Acton Ballet School was set up to offer the best quality dance education, accessible to all. The school has been recognised by the Council for Dance Education and Training, being awarded their certificate of good professional practice. This means that the school adheres to very strict guidelines with regards to the safety and welfare of its students and the quality of training offered by all members of staff.
We take great care to make sure that dance is a fun activity for all students, helping with early years development, musicality, strength, posture and concentration. Developing skills which will benefit children throughout their lives regardless of whether they decide to dance as a profession. For any children who do show the talent and desire to pursue a career in the industry there are many opportunities to audition for a variety of additional programmes.
Miss Alex has taught students who have gone on to be associates at the Royal Ballet School and Central Ballet School, attended the Royal Ballet School at White Lodge, English National Ballet School, Elmhurst in association with Birmingham Royal Ballet, the Brit School, Sylvia Young and Italia Conti. Students have also performed in companies such as English Youth Ballet and London Children’s Ballet.
Each year the school put on a summer show, giving the children the opportunity to experience performing in a real theatre and to show off their talent.
Alexandra Pink – Principal
BA (Hons) PGCE (DTLLS) AIDTA RAD RTS
Miss Alex was born in Bolton and started dancing at the age of five after being refused the part of a ‘dancing star’ in her first nativity play because she didn’t go to ballet. She then became an associate of the Royal Ballet before attending the Hammond School. She went on to study at the Royal Academy of Dance becoming a registered teacher in 2007. She also has a degree in dance and a PGCE with a dance specialism.
Miss Alex has been a professional dancer and choreographer, performing abroad and in theatres across Britain. She has performed in ballets such as Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty, as a contemporary and jazz dancer for Rewind Dance Company touring the south coast, in the West End and on television for both the BBC and ITV. In 2008 she was invited to dance at the famous Estoril Sol Casino in Lisbon as the lead dancer for the summer season. She is also a very experienced teacher, teaching all over London and the South East, including the associate classes at Italia Conti.
Miss Alex helped to set up Acton Ballet School in 2010 with its founder Bridget Hearne-Saliba. She took on the role of Principal in 2016 and is also the Principal of our sister school Maida Vale Ballet School.
Victoria Harley – Teacher
BA (Hons) Ballet Education, LRAD, RAD RTS
Victoria began dancing at the age of 3 in her hometown in Oxfordshire. Here she studied classical ballet, jazz, modern, tap, contemporary and musical theatre. She has always been passionate about dance and furthered her training through the BA (Hons) Ballet Education degree and the Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Dance at the Royal Academy of Dance in London graduating in 2016. Whilst studying at the RAD she developed her performance and choreography skills in both ballet and contemporary technique and developed her teaching opportunities. Victoria has taught and assisted in a variety of schools across London, training and preparing students for exams as well as choreographing for many performances. Victoria is very excited to embark on her teaching career and is delighted to be working with the students at Acton Ballet School.
Hannah Smith – Teacher
BA (Hons) Ballet Education, LRAD, RAD RTS
Hannah trained at the Royal Academy of Dance on their BA (hons) in Ballet Education degree programme, and whilst training at the RAD also obtained the Licentiate of Royal Academy of Dance (LRAD) in addition to her teaching qualification. After graduating from the RAD Hannah went and furthered her dance training successfully joining London Studio Centre’s ‘Images Ballet Company’, where she had the opportunity to work with numerous choreographers and tour around the UK with ‘Images Ballet Company’. Since graduating from LSC Hannah has had the opportunity to dance professionally in Germany and is a freelance dancer and teacher currently based in London. She has a wide range of experience teaching all ages from young children right through to adults whether it be with syllabus and non-syllabus classes, and has taught for many prestigious schools around London. Hannah has a huge amount of enthusiasm and passion when teaching and can push the most accomplished student, but also enjoys sharing her love of Ballet with our little ones too, getting each student to reach their full potential.
Louise Piears – Administrator
Louise is pleased to be helping Miss Alex with the Administration, website maintenance and Finance at Acton Ballet School. She has had a long work history with similar responsibilities, following on from completing an Honours Degree in Economics at Kingston University.
Louise is a keen believer in the importance, both physically and mentally, of enjoyable exercise and the achievement associated with this from an early age, so is particularly pleased to be supporting Acton ballet school. She has always loved dancing as a leisure activity and enjoyed ballet, tap and ballroom classes as a child and teenager, but her main exercise for the last 20 years has been running, both road and off-road. She has completed three marathons and other long-distance events, often whilst raising money for charity, and particularly enjoys hilly cross country running races.
Bridget Hearne-Saliba – Founder
ARAD Dip PDTC RAD RTS
Trained for 8 years at the Royal Ballet School and then danced with London's Festival Ballet (now known as English National Ballet) for 10 years. In 1989 Bridget co-founded English Youth Ballet and was General Manager for 12 years before leaving in 2010. During this time she learnt a tremendous amount about the way children develop and the technical difficulties that present itself within the teaching of ballet.
She is passionate about this art form and the importance of good teaching and is particular that teachers within her school follow her standard. As soon as Bridget qualified as a teacher at the Royal Academy of Dance she set up Acton Ballet School in order to impart all this knowledge and experience. The school has grown beyond recognition within a very short space of time and has achieved excellent exam results with both the RAD and IDTA.
Royal Academy of Dance
Acton Ballet School teaches the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) syllabus. The RAD was founded in 1920 and has come to represent the highest standard in the teaching of classical ballet. It has grown to become the largest and most influential examining body for ballet in the world and has a presence in over 80 countries. Their headquarters are in Battersea and this is where our students go to take their graded exams.
Both the RAD and IDTA work in partnership with Ofqual meaning that qualifications achieved are recognised on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) and with respect to the later and vocational grades, passing examinations could help students get UCAS points to use for application to university.
The International Dance Teachers Association is one of the world’s largest examination boards covering a spectrum of dance styles. It has been around for over 100 years and we use their syllabi for our tap and modern classes offering the opportunity to take graded exams.
Modern Jazz is fun. It helps dancers to develop many different movements to a broad choice of rhythms and musical styles. Classes are structured to begin to prepare the physical strength and flexibility required to demonstrate emotion through interpretation exploring contrast between expansion and relaxation, fluidity and isolation.
Tap is rhythm, it’s making music with your feet. Tap has been a popular dance form for many years from the musical era of Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly to the more recent shows of Tap Dogs and Stomp. It is a great way to increase fitness, fast footwork and musicality.