Hello Parents and Dancers.
Here is a little about me and my work which I hope will inspire you and your children.
I began my career with The National Ballet of Portugal and then moved back to the UK to join London City Ballet, after which I spread my wings to enjoy many years as a freelance performer and teacher travelling through the UK, Europe and USA. During this time I spent several years as a dance and movement coach to Jennifer Saunders which was a wonderful diversion from my more ‘regular’ ballet teaching!
After a world tour with The Pet Shop Boys I was encouraged to return to ballet by Sir Kenneth MacMillan, and so spent two years with the Birmingham Royal Ballet before heading back to New York for my final dance performances at La Mama Theatre.
I have over 30 years of teaching and performing experience and I constantly research, refresh and update my teaching methods. I am a graduate of the prestigious Professional Dancers Teachers Course at the Royal Ballet School and I regularly teach at The Rambert School of Classical Ballet and Contemporary Dance, which I adore.
I have been lucky to have had an exciting and diverse career meeting and working with amazing people, including Princess Diana who was our much loved patron of London City Ballet.
And luckier still in that after my dancing career I went on to have 3 children who are my pride and joy.
The Sarah Toner School of Ballet (STSB) opened in January 2009 with 24 students and I now have close to 200. I am extremely proud to have had this opportunity to bring my love of dancing to our community. Many of my first students at STSB have gone on to full time vocational training and there are now younger students following in their footsteps. This is an exciting journey to be part of, it is life changing stuff, and I never get tired of being a part of it.
One of my big teaching loves is private coaching, I really enjoy working on the finer detail of technique; unpicking bad habits and creating new and improved ones. And so it gives me great joy that my lessons attract dance students from top vocational schools all over the UK, as well as children who are trying out for vocational schools. I am proud to share with you that my success rate is pretty good!
I am committed to teach with passion, compassion and joy and my key aim is always to teach with kindness and to build my students’ confidence. I especially enjoy working with teenagers and my local teenage jazz and ballet classes are some of my busiest classes. I enjoy working with both vocational and non-vocational students and many of my local non-vocational students attend several classes a week because they have developed a strong love of dancing and this makes me very proud.
I run a variety of holiday performance courses and these are some of my favourite times of the year. (Please see my ‘What’s On’ page) These weeks cater for both vocational and non-vocational students and are a wonderful opportunity to experience the joy of performing outside the regular demands of a dance training.
Thank you for taking time out to read this and I hope it has inspired you.