My dance career began at the ripe ‘young' age of 4. After driving my parent's crazy swinging from door handles and prancing around constantly, I was eventually enrolled to begin ballet classes with Jennifer Bullock in Lisburn. I ‘took to it' like a duck to water as they say, and loved it immediately.
I danced at the same school until I was 16 years of age, taking all my exams right up to what was then Elementary Ballet with the Royal Academy of Dance, London . At that time, there was very little other dance available, but I took every opportunity offered.
I danced with amateur dramatic societies at the Grand Opera Theatre and Arts Theatre, and on leaving school took a Performing Arts BTec until I was awarded a “Talented Child Bursary” from the Arts Council - which enabled me then to audition with the large Dance colleges in England .
I accepted an offer from Hammond School in Chester and embarked on an intense 3 year
Professional Dancer/Dance Teaching Course.
I found it very difficult initially, being so far from my family and friends, and the long hours dancing were gruelling. I was at a disadvantage having only studied ballet before – the other pupils had come from schools where ballet, modern and tap were available.
I took every exam I could, and by the end of my 3 rd year, I had taken my Advanced level in both RAD and ISTD Ballet, Modern Theatre and National.
I also achieved Distinction in both my ISTD and RAD Ballet Teaching Diplomas, as well as my Modern Theatre. Alongside these qualifications, I studied Jazz, Contemporary, Repertoire, Pas de Deux, Body Conditioning, Singing and Drama.
On graduating from Hammond , I accepted a job offer from the ISTD organiser for North and Central Greece to work within her 2 schools in Greece . This was a wonderful experience – teaching all ages – tiny right up to Advanced Level students – for both exams and choreographing a major performance in the local theatre.
I stayed in Greece for seven years, working for several different schools and gaining experience.
Eventually, I moved home in 2002 and opened my own school.