The Suzanne School of Dancing is recognised as the longest running dance school in Andover.
Founded just after the Second World War by Suzanne Edney, the school was set up with enthusiasm, promoting dance as an exciting new hobby for the local children of Andover and in 1947, a new pupil arrived for her first dance lesson……Mrs. Grace Hicks! Grace quickly fell in love with dancing, and with teaching already in her blood (her father then being Headmaster at East Street School), Suzanne saw her undeniable potential and in no time at all, Grace made the step from dancer to teacher. The school went from strength to strength and in 1966, Grace became principal of the Suzanne School of Dancing.
Having celebrated her 50th anniversary as principal in 2016, Grace has taught countless pupils over the years….this includes the current SSD teaching faculty! All 4 teachers were taught by Grace and our love for teaching stems from the love, support, dedication and guidance Grace has provided (to all her pupils) over the years. We work closely together, creating a warm, friendly, family atmosphere for all our students; ensuring the strong, nurturing, founding values of Suzanne Edney remain in place.
The Suzanne School of Dancing welcomes all those wanting to dance (from 18 months old), inspiring their pupils with professional, supportive classes that encourage fun, confidence and enthusiasm. We also offer dance classes for adults. Whatever the ability, whatever the preference – whether it’s the grace and elegance of ballet, the rhythm and vitality of tap, or the energy and fun of modern and jazz – with our wide range of classes offered throughout the week, we are able to find the class for you.
The school has a modern approach to teaching, with classes that are imaginative, creative, and enjoyable, as well as helping to achieve many life skills beyond that of dance. Our pupils are taught with genuine care and encouragement and always with an appreciation for their individuality. Classes are graded to allow for constant progression and achievement.
The teachers at the Suzanne School of Dancing are experienced, qualified members of established dance examination boards RAD, ISTD and BRITISH ARTS; as such able to provide the highest quality teaching and expertise to our pupils. All teachers are DBS checked and are up-to-date and knowledgeable of all first aid/H&S requirements.
The school can offer pupils examinations in all dance genres. This allows pupils to reach their full potential, developing greater confidence and a sense of achievement. We find all our pupils enjoy taking their exams and we always strive to make the exam experience fun and enjoyable (whilst developing new skills). Please note, examinations are not compulsory; pupils may still progress, simply enjoying their dancing. Senior RAD and ISTD examinations are recognised qualifications by Ofqual – awarding points which may then be used when applying to university.
Our classes are held at The Lights Theatre in Andover, utilising their excellent facilities and purpose built studios.
One of the highlights for all our school age pupils is our biennial charity show, performed at our local theatre The Lights, which has raised many thousands of pounds for local worthy causes over the years. The excitement of performing on stage is an experience never to be forgotten.
Many SSD pupils continue to dance until the age of eighteen (and in some cases older still), and a number continue to dance further into their chosen careers. A number of pupils, inspired by their time at the school, seek further tuition which develops into a dance-related future. Four ex-pupils had careers with leading ballet companies; others have made a career on the commercial stage, and many others have joined the path of teaching! The school takes immense pleasure and pride in seeing the many that have benefited from the ‘SSD Dance Experience’, in whatever future career they have chosen.
The school continues to grow and develop, going from strength to strength. Always seeking to inspire, support and encourage, we are always delighted to welcome new pupils. If you would like to join us, or are interested in further information please don’t hesitate to contact us (please refer to our ‘Contacts’ page above).