..About the school..
A warm and friendly welcome to the Ickenham School of Dance. We are a new dance school with a fresh approach to teaching. We have been running for 3 years and had a 100% pass rate in ISTD ballet, modern and tap examinations. Pupils have successfully audition for Royal ballet associates, Tring park associates, Pantomimes, we have hosted workshops with Natasha Mould - Cats UK tour and participated in acrobatic arts workshops with teachers from Canada who work with the cirque du solei cast. Our aim is to produce technically strong dancers who would like to go onto vocational training or dance for fun. We are a Franchise of the Susan Handy School of Dance which was established since 1974. Branches are in Eton, Eton Wick, Windsor, Old Windsor, Datchet, Ickenham and Woking. All our teachers hold current qualifications, have worked in the professional industry and DBS checked.
Most children want to dance for pleasure although we encourage pupils to participate in examinations, Some will want to make a career out of dancing. Whatever their aim it is important that they should have fun. Dancing also provides other benefits, importantly exercise but also heightened posture and co-ordination skills. Dancing can help increase confidence and social skills and exercise a child’s imagination.
We welcome children age 3 years upwards, all ages and abilities. Our weekly timetable includes Ceccetthi ballet, ISTD modern, ISTD tap, Jazz, musical theatre acrobatic arts, commerical, ballet technique, lyrical and competition classes. Children will be following a syllabus and will be encouraged to take examinations throughout the year. We have a bi- annual show where our pupils will get the chance to perform on a stage at the Farrer Theatre, Eton College. We also have many other performing opportunities throughout the school year.
..Meet the teachers..
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SUSAN HANDY, Fellow and Senior Examiner of the I.S.T.D. DDE. Holder of the Enrico Cecchetti Diploma - PRINCIPAL AND OWNER OF THE SCHOOL
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Susan Handy began dancing at the age of two and a half, training with Betty Vacani, Nesta Brooking and at The Royal Ballet School. She danced in the BBC Children’s television series 'Steps into Ballet' with Dame Peggy van Praagh where she created the role of ‘The Child’ in Sir Kenneth MacMillian’s first ballet for television, ‘Punch and the Child’. Her professional career began as a member of the corps de ballet in the BBCs film of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ with Dame Margot Fonteyn. Sue then worked with the Old Vic Theatre Company under Sir Peter Wright before joining Walter Gore’s London Ballet Company. Here she graduated to the rank of soloist dancing roles such as ‘Queen of the Spirits’ in Giselle and ‘Snow Queen’ in the Nutcracker.
After having her children Sue was appointed the first Director of Movement at Eton College, teaching Creative Movement as well as choreographing many of the school’s productions at the College’s Farrer Theatre. It was here in 1974 where Sue was asked to start a ballet class for the children of the Masters at Eton College. The very first class took place in the dining room of one of the boys’ boarding houses. This class then moved to Upper School at Eton College as the numbers increased and eventually, Sue left the college to set up her first studio at The Baldwin Institute in Eton. The school now has over six hundred pupils with branches in Eton, Windsor, Old Windsor, Datchet, Eton Wick, Ickenham, Pyrford, Woking, Richmond and the Hurlingham Club in Putney. The school also provides dance classes for many schools in the area.
Apart from teaching, Sue trains young ballet teachers for their qualifying exams and works extensively with the Cecchetti Classical Ballet Society.
As Chairman of the Cecchetti Group for ten years, Sue set up the Cecchetti Associates Scheme and the Barbara Geoghegan Award; a competition for students studying dance at vocational schools. Sue was awarded The Cecchetti Council of America’s Margaret Marsh Scholarship to study in America.
She has choreographed on many occasions for the Cecchetti Scholars at Annual Congress and at Sadlers Wells, taught at the annual Cecchetti Society Teachers’ Summer School and also at the Cecchetti Centre.
Over the years Sue has choreographed many productions for the Windsor & Eton Operatic Society, and pupils of the school take part in many local and national events including the annual Rose Show at Windsor Castle, The Royal Tournament, The Royal Horticultural Show and The Lord Mayors Show amongst others. Every other year Sue and her fabulous team produce a full scale production at Eton College’s Farrer Theatre where the pupils of the school have the chance to perform on stage and gain the experience of a professional theatrical environment.
Many pupils from the school have gone on to dance professionally and also come back to teach in the school.
Susan Handy is a Fellow and Senior Examiner of the Imperial Society of Dancing, holder of the Enrico Cecchetti Diploma and an adjudicator for dance and choreographic competitions. Sue trains teachers at The Linda Sweetzer Training College.
LEVI KNOCK - Ickenham School of Dance manager, classical ballet, ISTD modern & tap, jazz, acrobatic arts and musical theatre
Levi started her training at Arden Holford School of Ballet at a young age. She successfully auditioned as an associate of London Junior Ballet and London Senior Ballet.She started her vocational training at Arts Educational School, Tring Park where she was awarded a dance and drama scholarship. Whilst still in training Levi performed with National Youth Ballet for a number of years, English Youth Ballet and Surrey Youth Ballet where she was awarded a talent scholarship and won the choreographic competition. She use to attend summer schools to further her training at Royal ballet school, white lodge, Wells summer school with Francesca Filpi.
After her training at Arts Educational school she successfully auditioned for Laines Theatre Arts where she went straight to third year and studied Musical Theatre and dance. Levi graduated with a Trinity Diploma in dance and drama. Levi has performed in Royal Albert Hall, Sadlers Wells, Her Majesties theatre, Theatre Royal, Dury Lane. Birmingham Hippodrome and other established theatres across the UK. Her love is teaching and has choreographed many dance pieces including South Hill Park Theatre Annie, Alice in Wonderland and Camberley Theatre. Levi is choreographing for Surrey Youth Ballet 2017 season. She continues her teacher training in Modern and Ballet at Linda Sweetzer Teacher Training College.
Suzanne Bazso - Musical theatre, Lyrical, Jazz, Acrobatic Arts
Suzanne (B.A Hons.) is a professional dancer, choreographer and instructor from Vancouver Canada. After high-school graduation, Suzanne trained for 2 years under Out Inner Space Dance Theatre’s “Emerging Artists Program – Modus Operandi.” She also travelled to New York City to train at the Rockette Dance Intensive at Radio City Music Hall. She has performed in various films including Center Stage Two and had the honour of tap dancing in the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Opening Ceremonies. Suzanne has spent two contracts travelling the world as a dancer for Disney Cruise Line. She was a part of the opening Cast aboard the Disney Fantasy where she performed in the ship’s christening ceremony alongside Neil Patrick Harris and Mariah Carey in New York City. She performed in various Disney Broadway style productions such as Disney’s Villains Tonight, Disney Dreams, Disney’s Twice Charmed and was a member of the original cast of Disney’s Wishes. Suzanne danced in the Turner Classic Movies’ Christmas Gala alongside Robert Osborne and Jane Powell. Theatrical credits include Royal City Musical Theatre Company’s “My Fair Lady.” Most recently she appeared in Tokyo Disneyland’s “One Man’s Dream 2.” Suzanne loves teaching at Ickenham! She gets to share her passion of dance at a school that values their teachers, and provides an environment that encourages creativity with a focus on training dancers for ‘real world’ success.