Meet some of our graduates

Hear from some of our students and graduates from our teacher programmes. They share their experiences and give a taste of what life is like on one of our teacher training programmes.

Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies

Kerry Mills | Limelight Dance Academy

I started my dancing journey at the age of four, I began with ballet and later added jazz, tap and drama to my repertoire. I was very fortunate to have some very special RAD teachers along the way Katie Fransham, Valerie Lisette and Maragret Fairhead to guide me and instill a love of dance and performance.

In 2000 I took up my first part time teaching position covering maternity leave of one of my teachers, then another and over the following years was inspired to take up dance teaching as a full time role. In 2008 I completed my RAD Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies, and haven’t looked back.

I loved studying through the RAD and had a lot of wonderful tutors to inspire me through my study. I have a Diploma of Hospitality Management as well, but found studying as an adult towards something you are really passionate about very rewarding.

An absolute highlight of my career to date would be purchasing the Margaret Fairhead School of Dance (now Limelight Dance Academy) 15 years ago, managing this, teaching and putting our students through their annual RAD examinations, and performances.

I love teaching as a career and find it really inspiring to watch our dancers progress through the grade and vocational levels, it is very special to be a constant in these dancers’ lives and watch them develop as dancers and people. I have even had the special opportunity to train those two dancers that I covered their mothers maternity leave, and put them through their RAD exams right up until Advanced 2.

If you are thinking about studying towards your CDTS I would recommend it, to be able to help inspire the next generation of dancers and put them through their RAD exams is so very special and rewarding.

Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies

Vivian Cheng | Muse School of Dance

As a recent graduate of the CBTS programme, I cannot recommend it enough to fellow teachers seeking to enhance their skills and gain recognition in the industry. The programme provided me with invaluable insights into teaching techniques, child development, safe practice, and career development, essential for becoming an effective and inspiring teacher in classical ballet.

I chose to become a RAD teacher due to the Academy’s esteemed reputation and commitment to excellence in dance education. Completing the CBTS course not only improved my teaching skills but also provided me with recognition within the dance community.

Despite studying through distance learning, the programme was comprehensive, challenging, and incredibly rewarding. The RAD’s supportive team, including mentors, ensured I felt confident and well-prepared for each stage of the certification process. Thanks to this programme, new opportunities have opened up for me and my students, allowing us to pursue our passion for classical ballet with confidence and skill

Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies

John Linkhorn | Extreme Dance

As a 45-year-old male, it seemed a bit weird when I first spoke with my wife Emma about the fact that I wanted to take on the challenge of going through the two-year process of becoming a RAD registered teacher. I had been teaching classes for over 10 years so what was the point?

Well, here’s the thing, I’ve always believed that to be the best teacher you can be you need to keep training and be open to discovering new ways of imparting the information and knowledge that you’ve built up over your years of teaching, so to decide that the CBTS programme was the best challenge to take on became an easy decision.

That’s not to say that it was easy…I had to re-find skills that I had long ago left behind in writing essays, being able to figure out what information was needed and then explain that clearly and concisely. I had to look at the way I danced and how to make movements clear for students to understand, and I had to accept that the financial costs would be a significant undertaking.

However, I also figured out that if I gave myself a carrot (something to dangle in front of me when things got tough), I could successfully achieve this goal of retraining at this stage of my life. That carrot for me was to attend my graduation in the UK with my wife and 2 boys– it was audacious but so worthwhile as it kept me going when it got hard and the closer, I got to it the more excited I became about completing each essay, each lesson plan, each practical assessment. To walk across the stage, be presented with my certificate by Dame Darcy Bussell and see Emma, Cam and Josh in the audience was one of the greatest achievements I’ve ever felt.

Would I recommend CBTS? Absolutely, but I would say give yourself a carrot – whatever it is that will give you the energy and strength to keep going when you think that you can’t because when you finally graduate you won’t regret any part of the journey.

Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies

Leanne Short | Taupo Academy of Dance

My name is Leanne Short, I started dancing when I was 4 years old under the BBO syllabus. In my school I had been teaching the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) syllabus for 20 years however, never obtained certification. I thought now was a better time than any, even though I was in my late 50s.
When I started my journey of study with the CBTS, I did initially feel overwhelmed when receiving my assignments. However, with the support of my tutors and colleagues, I managed to get my head around it and it became so rewarding and extremely enjoyable.
This study has given me invaluable tools for becoming a superior teacher and funnily enough, what I found the hardest at the beginning soon became my favourite part of my studies. All those lesson plans have defiantly created great habits moving forward. The physical aspect was intense while attending the intensive training in Wellington however, I got there in the end and felt extremely proud of my achievements.
This experience has given me so much personal satisfaction, I would recommend it to any aspiring ballet teacher. The expectations are high, therefore, receiving the best training imaginable.