Bath Spa University. Raquel teaches and choreographs all styles, particularly Flamenco, Salsa, Contemporary and Commercial. Over 10 years of teaching, she has taught a variety of age groups in different settings, from 2 year-olds to 87 year-olds. Her performance work is versatile and playful as she continues to work across projects all over the world and develop her own creative practice.
One of her dreams was always to have a dance school of her own. She found Bath School of Dance to be the perfect fit as her vision aligns with Laura - her Co-Director. She's excited to go on this journey!
Kat McMillan had come from a long outstanding career within finance until she decided to go back to university. Kat gained her degree in creative writing and then graduated in 2022 from Bath Spa with an MA in Scriptwriting. After graduating she went on to write and co-produce her first short film 'Where was I?' which went on to several film festivals around the world and won ‘Best Film’, making her an award-winning writer.
Kat prides herself on her organisational and communication skills. She may not come from a dancing background, but she embraces everything creative, and she is super excited to be working with Bath School of Dance.
Charlotte Pearce RAD CBTS RTS
'Miss Charlotte' - RAD Ballet Teacher
Charlotte started dancing aged 3 and has since studied and completed all RAD Classical Ballet and Imperial Society of Teachers in Dancing (ISTD) Modern grades to Advanced 2. Competing in Eisteddfod competitions for 11 years, Charlotte successfully performed and placed with many solo and group dances.
Charlotte became a Registered Teacher with the RAD by completing the Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies (CBTS). Following the completion of this in 2015 Charlotte has been teaching ballet in Bristol to pupils of all ages, from Baby Ballet classes through to Vocational classes. In 2018 Charlotte travelled to Pennsylvania, USA to work as Head of Dance at an American summer programme.
Charlotte is also a Certified Teacher in Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT) and a children's yoga teacher with Wellbeing Bees yoga.
Aside from her teaching, Charlotte modelled for the Bristol Old Vic Costume department for several years, dancing in custom made tutus for filmed production videos. Charlotte also performed in an ITV Fixers music video, where she choreographed and performed her own ballet solo.
Her passion for dance, in particular Classical Ballet, is something she wishes to continue to share with others.
'Miss Melissa' - RAD Ballet Teacher
Melissa began dancing at the age of 11. After passing exams in Modern and Ballet with the British Ballet Organisation (BBO) she was awarded a scholarship to attend monthly classes at BBO headquarters in London. At 13 Melissa joined the Youth Talent Program in Swindon and at 16 began full time Dance Training, gaining a Diploma in Dance from Liberatus College in Swindon.
Melissa went on to train at Bird College, London and gained a BA (Hons) in Dance and Performing Arts. She gained her Level 5 teaching Diploma with the BBO and is currently taking her master’s in arts education (Dance Teaching) with the Royal Academy of Dance. She is also qualified to teach Progressing Ballet Technique and Silver Swans.
Melissa has been teaching for the last 7 years in Dubai, Kuala Lumpur and most recently in Singapore. Her students have won numerous awards for group pieces and Contemporary and Classical Ballet solos across Asia. She was also awarded the choreographers award from the “short and sweet” competition in Malaysia.
'Miss Zahabiya' - Contemporary & RAD Ballet Dance Teacher
Born in Sri Lanka, Zahabiya’s dance journey began with the graceful steps of classical ballet at the age of 8, igniting a passion that would shape her path. Through the years, her exploration extended to modern, contemporary, jazz, African jazz, and the traditional Sri Lankan dance style, Kandyan Dance, creating a rich tapestry of movement and expression.
Rooted in a genuine love for her craft, Zahabiya’s teaching journey naturally unfolded. From beginner to advanced levels, she has shared her dance knowledge, blending technical proficiency with a deep appreciation for the art form. Her classes embody a fusion of tradition and innovation, cultivating a vibrant and engaging learning space.
Zahabiya harbours a vision to advance her career in dance with a special interest in the RAD. Her teaching philosophy centers on fostering a supportive learning environment where students are encouraged to express themselves authentically. Zahabiya believes in cultivating a strong foundation in technique while nurturing each student’s unique artistic voice, inspiring them to reach new heights in both skill and creativity. Zahabiya’s journey is not just a dance, but a continuous celebration of growth and passion.
'Miss Emily' - Guest Contemporary Dance Teacher
Emily is a choreographer and dancer based in Bath. Emily initially trained in ballet, and discovered contemporary dance in her teens. She instantly connected with the freedom and expression of this style, and has loved it ever since.
After 5 years in a Youth Dance Company based at Birmingham's DanceXchange, Emily gained a 1st class degree in contemporary dance at the University of Chester, followed by a year performing with 'Mapdance' postgraduate company at the University of Chichester.
Emily created her own dance company, Emily Brown Dance, in 2017, and has toured and performed her work across the UK. Emily is also a community dance teacher, working with Yama Dance Company and 3rd Stage Dance Company. She's passionate about dance performance and teaching being collaborative, accessible and inclusive for all levels and ages.
'Miss Harriet' - RAD Ballet Teacher
Harriet started ballet at the age of 4 at Centre Stage Academy of Dance in Devizes. She also trained in the Royal Academy of dance graded syllabus and the vocational grades and began classes in tap, modern, conditioning, musical theatre and lyrical.
She then continued her dance training at New college Swindon where she obtained her Extended Diploma in Dance.
After college Harriet moved to Greece where she worked in Childcare for a number of years before continuing her dance training at the Royal Academy of Dance where she became a qualified RAD teacher.
She loves to teach and is so excited to be working with us at Bath School of Dance!
Harriet started dancing at the age of 3 and attends weekly classes in RAD Ballet. Her favourite exercise in class is jetes. She also loves gymnastics. Harriet's says that teaching is really fun, she loves helping and watching dancers improve. The younger children give her joy because they are always happy to see her!
Nicole started dancing with Bath School of Dance at the age of 4 and attends weekly dance classes in RAD Ballet, Contemporary Dance and Ballet Fitness. Nicole’s favourite dances are the RAD Grade 3 Character Dance and the Grade 4 ‘Cane’ Dance. Nicole’s talents beyond dance revolve around music. She has reached Grade 4 in violin, Grade 3 in music and previously sang with Bath Abbey Children’s Choir. Nicole has fond memories of her own teaching assistant when she was little.
Ava started dancing at the age of 5 and attends weekly dance classes in RAD Ballet, Ballet Fitness and Contemporary Dance. Her favourite exercises in class are high kicks and turns. She also loves gymnastics and baking. Ava's favourite thing about being a teaching assistant is that she gets to practice what she wants to do when she's older, which is to be a dance teacher.
Florence started dancing at the age of 3 and attends weekly dance classes in RAD Ballet. She also loves gymnastics, art, singing and is interested in contemporary dance. Florence enjoys helping the younger children to learn and also learns new things herself in every lesson!
Esmé started dancing at the age of 3 and attends weekly dance classes in RAD Ballet. Her favourite dance is the Cane Dance from the Grade 4 syllabus. Esmé also enjoys art and crafts and swimming. Her favourite thing about being a teaching assistant is the enjoyment she gets from helping our youngest dancers to learn their dances. It is the highlight of her week!
Freyja started dancing at the age of 5 and attends weekly dance classes in RAD Ballet, where she particularly enjoys jumping (sautés)! Aside from dance, Freyja enjoys art and crafting, reading and writing her own stories. Freyja's favourite thing about being a teaching assistant is seeing the little ones learn and progress, as she did when she was younger.