Penny McCann - Principal
BA (Hons) Dance, BBO-ATS
Penny (Miss Penny) started dancing at 2.5 years old, firstly studying Ballet & Tap, and then progressed to Jazz, BBO jazz and National dance styles. She then 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 Performance 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!
Zoe Harrison - Teacher
Zoe (Miss Zoe) started dancing when she was 4 years old. She is an extremely talented dancer, showing a natural ability for ballet. This was picked up when she was 8 years old; she successfully auditioned for the The Royal Ballet School Junior Associate Programme, and then progressed onto the Mid Associate Programme. During these 4 years, she learnt invaluable guidance from The Royal Ballet School which she passes on with passion and enthusiasm to the pupils. During Miss Zoe's training she also attended the White Lodge Summer School in London, 2012.
Miss Zoe then furthered her ballet training and completed her Level 4 Diploma in Dance Teaching in 2012. This Approved Teacher Status enables her to teach the BBO syllabus and enter students for exams. She started teaching for Penny's Dance Academy directly after completing her Teaching Diploma in 2012. Miss Zoe is a valued and well loved member of the school.
Laura Beardmore - Teacher
Laura (Miss 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.
Kirsty James - Teacher
Kirsty (Miss Kirsty) trained at the well known Bird College of Performing Arts graduating in 2007 with a BA Hons Degree in Dance and Theatre Performance. Since then Kirsty has been touring the world dancing on cruise ships, performing in China and more recently has been performing with The Vegas Showgirls in the UK. Although new to teaching, Kirsty is full of passion for dance and she cannot wait to share her performance experience with us!
Kirsty will be teaching Musical Theatre, Free Ballet, Commercial and Technical Jazz and will be offering “audition style” classes for our more senior students to prepare them for any auditions they may wish to participate in.
Holly Bills - Teacher
Holly (Miss Holly) has performed and taught dance for many years and loves the creative side of dance. She also runs a very successful children’s party business called “Once Upon a Party” where she entertains children while dressed as a Disney Princess. It is so exciting to have a new teacher bring a whole host of experience to the dance studio.
Holly will be teaching the Commercial classes as well as introducing Musical Theatre to our list of classes. This will include dancing, singing and acting to popular musicals.