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Meet the team

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Jo-Anne Torre

Principal

Jo-Anne Torre is a highly qualified professional dancer – passing exams with the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) andthe Imperial Society for Teaching Dance (ISTD) in Ballet and Modern Theatre. Jo-Anne is a qualified teacher through the IDTA . Jo-Anne is a full member of the IDTA, NPAA and Acrobatic Arts. She is also qualified to teach the Progressing Ballet Technique Programme and  Ryan Jenkin's new amazing ID Contemporary Dance Syllabus where she undertook intense training. She loves learning new things that she can bring to her students and this passion will never fade. Jo-Anne has danced since the age of 4, attending Gillian Quinn School of Dance; not only was Jo-Anne a dancer but was a keen ice skater, winning many trophies and entering many competitions throughout the UK. She has worked alongside Ant and Dec, Lulu, performed at the Sunderland Empire, worked in Japan and Hong Kong for 3 years where she was part of a professional dance troupe working in 5* hotels and has been part of the fantastic Parade at Euro Disney. She is also a qualified aerobics instructor and teacher of exercise/gym trainer and taught classes for over 20 years. Jo-Anne is also a qualified childminder and teaching assistant, she loves to inspire children and believes through expression of dance and music this can be done.

Sarah Dean 

Studio Manager

Sarah works heavily behind the scenes of the dance school; dealing with new enquires, parent emails, payments, invoicing and uniform. Sarah works "front of house" during our weekly classes and is your first friendly face you will see through our doors!

She will be happy to answer any questions you may have! sarah@decotedance.com

Sam Cook

Teacher

Sam has danced from the age of 3. She took regular exams in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern and Freestyle.  At the age of 18 Sam auditioned for a Performing Arts College and was offered a scholarship on their 3 year Musical Theatre course. Whilst at College she got chosen to perform at ‘Move It’ a dance convention in London, she toured the country performing in Can You Dance events and has performed in various shows at The Royal Opera House in York. Sam is qualified in teaching freestyle dance, gaining a distinction in her exam. Continuing her studies she has become a qualified personal trainer and gained her BA (Hons) in Professional Practice in Arts (Musical Theatre) part time with Middlesex University.

Harriet Carr

Teacher

Harriet graduated with a first class degree in Urban Dance Practice from the University of East London in 2018 and spent the next few years teaching in various environments across London including, Pineapple Dance Studios, Move IT Dance convention and Rambert. Harriet has also performed throughout the UK and internationally at many festivals, events and shows. Since moving to the North East Harriet now owns Lil Beatz North Tyneside and teaches 2 of our Decote competition teams, all our Street Dance classes and contemporary and commercial classes. Harriet also represents Decote Dance in various school clubs across North Tyneside. 
 

Nicola Brodie-Scott

Teacher

Nicola trained at Laine Theatre Arts where she obtained her Diploma in Musical Theatre along with her dance teaching qualifications. She then went on to perform on cruise ships, where she got to travel all around Europe and to the Caribbean dancing and performing aerial silks, hoop and lollipop. She now performs in shows around the North East and is loving teaching at Decote Dance.

Claire McManus

Teacher

Claire began dancing from the age of three training in Cechetti Classical Ballet, ISTD Tap, Modern and Jazz with further training at London Studio Centre, where she studied for three years and graduated with a Foundation Degree in Performing Arts.  Claire then commenced a professional career performing around the world in holiday resorts and onboard cruise ships, fulfilling a life long dream.  Once back on land, as well as still performing, she choreographed shows and rehearsed new teams about to embark on cruise contracts onboard Fred Olsen and Saga cruises.  Claire decided to continue with her studies and has completed a course with Middlesex University receiving a BA (Hons) in Professional Practice Arts, Creative industries (Performing Arts).

Leigh Henderson

Teacher

Leigh trained at Northern Ballet School and went on to perform as a soloist and in the Corps de Ballet with Manchester City Ballet Company, she then went on to perform in musical theatre throughout the UK and Europe. Highlights of her professional career were playing the role of Eliza in the original, critically acclaimed production of The King and I at Leicester Haymarket with director Paul Kerryson and choreographer David Needham and performing “The Timewarp” at Oldham Coliseum with Richard O'Brien.

In recent years Leigh has delivered Bob Fosse workshops at Sunderland University, been head of dance for Dance Intensive, co-directed/choreographed “Little Shop of Horrors” for North Tyneside musical youth group Signature, taught ballet at Dance City Newcastle as well as GCSE dance at Monkseaton High School. She also choreographed Grease and Avenue Q for Day8 Productions. Leigh teaches Ballet and pointe .

Rebecca Longstaff

Teacher

 

I started dancing at the age of 8 and completed various RAD ballet and Acrobatic Arts Exams. At age 16 I went to Newcastle college and completed the FE dance course and then at 18 went onto Newcastle college University where I graduated in 2021 with a First class honours degree. I have taken part in various Pantomimes, danced with the Regional youth ballet and performed as a soloist with the English youth ballet as the Hungarian princess. 
In 2022 I successfully auditioned for Dane Bates Inspiro programme where he chose 35 dancers from across the world to train with him for a week in Liverpool. 
In 2023, I auditioned for ‘Evolution training programme’ where I successfully made the team to perform in ‘Channy’ concert as an opening act.
When I am not teaching at Decote Dance I work at a primary school as a teaching assistant.

Megan Butler

 Teacher

I started dancing at the age of 3, but have been a student at Decote Dance since 2010. I trained in lots of different styles including ballet, jazz, commercial, contemporary and tap. I have also performed in many dance shows and pantomimes over the years. I volunteered at Decote Dance, helping in the younger classes before being offered a job teaching. I have spent the last 4 years teaching a range of styles including cheer dance, junior funk, tap, ballet and jazz which I have loved. I received an A in Dance and A* in Performing Arts at GCSE and have also completed my Bronze Art Award in dance. I received a distinction in Grade 7 Ballet. Most recently I have been involved in Newcastle University Dance Society, alongside my degree I have been teaching the Jazz competition team meaning not only do I get to compete against other Universities, but my choreography is also seen all around the country. Teaching dance is a massive passion of mine.

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