JOANNE SIMMONS (FOUNDER AND PRINCIPAL)
RAD REGISTERED TEACHER
ASSOCIATE OF THE IMPERIAL SOCIETY OF TEACHERS OF DANCING (CBB)
PROFESSIONAL DANCE COURSE DIPLOMA
REGISTERED HEALTH PROFESSIONAL (UK HEALTH AND CARE PROFESSIONS COUNCIL)
PARAMEDIC SCIENCE DEGREE (COVENTRY UNIVERSITY)
CRB CERTIFIED (ENHANCED)
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 Advanced ballet examination with honours at just fifteen years of age.
Joanne auditioned to study dance full-time for a year at the Laban Conservatoire (formerly the Laban Centre at Goldsmiths College, London). After completing this she was accepted onto the three year Classical Dance Course at the Guildford School of Acting and Dance, under the directorship of the renowned teacher, Madame Bridget Espinosa. Here, Joanne studied full-time in classical ballet (RAD, ISTD and Cecchetti methods), ISTD Modern, Contemporary dance (Graham technique), Jazz dance, ISTD Tap, ISTD National dance (under Robert Harrold), ISTD Greek natural movement, pointe work, ballet repertoire, choreography, musical theatre, Benesh Dance Notation and stage make-up with numerous opportunities to perform throughout the course. Joanne was awarded the Classical Dance Course Diploma on graduation. During her full-time training Joanne received coaching from Michael Somes (Royal Ballet), Maryon Lane (Royal Ballet), Robert Harrold (ISTD Examiner National Dance), Maggie Scott (Professional level ballet), Terence Etheridge (Teacher and Choreographer), Anya Grinstead (RAD Majors coaching). Joanne also trained under Shirley Rees-Edwards (RAD Majors coaching) and Luciana Novaro (La Scala Ballet).
Joanne then went to study in Milan, Italy - at the vocational ballet school of Luciana Novaro, former prima ballerina of the La Scala Ballet Company. Here Joanne studied the world famous Russian Vaganova method of classical ballet teaching, with the opportunity to work with full-time vocational dance students.
Whilst in Italy, Joanne also danced and taught professionally with a touring dance company based in Milan performing ballet, jazz and contemporary dance, whilst appointed as a company ballet mistress.
After returning to the UK a few years later, Joanne worked as ballet assistant to the principal at an established dance school in Buckinghamshire. She enrolled on the Royal Academy of Dance three year teacher training programme and the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing Associate course 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 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 and state schools in Bristol and Bath. 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.
The Joanne Simmons Academy of Dance now has three branches - at Shrewton CE School, the Pavilion at Great Cheverell and purpose-built dance studios at Lydeway, Devizes. Classes range from Pre-School ballet up to RAD Advanced.
Joanne has a degree in Paramedic Science and is a registered Paramedic with the Health and Care Professions Council UK and has CRB certification. She is also a Paramedic Mentor with South West Ambulance Service Foundation Trust.
'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.
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.