JOANNE SIMMONS (FOUNDER AND PRINCIPAL)
ROYAL ACADEMY OF DANCE REGISTERED
ASSOCIATE OF THE IMPERIAL SOCIETY OF TEACHERS OF DANCING (CBB)
PROFESSIONAL DANCE COURSE DIPLOMA
REGISTERED HEALTH PROFESSIONAL (UK HEALTH AND CARE
PARAMEDIC SCIENCE DEGREE (COVENTRY UNIVERSITY)
CRB CERTIFIED (ENHANCED)
ABOUT JOANNE SIMMONS RAD RTS AISTD
Joanne's lifelong passion for dancing began at age three, when she started
ballet at the Mary Archbutt School in Manchester. Joanne continued dancing when her family moved to Wiltshire and she enrolled at the local ballet school, studying Russian classical ballet. She took all her grade examinations and medal tests, which culminated in her successfully passing the Grade 6 and the Advanced ballet examination within one examination session gaining distinction and honours respectively at just fifteen years of age.
Joanne auditioned to study dance full-time for a year at the Laban Conservatoire. After completing the year, she was accepted onto the three year Professional Dancer's Course at the Guildford School of Acting and Dance, under the directorship of the renowned teacher, Madame Bridget Espinosa.
Bridget Espinosa who was the wife of Geoffrey Espinosa, of the renowned family of dancers and teachers, originally of Spanish extraction. Geoffrey’s uncle was Édouard Espinosa, a dancer, producer and teacher, who founded the Royal Academy of Dancing in 1920 and the British Ballet Organisation in 1930. One of his pupils was the acclaimed dancer Dame Ninette de Valois who became one of the great figures of 20th century dance and who founded of the Academy of Choreographic Art in 1926. In 1931 she established a small company of dancers that went on to become the Royal Ballet, Britain’s national ballet company. Bridget Espinosa, born Bridget Kelly in Ireland in 1928, danced with the Embassy Ballet in 1947 and the International Ballet in 1948. She went on to teach dance and became artistic director of Elmhurst Ballet School at Camberley, Surrey.
Under the directorship of Bridget Espinosa Joanne studied full-time in classical ballet (RAD, ISTD and Cecchetti methods) and took all her major examinatons, ISTD Modern dance, Contemporary dance (Martha Graham technique and Merce Cunningham technique), Jazz dance (Matt Maddox), ISTD Tap, ISTD National dance (under Robert Harrold), ISTD Greek Natural Movement, Pointe Work, Classical Ballet Repertoire classes (which included the solos and corps de ballet dances from 'Sleeping Beauty', 'Coppelia' and 'Swan Lake'), Pas de Deux classes, Choreographic Studies, Musical Theatre and Singing, Benesh Dance Notation, Labanotation and Stage Management. Joanne had numerous opportunities to perform throughout the course which included choreographic competitions and student dance productions in the School's on site theatres.
Some alumni of the Guildford School of Acting and Dance are Brenda Blethyn OBE, Bill Nighy (BAFTA Award), Celia Imrie (Olivier Award), Michael Ball (Olivier Award) and Gaby Roslin.
Bridget Espinosa -
Former Ballerina and Artistic Director of Elmhurst Ballet School, the Bush Davies Ballet School, Founder and Artistic Director of the Professional Dancer's Course at Guildford until the move to the London Studio Centre. Bridget Espinosa's commitment to dance education and training was rooted in an unbroken family tradition. The London Studio Centre is now under the directorship of Bridget Espinosa's son, Nicholas Espinosa.
During her full-time training Joanne received coaching from internationally renowned teachers such as Maryon Lane (the Royal Ballet), Alan Herdman (body conditioning), Robert Harrold (ISTD Examiner National Dance Syllabus), Angela Hardcastle (Cecchetti Major Exams), Maggie Scott (Professional level non-syllabus ballet), Terence Etheridge (Teacher and Choreographer) and Anya Grinstead (RAD Majors coaching). Joanne also trained under Shirley Rees-Edwards at the Southern Ballet School and Southern Ballet Company (RAD Majors coaching) and with Luciana Novaro (La Scala Ballet). A highlight of her training was to be taught by the late Anton Dolin - former soloist with the Ballet Russe and American Ballet Theatre, during a summer school in Bournemouth.
Joanne then went to dance in Milan, Italy working at the vocational ballet school of Luciana Novaro, former prima ballerina of the La Scala Ballet Company. In Milan, Joanne studied the world famous Russian Vaganova method of classical ballet teaching, as taught at the Bolshoi and Vaganova (Marinsky Ballet) Schools in Russia. Joanne danced professionally for a number of years with a touring dance company based in Milan - performing predominantly ballet, jazz and contemporary dance touring Italy, Belgium and Scandinavia.
La Scuola de Danza Classica de Luciana Novaro Corso Venezia Milan Italy
After returning to the UK a few years later, Joanne decided to pursue her career as a dance teacher and was appointed ballet assistant to the principal at an established dance school in Buckinghamshire. She enrolled on the Royal Academy of Dance's (RAD) three year teaching certificate programme and the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing Associate (ISTD) course (Harrison College) in classical ballet. Joanne entered pupils successfully for examinations, assisted with school dance productions, danced in local pantomimes and set up and ran her own branch of the school. Joanne was coached by RAD Examiner, Rosemary Franklin, for her final RAD Teaching Examinations - gaining Distinction for her student coaching.
Joanne moved to Bristol when she married and started a family and opened her own dance school - which had always been her ultimate goal. Joanne also introduced ballet as an extra-curricular activity to Independent Schools in Kent (the Sutton Valence School) in Bristol and Bath (the King Edwards School and Redland High School). She choreographed, designed and made all the costumes for her pupil's dance productions and demonstrations. Within a year of opening her own school, Joanne had gained more than a hundred pupils who performed in the school's Christmas Ballet Show and this was followed by the school's first set of ballet examinations, in which all pupils were successful.
During her teaching career, Joanne has taught ballet, modern/jazz, tap, natural movement, aerobics, adult ballet, body conditioning to all ages and strongly believes that anyone, of any age, can learn to dance and enjoy the increased fitness, suppleness and general health benefits it brings. Joanne has more than twenty five years experience of teaching at various levels, including classes for boys, children with learning difficulties and adult dance classes.
Joanne recently moved back to Wiltshire due to family commitments and has set up classes in her local area. She is looking forward to expanding and developing new classes in 2013/14.
The Joanne Simmons Academy of Dance now has three branches (with a fourth branch opening in Westbury in September 2013) at Shrewton CE VC Primary School, the new Pavilion at Great Cheverell and purpose-built dance studios at Lydeway, Devizes. Classes range from Pre-School ballet up to the RAD Advanced Grades.
Joanne also has a degree in Paramedic Science (Coventry University) and is a registered Paramedic with the Health and Care Professions Council UK (HCPC). Joanne has enhanced CRB certification. She is also a part-time Paramedic Mentor with South West Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) working as a frontline Paramedic for Accident and Emergency Operational division.
Joanne is married with two children and when she is not dancing she enjoys running, playing the piano and going for walks with her Westie dog, Angus.
Purpose built dance and pilates studios at Lydeway Devizes
MISSION - 'TO FOSTER A LIFELONG LOVE OF DANCE IN ALL PUPILS'
Joanne believes that dance develops confidence, co-ordination, creativity, grace and musicality whilst developing balance, control, posture, focus and finely tuned listening skills.
She aims to promote a caring, nurturing, healthy and family friendly environment so that pupils can develop and progress feeling happy and confident in themselves, whilst building a sound and strong dance technique - no matter what level is attained.
Joanne is aware of how dance has enriched her own life and feels that it is important to pass this tradition down to next generations in order to 'foster a life long love of dance in her pupils'.
Children with learning difficulties - it is our policy to integrate children with learning difficulties into all our classes.
The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) is the largest examining and teacher education organisation for classical ballet in the world. The RAD graded and vocational syllabi provides a logical progression at every stage of a pupil's development, ensuring a pleasurable and educational experience both physically and emotionally. The syllabi promote the development of good manners, empathy and tolerance within a climate of praise and positive learning in a fun-filled environment!
Joanne Simmons is fully committed to the RAD Continued Professional Development Programme.
To find out more about the Royal Academy of Dance please click on the RAD link at the bottom of this page.
THE JOANNE SIMMONS ACADEMY OF DANCE SUPPORTS THE WILTSHIRE AIR AMBULANCE
CHARITABLE TRUST (WAACT);
The Wiltshire Air Ambulance is part of South Western Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust
The Air Ambulance is based in Devizes, Wiltshire.
To find out more about the Health and Care Professions UK please
click on the link below;
To find out more about the NHS Campaign for health click on the link below;
We are listed on Dance Schools Online at;