WELCOME TO THE JOANNE SIMMONS ACADEMY OF DANCE
The Joanne Simmons Academy of Dance provides the highest quality classical ballet training in a warm, nurturing atmosphere of small classes and individual attention. Whether the student's objective is to obtain pre-professional training or just enjoy the art of dance recreationally, class levels are designed to accommodate the interest and needs of all students.
The Joanne Simmons Academy of Dance strives to inspire students to achieve their individual potential through training and development in the art of classical ballet to the highest standards. Regardless of their long-term goals and natural ability, every student at the Joanne Simmons Academy of Dance will have the same high expectations placed upon them. Each student as an individual will be guided and encouraged to meet their objectives and improve upon themselves. In doing so, the School also aims to instill a life-long love of dance and appreciation of the arts in its students.
JOANNE SIMMONS - FOUNDER AND PRINCIPAL
Royal Academy of Dance Registered Teacher (RAD RTS)
RAD Teaching Certificate
Professional Dance Course Diploma
Registered Health Professional (HCPC UK)
CBS/DBS Checked (enhanced)
Joanne Simmons started dancing at 3 years of age at the Mary Archbutt School of Dance in Manchester. After Joanne's family moved to Wiltshire, she continued her dance classes at a local dance school in Salisbury - attaining her Advanced Ballet with honours at fifteen years of age.
Joanne went on to study at the Laban Conservatoire (formerly the Laban Centre for Movement and Dance at Goldsmiths College, London) under Dr.Marion North. After this, Joanne auditioned and was accepted for the three year Professional Dancer's Course at Guildford, which was then under the artistic directorship of the internationally renowned teacher, Bridget Espinosa.
Here, Joanne studied classical ballet (RAD, ISTD and Cecchetti methods) up to Advanced level, Modern/Jazz dance, Contemporary Dance (Graham and Cunningham technique), Tap dance (ISTD), National Dance (ISTD), Classical Ballet Repertoire, Pointe work technique classes, choreography, Singing and Musical Theatre, Benesh Notation and Stage Make-up. Joanne performed in numerous stage productions, includind the pas de trois from 'Swan Lake', Aurora variation from the 'Sleeping Beauty', 'Coppelia' , the broadway hit musical 'A Chorus Line' and danced the leading role of Peter from Prokoviev's ballet 'Peter and the Wolf' for her graduation performance. Joanne was awarded the course diploma on completion of the course.
Joanne commenced her professional dance and teaching career in Milan, Italy, performing with a Milan based touring dance company in Italy. Touring Italy, Scandinavia and Belgium before discovering her passion for teaching whilst assisting dance classes at the school of the former prima ballerina of the La Scala Ballet - the Scuola di Danza Classica de Luciana Novaro in Milan.
When Joanne returned to the UK she was accepted onto the three year Teaching Certificate Programme of the Royal Academy of Dance whilst assisting at an established ballet school in Buckinghamshire. On completion, Joanne then moved to Bristol with her family and set up her own dance school, whilst introducing ballet to the curriculum at the King Edward School, Bath and Redland High School, Bristol.
Joanne has more than twenty five years experience of dance performing and teaching - including teaching children with learning difficulties, teaching adult fitness and dance classes, choreographing dance and entering students for examinations.
The Joanne Simmons Academy of Dance was founded in January 2013, when Joanne opened classes at Shrewton, Great Cheverell, Lydeway and Westbury in Wiltshire - where Joanne now lives with her family. The classes have gone from strength to strength with pupils performing in an end of year dance show at the Salisbury Arts Centre in December 2013 to raise money for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance Charitable Trust.
Joanne is also a registered health professional with the Health and Care Professions UK (HCPC UK) and has a degree in Paramedic Science. She is a part-time paramedic with South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust.
The Joanne Simmons Academy is committed to continued professional development as a registered teacher of the Royal Academy of Dance.
Joanne Simmons founded her academy on the concept that rather than just delivering dance lessons, she could inspire others to take lessons from dance.
From experience, Joanne knows that ballet can, and should, be as much about personal development as technique. It should be joyous as well as teaching strength and grace in both forms - mental and physical.
Yet when Joanne decided to teach after her own international career, she found herself in a sea of pink princesses and surprisingly judgemental teachers.
Knowing that excellence did not need to be at the expense of empathy, and that professional standards could be delivered without pressure, Joanne began her own Academy.
It is a space where pre-schoolers imagine mice and monsters, youngsters learn courage and collaboration, teenagers come out of their shells and adults remember that their bodies are amazing.
No matter your age or ability, even if you only take one lesson, Joanne's classes will surprise, motivate and embolden you from your heart to your pointed toes.
Ballet never stops being another world, a bit of magic. It's not only the stories and costumes that are dreamlike - it's that thrilling feeling of being in a safe bubble and releasing your true self.
WHY CHOOSE THE JOANNE SIMMONS ACADEMY OF DANCE?
Joanne is a highly qualified dance teacher (RAD Registered), Associate of the Imperial Society of Teacher's of Dancing, holds a Professional Dance Diploma and RAD Teaching Cert.). Joanne is also a registered health professional (Paramedic Science degree) and is also registered with the UK Health and Care Professions.
Joanne started dancing early and continued onto a professional dance training course and professional dance career.
She has extensive experience across different countries, schools and her past teachers included Bridget Espinosa, Anya Grinstead, Angela Hardcastle, Robert Harrold, Maryon Lane, Alan Herdman, Shirley Reece-Edwards, Rosemary Franklin and Sir Anton Dolin to name but a few.
BENEFIT FOR YOU, THE PARENT -
Certificates don't necessarily make a great teacher but they are a solid foundation for you to know the teaching practices are researched, endorsed and structured. Lessons are planned and the product of training, experience and an end goal.
Peace of mind that your child is in the hands of a trained and experienced health professional.
Having been there herself, Joanne knows that ballet can develop social and personal skills as well as technical. She aims not just to teach your child but coach and mentor them on their journey to becoming a well-rounded, conscientious individual.
Having been taught by so many esteemed professionals in so many different environments, Joanne has learnt her teaching techniques and style from many experts meaning her lessons are based on tested practices and are effective, not just what 'has always been done'.
Not only does Joanne's network of peers keep her abreast of new best practices but, in line with her goal to develop her students beyond technique alone, Joanne's up-to-date knowledge of the modern ballet world will open your child's eyes to the opportunities of travel and pushing their horizons.
BENEFIT TO YOU, THE STUDENT -
Receiving the RAD standard lessons will mean your ballet experience will be recognised worldwide. Whatever reason you are dancing for, RAD training is understood by schools, universities and employers as an indication of self-discipline, time-management, creative thought and team collaboration.
Joanne's degree means that her ballet teaching is underscored by medical knowledge so she understands the mechanics of your growing body. This means your growth spurts and natural developments will always be understood and your training will be tailored to them, not ignorant of them.
Joanne understands all your nerves, excitements, hopes, motivations, concerns, frustrations, challenges and issues, so will always be there for you to discuss anything with her. The space you train in every lesson will be your own world, free from school and family to express yourself and your individuality.
Joanne's different approaches to learning various techniques means lessons are kept fresh and engaging, not repetitive and tiring. Using techniques from Australia, Italy and America, you will see improvements faster so will have more fun learning.
As you progress with Joanne, she will be able to help you understand the world outside of Wiltshire or even the UK. Dance can take you anywhere and Joanne has the knowledge to help you find a path that suits you.