Mrs Helen Brewer started Ballet aged 7 in Malvern with one of the earliest RAD examiners, Marjorie Chater Hughes. Mrs Brewer then went on to train full time at the Hammond School, Chester where she considers herself fortunate to have received the very best training from teachers such as Gillian Anthony and Holly Price.
After graduation Mrs Brewer danced professionally for three years with Link Up Dance and Theatre company. This included work with the Royal Opera House Education Departments project for the blind and visually impaired, guesting with Working Parts theatre company and appearing on BBC TV "Watch".
Whilst dancing professionally Mrs Brewer began teaching for Stephanie Ledger in St Albans. An former examiner herself, Stephanie remembered coming to Malvern to examine Mrs Chater's students! A year after starting teaching for Mrs Ledger, Mrs Brewer began teaching for Louise Sheaves in Harpenden (now Harpenden Dance School) and had special responsibility for Boys classes and Vocational training, now included at BDA.
On retiring from professional dancing Mrs Brewer joined the RAD special needs project, leading the team and nationwide courses for 15 years. Mrs Brewer continues to lead dance sessions at Weatherfeld school in Dunstable.
Mrs Brewer was extremely honoured to be asked to take over from Stephanie Ledger back in 2014. A continued feature of the school is to value live accompaniment by professional pianists in the Ballet classes. This we feel is particularly important for developing musicality and listening skills essential for young dancers.
Mrs Brewer feels that everyone, whatever age or ability should have the opportunity to learn about the rich art of Ballet. We have a policy of being all inclusive and encourage all students to achieve the best possible standard that they personally can achieve whether they are a pre schooler or an adult beginner!
She very much hopes that students, like her, will be enabled to have a life long love of Music, Ballet and Performing arts in general.
Dawn Kistruck holds a BA in Contemporary Dance as a Practice and is a qualified yoga instructor. She attended the London contemporary dance school for three years where she gained a qualification to work as a professional dancer and choreographer in the styles of Ballet, Contemporary and Tai chi chuan.
Dawn went on to study Indian classical dance and Afro caribbean dance, where she was fortunate to tour and perform in Holland, France and in the UK at London's Barbican theatre with the Caribbean Carnival Extravaganza show.
Dawn has also won lottery funding for her choreographic work at WAC (London's weekend Arts College), and has worked in contemporary projects performing at Sadlers Wells Theatre and the Royal Ablert Hall.
Dawn also has extensive experience in Jazz dance styles, working with Temujin Gill and Co, training with the Jiving lindy hoppers in traditional Jazz and Matt Mattox Jazz dance style.
Dawn attends the adult ballet classes at Brewer Dance Academy and has taught dance workshops for BDA over the last two years.
Dawn is very excited to be offering a Contemporary dance and yoga class at BDA, which is enriched and enfused with her background in Contemporary, Classical, Jazz and cultural dance styles.
Catherine Cole trained at Brewer Dance Academy (formally Stephanie Ledger School of Dancing) from 2001, and completed all of her Graded examinations. She started assisting in classes at the age of 15 and then began teaching sections of classes after her A levels. Catherine is now a registered Royal Academy of Dance teacher, having completed over 1000 hours of teaching, and attended a 10 day intensive study period at the RAD HQ as part of her training. Catherine is passionate about teaching ballet, including preparing dancers for pointe work, and continues to take classes herself.
Julia Andrews started piano lessons after her parents took her to a concert at age 4. She enjoyed experimenting with her own pieces as she grew up. Julia started working part time at Brewer Dance Academy after graduating with BA Music from Middlesex University. She loves working in the team and seeing the dancers learn new skills, grow in confidence and express their creative ideas. Julia’s favourite exercises to play for are the imaginative sequences.
Julia has two almost grown up children and loves walking, dancing and having cups of tea with friends. And in 2019 Julia took her very first ballet exam as an adult dancer with Brewer Dance Academy.
Brewer dance academy hopes to have a full biography for each staff member in the near future.
We thank you for your patience.
Simon is an all round musician, an experienced performer, composer and teacher. He teaches the piano for Hertfordshire Music Service, privately, and has accompanied dance classes and choirs. Simon regularly plays timpani and percussion with local orchestras. As a concert pianist he has performed concertos by Beethoven, Mozart and Grieg. His compositions include a number of short orchestral pieces and film scores that have been received favourably by players and audiences alike. Simon has played in the theatrical pit for a wide range of shows including Les Miserables, West Side Story, Hairspray and Jesus Christ Superstar, a production that was also staged at the Edinburgh Fringe. Disney's Beauty and the Beast marked his Musical Director debut followed by Annie, The Wiz, Seussical, Sister Act and Bonnie and Clyde to name a few.