About

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 three years of age), 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).

Meet the Team

Principal

Grace Hicks AISTD, RAD RTS

Grace Hicks AISTD, RAD RTS

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.

Suzanne School of Dancing Team

Carol Johnson AISTD, RAD RTS

Carol joined the school in approx 1960, at 4 years old. She began assisting in classes around 14yrs and at 16 began her fulltime teacher training under the tuition of Mrs Hicks. During her time at the school Carol passed her RAD Advanced 1 Ballet, ISTD Elementary Ballet, ISTD Associate Ballet, British Arts Tap Advanced Gold and ISTD Elementary National.
Carol began teaching Ballet and Tap in approximately 1972 and has continued ever since then! As well as being very involved in the SSD classes held in Andover she also ran a branch of the school that held their classes in Ludgershall from 1986-2009. Carol now teaches our Ballet classes at all levels.

Louise Poore AISTD, DDI

Louise joined the school, attending ballet classes from age 7, Tap and Modern classes from age 9. At 15 Louise undertook her school work experience with the dancing school, shortly after became the Saturday teaching assistant. This lead into being the senior Modern class assistant, fulltime teaching assistant and at age 21 Louise qualified with the ISTD Associate in Tap and Modern Theatre under the tuition of Mrs Hicks.
Alongside her teacher training Louise also achieved her Advanced 2 examinations in both Tap and Modern and continued working at Intermediate level for her Ballet.
Louise is a teaching member with The British Arts, and has completed the ISTD Diploma in Dance Instruction (DDI) she teaches our Modern Theatre ISTD classes from Grade 4 up to Advanced, Jazz Bronze, Silver and Gold and ISTD Tap Intermediate up to Advanced 2.

Samantha Boulton

Sam joined the school from the age of 3, attending Ballet, Tap and Modern classes. She became the Saturday class assistant at the age of 14 and by the age of 17 Sam began to teach the senior Tap classes.
Whilst dancing with the school Sam took grades in all disciplines (including taking every Modern Grade, which has not been done since!), achieving Advanced 1 RAD and ISTD Ballet, ISTD Advanced 2 Modern theatre and ISTD Advanced 2 Tap as well as participating in countless British Arts Awards competitions in groups, duets/trios and solos.
Sam now teaches Beginners Tap and Modern, all of the Modern Theatre classes up to and including Grade 3 ISTD, as well as Tap through the British Arts from Preparatory up to Gold.

Alana Brittain BA(Hons) LRAD, ARAD, RAD RTS

Alana began dancing aged 9, initially in Ballet and later joining Modern Theatre/Jazz classes as well. Whilst at the school as a pupil Alana gained her Intermediate RAD Ballet and ISTD Intermediate Modern Theatre.
Age 19 she successfully auditioned for the BA Honours in Ballet Education Degree and Licentiate Programmes at The Royal Academy of Dance in London. The Licentiate Programme provides degree students with the highest knowledge and understanding of RAD syllabi and its use in teaching. Alana was the recipient of the Winifred Cullis Memorial Award 2011. An incentive award given to a student who has demonstrated exemplary attendance, positive support of her peers, a positive attitude and participation in both practical and theoretical practice. During the time studying for her degree she achieved her RAD Advanced 2 Ballet exam.
In 2012, upon graduating, Alana returned to teach and assist in the Ballet classes at all levels alongside Mrs Johnson.