Dance teachers in
Holyhead, Llangefni, Llanfairpwll and Bangor, Wales
At Barton Dance and Drama Academy in Holyhead, Wales, we make it a priority to promote confidence in our students, and to empower them to make an impact in class and on stage. Our highly qualified dance teachers are dedicated to infusing an artistic presence into every student’s soul. For more information, feel free to talk to a member of our team today.
Reputed dance school
Extensively experienced teachers
Wide range of dance forms taught
Helen Barton L.I.S.T.D
Helen Barton was born in Bangor and lived locally in Holyhead. She began dancing at the age of 3 years, joining the Holyhead School of Dance, which was then run by Mrs Mae Thickens, at the request of her doctor as she suffered from asthma. At the age of 17, she successfully auditioned for a place at the Merseyside Dance and Drama Centre in Liverpool, which she attended for three years. During her training she gained all ISTD Advanced 2 dance exams and her Associate (AISTD) teaching qualifications.
Following her graduation she then performed professionally for almost four years, travelling around the world with various dance companies. Helen has performed with a dance group which toured the UK, and performed in various theatres in Europe. She was lucky enough to be offered a 6 month post in a theatre in Singapore, followed by 3 months in theatre in Israel. Helen was then offered a teaching post at Merseyside Dance and Drama Centre by the principal Miss Gaynor Owen, who is currently head of the Modern Theatre dance faculty with the ISTD. Here she taught full time dance students at the centre and children’s evening classes. After gaining teaching experience Helen completed her qualifications by gaining her Licentiate Diploma (LISTD) in 1989, passing with distinction. She taught for many happy years before marrying and settling in Holyhead.
After returning to Anglesey, Helen re-opened the Holyhead School of Dance in 1990. However, after demand for classes continued to grow and the formerly small school expanded, new branches were opened in Llanfair PG, and Bangor. During her maternity leave, Helen enlisted the help of Miss Michelle Harper to teach the pupils in her absence. Following the birth of her daughter Georgia in 1995, Miss Michelle continued to teach, allowing the school to grow further. The school now boasts branches in Holyhead, Llanfair PG, Bangor and Llandudno and as a result has now been renamed the “Barton Dance and Drama Academy”.
Helen has taken the school to perform in the West End, performing at The Royal Albert Hall, London Palladium, Her Majesties Theatre and Sadler’s Wells theatres. The school has successfully entered competitions, gaining places in finals held at Sadler’s Wells and the Liverpool Empire, and has twice won first place in the “Dawns Creuadigol” section of the National Eisteddfod. Many pupils have taken part in the prestigious “Janet Cram Awards”, gaining places in the final in London. The school was invited to perform at Disneyland Paris twice and Disneyworld Florida, performing in the Magic Kingdom at the Fantasyland Theatre, and taking part in master classes with the Disney cast having rave reviews from the Disney cast and crew. The Academy has appeared on television many times with “Uned 5” and “Stwnsh Sadwrn” for S4C, the children’s tv programme “Mas Draw” and on “See Hear Saturday” for the BBC. In 2006 the school performed on a Mediterranean cruise, performing in the main theatre of the ship for 7 nights, which was a wonderful experience for all involved.
Barton Dance and Drama Academy has continued to go from strength to strength and Helen now employs three teachers, as well as continuing to teach herself, in order to offer classes to each of the 400+ children and adults in the school. She is currently the ISTD area organiser for North Wales and is responsible for organising centre exams and courses for the region. In addition to all this, she is tutoring the sixth form students at Holyhead High School in the dance element of the new Performing Arts A-Level which the school now offers.
Helen is a qualified instructor of pilates, Zumba, Zumbatomic, Zumbatoning, Bokwa and the new FitSteps fitness craze currently sweeping the nation.
Each year Barton Dance and Drama Academy prepares, rehearses and performs a fantastic variety show, with numbers ranging from ballet and tap, to disco and cheerleading. We are currently working towards this year’s musical delight which will be held at Venue Cymru in Llandudno and Holyhead High School.
Jodie Griffiths A.I.S.T.D
Jodie started dancing at the age of six after watching a performance by the then Holyhead School of Dance. She has excelled in a variety of dance genres including ballet, tap, modern, national, disco and ballroom, gaining the highest results in over fifty ISTD dance exams.
Jodie has won countless trophies and medals in many dance festivals and competitions around the country, as well as being part of the troupe winning first place at the National Eisteddfod and performing on the television programme “Uned 5” for S4C. Whilst a member of the Barton Dance and Drama Academy, Jodie has performed in a wide variety of locations including: Manchester Opera House, Sadler’s Wells, Her Majesties Theatre, The London Palladium, The Albert Hall, Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Florida and aboard a cruise liner around the Mediterranean.
Her professional training began in 2002 after she gained a place, and was awarded a full scholarship at the Merseyside Dance and Drama Centre in Liverpool. There she studied ballet, modern, tap, national, contemporary, disco, ballroom and Latin American. During her time as a student Jodie performed in productions of “Fame”, “Copacabana” and “West Side Story”, as well as taking part in workshops with the casts of “Cats”, “Starlight Express” and “Fosse”.
As a dedicated student, she achieved an amazing number of associate teaching qualifications, with an A.I.S.T.D. in each of the following subjects: ballet, tap, modern, national and Ddsco. Whilst still a full time third year student at the college, Jodie began teaching classes at a local dance school in Liverpool in the evenings and at weekends.
Following her graduation in 2005, she was invited to teach at the Merseyside Dance and Drama Centre summer school which she continues to do each summer. Since graduating Jodie has performed as dance captain in the Christmas pantomime
“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” staring alongside Sue Pollard at the Rhyl Pavilion. Jodie returned to Holyhead in 2005 and immediately began teaching at the Barton Dance and Drama Academy. She has since entered numerous candidates for dance exams with a 100% pass rate in all subjects. Jodie is also currently teaching private ballroom classes for couples, as well as choreographing several wedding first dance routines. She also coaches children competing with solo disco routines at the local and national Eisteddfods.
Now the proud mother of Demi Louise, Jodie is looking forward to choreographing exciting new routines for her students.
Jemma Gannon L.I.S.T.D
Jemma’s love of performing began at just six years old and after a week’s summer school at Merseyside Dance and Drama Academy aged nine, she joined the newly formed Holyhead School of Dance. Under the tuition of Helen Barton, Jemma has passed over 30 exams with the ISTD in Ballet, Tap, Modern, Jazz and National and has won numerous trophies at dance competitions around the country. Jemma has had the opportunity to perform in numerous shows in a variety of prestigious venues including: ‘The London Palladium’, ‘Her Majesties Theatre’, and ‘Sadler’s Wells’ in London’s West End; as well as TV appearances on ‘Uned 5’ for the S4C. The school was also chosen to perform at the‘Fantasyland Theatre’ in Disneyland Paris and Jemma was thrilled to be involved.
In 2001, Jemma was lucky enough to be granted a place at the prestigious “Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts” in London on a three year Dance and Theatre Arts course. Here, Jemma enjoyed training from many well respected and successful choreographers and directors such as Molly Molloy, C-Jay Ranger, Pat Dennison, Jayne Draper, Michelle Blair, Bonnie Lythgoe, Chris Bulldock, Roy Gregory and the late Jack Abrahams to name but a few.
During her time at Conti’s, Jemma studied a variety of new subjects such as voice, physical theatre and microphone technique, and added to her dance ability with new styles including Pas-de-Deux, musical theatre, street and uniquely to Conti’s- static trapeze skills at The Circus Space. While still a student, Jemma performed in numerous shows at venues including the ‘New Wimbledon Theatre’, ‘St Paul’s Actors Church’ and ‘The Avondale Theatre’; and as a backing performer for Gareth Gates in the ‘Pop Idol Tour’ at Wembley Arena in 2004. She auditioned and was chosen to play Queen Gertrude in a TIE production of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, touring local schools with the Complete Works Shakespeare Company, under the direction of David Willoughby.
After graduating in July 2004, Jemma took a residency in Scarborough as lead female vocalist for Bourne Leisure during the summer season. During this time she performed songs from well-loved movies and musicals in daily cabaret shows. She then joined a touring show team for Qdos entertainment Ltd, performing in four energetic and fun-filled variety shows thirteen times a week. Her roles have included Carmen in “Fame” directed by Alan Harding, So-Shy, the princess’s hand maiden in “Aladdin” directed by Jon Conway and Lady Emma in “The Pirates of the Jamaica Ruby” directed by Sophie Lawrence. Jemma has since worked as a performer at the Chester Zoo Frost Fair and more recently as a supporting actor in the popular
Welsh TV program “Rownd a Rownd” on S4C in 2009.
Following five years living in London and three years touring various parts of the UK, Jemma decided to return home, and was thrilled to be offered a teaching position at her former dance school, which had by then been re-named the “Barton Dance and Drama Academy” in Holyhead, Wales, due to the size to which the school has now grown.
Jemma is excited to be passing on some of her expertise to the next generation and hopes to inspire the adults and young people of North Wales with her love of dance. 2012 was a very happy and exciting year for her as she married her fiancé Adam in the summer and became an Auntie for the first time to baby Hope Fai shortly after. She has also passed her higher level teaching ‘Licentiate Disco’ exam with Highly Commended in November 2012.
Recently enjoying a short break from teaching for the Academy following the birth of her beautiful daughter Evangeline Jae in April this year.
Charlotte started ballet at the age of three, but it wasn’t until she joined the Barton Dance and Drama Academy at the age of twelve that her dance spectre broadened as she started to participate and take exams in all aspects of dance. Between the ages of 12 and 21 she performed alongside her dance friends at the London Palladium, Her Majesties Theatre, Royal Albert Hall, Sadlers Well and at both the Florida and Paris Disneyland Parks,
At the age of 18, and with inspirational help from Mrs Barton, Charlotte successfully auditioned for a place at Merseyside Dance and Drama Centre in Liverpool, gaining a full scholarship. Whilst at the college, Charlotte would travel home every weekend to teach for the Academy, gaining valuable teaching experience. After three years of hard training and exams, Charlotte passed the course with Merit and travelled out to Madeira to be part of a dance troupe called ‘Aphrodisiac’, where the group danced in hotels all over the island. Following this, Charlotte returned home to Anglesey and began teaching full time for the Academy until a move to London, where Charlotte taught at two different dance schools before returning to Anglesey where she joined a band as a singer and toured all over the UK, Ireland and Europe.
Wanting to be back with family and to start a family of her own, Charlotte once again returned home and is once more teaching for the Academy. Now, the proud mother of two year old Ruby June, Charlotte is also expecting her second child later this year.
Having been away from the B.D.D.A. For about seven years, Charlotte is very excited to be back for the 25th anniversary show ‘Legendary’ and is very proud to be a part of the academy again. Charlotte will be away from the academy for the Autumn term while she prepares for the birth of her new baby.
Hannah Dunne A.I.S.T.D
Hannah has been dancing at the Barton Dance and Drama Academy since she was 3 years old. Over her years with the academy, she has studied all subjects available including ballet, modern, tap, jazz, disco, national, cheerleading, singing and drama, gaining numerous examination qualifications through the I.S.T.D.
As a member of the Barton Dance and Drama Academy, Hannah has had a number of great performing opportunities both around the UK and abroad. These include taking part in shows at the prestigious ‘Sadler’s Wells’ theatre in London’s West End and at the ‘Videopolis Theatre’ in Disneyland Paris, as well as TV appearances on ‘Stwnsh Sadwrn’ for the S4C and Hannah was thrilled to be involved.
Hannah has been assisting Mrs Barton and Miss Jodie with the junior classes on a Saturday morning for ten years and still loves helping with the younger pupils. This is her third year as a member of teaching staff and Hannah has thoroughly enjoyed choreographing numbers for both “Rhythm”, “Razzamatazz” and this years show “Legendary”.
Following lots of hard work and studying, Hannah passed her Associate Disco teaching exam from the I.S.T.D. with Highly Commended, the highest possible grade in April 2014. From September 2014, Hannah will be a student at Bangor University, where she has gained a place to study General Nursing and she is looking forward to starting a new chapter in her life but will continue to teach dancing for the Barton Dance and Drama Academy.
Lizzy has been a part of Barton’s dance and drama academy since she was 3 years old and loved every minute of it! It was being a part of this dance school that helped her ‑ nd her passion for dance and gave her the training she needed to earn a scholarship to attend and further her training at Merseyside dance and drama centre.
Lizzy studied to become a dance teacher as well as becoming professionally trained in dance so she could go on to perform professionally. From this she gained her DDI’s and DDE’s quali‑ cations in different genres of dance, which made her a fully quali‑ ed dance teacher, as well as achieving all of her advanced two dancing quali‑ cations. Lizzy has done professional paid dancing jobs in hotels around Liverpool, as well as being offered a job to dance in Hong Kong but Lizzy decided to come back home to teach as luckily for the school travelling wasn’t for her.
Now the proud mum herself of a beautiful baby girl Isla Haf, Lizzy still loves teaching all ages at Barton’s and ‑ nds it very rewarding as a teacher to see the pupils’ progress throughout the years and hopes to see her own daughter on stage one day performing with the school. She is very grateful to have been given the opportunity to teach for such a lovely, friendly and hard working dance school.