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OUR TEAM

We are incredibly lucky to have an amazing bunch of enthusiastic, dedicated dance teachers as part of the Inspire Dance team!

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Jo Mortimer

Inspire Founder & Principal

"I’m so proud of our achievements at Inspire. We’ve gone from having only a handful of children to over 700 fantastic students."
 

Seeing our pupils return each term and watching them progress is the most special part of my job, and what drives me to continue expanding. My favourite part about Inspire is the shows – showing off the exceptional talent of our students, and seeing their reactions to performing in front of a huge crowd is priceless.

Qualifications: DDI/DDE ballet, tap and modern, BTEC National Diploma in Dance, Diploma in Musical Theatre, Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Dance, YMCA Exercise to Music Award

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Kristina Hewitt

Vice Principal

Kristina started dancing aged 2, and hasn’t stopped since! When she was younger she trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern, Greek and Irish, and completed her ISTD Advanced 2 with distinction in Tap, Modern and Greek. As a child she performed in many professional pantomines and acting work, including playing human Glenda in the film Seed Of Chucky. She also competed in many festivals around the country. Since leaving school she has attended The Urdang Academy where she studied styles such as contemporary, commercial and street, and furthered her learning in acting and singing.  

Kristina has taught at various schools and has a DDI in modern.  She hopes to further her teaching qualifications within the next year.

Qualifications: BA Hons in Professional Dance and Musical Theatre – The Urdang Academy, ISTD DDE in Modern and Tap.

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Alex Curran

Westvale Park Primary School Dance Teacher

Alex started dancing at the age of 2½ at The Judith Hockaday School of Dance in Swindon, Wiltshire. She was extremely committed and quickly excelled in Classical Ballet, Tap, Modern, Jazz, National, and Character. Alex progressed through the Grades and was suddenly taking all her Major Dance Examinations at the young age of 15 years old.

As a teenager, Alex began to enter numerous Dance competitions all over England. She was awarded the greatest accolade by becoming the All England National Champion of Theatre Dance at the age of 14. Alex has now been teaching at The Hawthorns School of Dance since 2004 and enjoys every minute of it. Along with teaching ISTD Dance Alex also teaches Curriculum Drama & Dance from Reception to Year 2 and Musical Theatre to Year 6. We are so pleased to have Alex back as part of the Inspire family.

Qualifications: BA Hons Dance, ISTD CDE Classical Ballet, ISTD CDE National Dance, ISTD CDE Tap

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Jane Doyle

Castlewood Primary & Handcross Park Dance Teacher

Jane Trained for 3 year at Arts Educational Schools London on their musical theatre course.

As well as singing in her function band Jane is also in great demand as a session singer and has done backing vocals on various albums.

Jane has also sailed the high seas as principal singer and with her own cabaret on P&O, Celebrity and Holland America cruise lines. 

When she gets a spare minute Jane teaches Singing ,Dancing and Musical production at some of London’s top Musical theatre schools.

Credits include - Spirit of the Dance, Grease (Germany) Starlight Express (Germany and West End) Fame (National & European Tour and West End) Boogie Nights the Musical (West End & National tour) Rent (West End and National tour) Headwig and the angry inch, Oh What A Night (National Tour)  Footloose (UK tour)  Oliver (Aberystwyth Arts Centre) Simply Ballroom, All you need is love (National tour) to name just a few, Along with various concerts including singing many times at the prestigious Regents Park open air theatre, The Royal Albert Hall and the O2.

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Julia Jones

Heron Way Primary School & Horsham Dance Teacher

Julia started dancing at the age of 5 at the Adele Academy of Dancing, Brighton, where she trained in Ballet, Modern and Tap.

She was selected to perform in The English Youth Ballet’s production of ‘Coppelia’ when she was 17 at The Connaught Theatre in Worthing and also ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ Panto at The Old Market in Brighton at 18. At 18 Julia went to The Margaret Howard Theatre College in Hertfordshire to complete a Performing Arts Diploma and to start her teaching qualifications. It was here that her passion for teaching began. Once graduated, Julia performed in Panto at The Watford Palace Theatre before moving back home to Brighton to start her teaching career. 

In 2016 her choreography was selected to compete at the Dance World Championships in New York. Julia is a qualified teacher with the ISTD in Ballet, Tap and Modern, DBS checked, a registered chaperone with the relevant public liability insurance.

Qualifications: DDI/DDE – Ballet, Tap and Modern, Performing Arts Diploma – Margaret Howard Theatre College

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Keeva Wood

Handcross Park School Dance Teacher

Keeva originates from Ireland and came to study Musical Theatre and Dance at Phil Winstons Theatreworks at 19. Here she completed exams in Ballet, Tap, Modern Jazz and Theatre Craft. For over 10 years, she performed all over the world in various pantos, cruise ships and theatres as a Dancer/Singer including a few years in France at a famous can-can cabaret. Her most recent show being an ice show in Mexico in 2020 as a dancer.

Other credits include commercials, live TV and modelling work for high street fashion brands in London. Keeva still works as a performer alongside teaching in London doing corporates and short contracts abroad.

Keeva is very excited to be part of the Inspire team after a move to Horsham from London last year. Teaching has always been a passion of hers alongside performing. 

Qualifications: IDTA Teaching Qualification, PBT Progressing Ballet Technique Qualification. First Aid Trained, Safeguarding & DBS Checked.

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Lydia Johnson

Dorking & Nursery Dance Teacher

Lydia has loved to dance since the age of 3, and found a talent for Figure Skating at 11 years old. She went on to compete at a National Level for several years, continuing to dance as part of her training. After an injury, Lydia found that dancing became her full time passion; taking to teaching soon after.
Having gained her ballet teaching qualification with the Royal Academy of Dance, she greatly enjoys teaching syllabus, free work & choreography in many dance styles. From story based lessons for little ones, to fitness classes for adults; Lydia is devoted to bringing the best out of every dancer through her fun & energetic classes.

Qualifications: Ballet Teaching at Royal Academy of Dance.

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Natasha Rose

Copthorne & Nursery Dance Teacher

Natasha has immersed herself in all things dance since the age of three and has an established background in performing, taking part in various theatre companies throughout her childhood and teen years. Pursuing her passion, Natasha advanced her training by studying for two years at The Centre Performing Arts College on an accelerated scholarship, where she received a performance diploma. Alongside her diploma training, she completed I.S.T.D DDEs in Ballet, Modern and Tap. Furthermore Natasha has gained her level one qualifications in the Acrobatic Arts syllabus.

 

Natasha’s choreography and performances have been stretched across local communities driven by her love of musicals and performing. Miss Natasha thrives when teaching and supporting others to perform to the best of their ability. Her diverse teaching experience is credited to her time spent teaching at multiple dance schools across Surrey and Sussex, alongside the opportunity to teach Ballet in Barbados for six-months. Natasha is more than excited to be a part of the Inspire Academy of Dance team!

Qualifications: Performance Diploma at The Centre Performing Arts College.

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Vicki Mead

Warnham Primary & St Mary's School Dance Teacher

Vikki collaborates and performs alongside world class musicians from the Bernardi Music Group at various venues across West Sussex. She enjoys the chance to be creative and make works with varying stimuli, and environments. Vikki is looking forward to performing at Leonardslee this coming July. 

 

Teaching through the means of dance has been a stimulating and rewarding process and has furthered her love of working with children. Working with Inspire for 3 years has been a rewarding experience as it has enabled her to see the children develop and grow as dancers and people.

Qualifications: BA (Honours) in Contemporary Dance, MA in Performance as part of Mapdance Company.

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Banu Cobbold

South Nutfield Dance Teacher

Having trained as a classical Ballet dancer with the Istanbul University State Conservatory, Banu’s first steps in the world of professional Ballet were spent with the Cagdas Ballet Company before she went on to dance for the Istanbul State Ballet for 5 years.


During this time, she was privileged to have worked with some of world’s most famous choreographers and gained invaluable experience as a soloist dancer performing in a wide range of both Classical and Opera Ballet works.


In 2001, Banu came to England and studied to become a classical Ballet teacher with the AISTD.
She has held various positions in several prestigious schools in Istanbul and London where she has taught a wide range of age groups and levels of experience. She has quickly established a reputation for herself as somebody who is passionate about dance and motivated in the studio.
Banu has twin boys and lives in Reigate, Surrey.

Qualifications: AISTD DDE in Ballet.

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Helen Pennicard

Reigate & South Nutfield Dance Teacher

Helen gained most of her dancing experience attending Laine Theatre Arts where she studied Modern, Jazz, Ballet and Tap from the ages of 3 – 18.


Helen has now been an Associate of the ISTD for 7 years, after completing her dance teaching diploma at the Kingston Teacher’s Training College in both Modern Theatre and Tap dance. Helen has recently gained her ‘Licentiate’ qualification in both Tap dancing and Modern Theatre and is now currently working towards her Fellowship exam at Danceteachers inc.
 
Over the last 7 years, Helen has worked as a freelance dance teacher around the Surrey area, teaching Tap, Modern and Street Jazz at various Dance Schools. She is currently teaching ISTD syllabus at C&C Dance School, The Hawthorns School and at Centre Stage Dance & Drama in Oshott.


As well as teaching, Helen also choreographs and performs in shows for local amateur dramatic groups.  Some of Helen’s work has taken place at the Epsom Playhouse, The Assembly Rooms in Surbiton, Chipstead Courtyard Theatre, Danes Hill School, Dunottar School and at Leatherhead Theatre.

Qualifications: Diploma in Dance Teaching at Kingston Teacher's Training College (Modern Theatre & Tap).

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Beth Aguilar Verdiguel

South Nutfield & Redhill Dance Teacher

Beth commenced her dance training at the age of 8 at Italia Conti Academy.
She then went on to study Musical Theatre at the internationally recognized BRIT School, gaining her first diploma at the age of 16.
 
Beth’s performance studies continued at Laine Theatre Arts for a further 4 years, gaining her second diploma at the age of 18 in Musical Theatre.
 
During her time at Laines, Beth starred on numerous occasions as Wendy Darling in QDOS pantomime productions, often playing opposite Craig Revel Horwood.
 
In 2016 Beth was appointed lead vocalist/dancer for Carnival Cruise Lines where she spent a successful and most enjoyable 4 years as Vocal Captain.

Qualifications: Diploma in Musical Theatre at The BRIT School, Diploma in Muscial theatre at Laine Theatre Arts.

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Claire Watts

South Nutfield & Reigate Dance Teacher

Claire began her dance training at the age of three years of age! She then continued her training at the London Studio Centre where she did a three year Musical Theatre Course.
Claire’s theatre credits in the West End include: Guys and Dolls (Adelaide) Piccadilly Theatre, Anything Goes (Erma) Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Crazy For You (Patsy) Prince Edward Theatre.
 
International and U.K. Tours include: Chicago (Roxie Hart), Annie (Lily St Regis), Singin’ In The Rain (Lina Lamont), Copacabana (Lola), Doctor Dolittle (Dance Captain). Other theatre credits include, Beautiful and Damned at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, The Railway Children at the Sevenoaks Playhouse. Pantomimes include, Dick Whittington and Cinderella at The Harlequin Theatre.
 
Claire's long and varied career in Musical Theatre has meant she has worked with stars such as Patrick Swayze, Don Johnson, Marti Pellow, John Barrowman, Philip Schofield, Claire Sweeny and Samantha Womack.

 

Claire's work has taken her into the field of modelling for Nike, and various appearances on TV.
In the past Claire has taught workshops at Pineapple Dance Studios, The Guildford School of Acting, Mereway Performing Arts College and has also choreographed for Surrey Youth Ballet. She currently teaches at Dunottar and St Joseph’s School.

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Aimee Dulake

St Peter's School Dance Teacher

Aimee is a Surrey/London based dance artist, choreographer and teacher and is a graduate of London Contemporary Dance School where she worked with industry leading teachers and choreographers. She recently performs at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Aimee is an accomplished dance teacher offering many years of experience in teaching children and young adults.
Aimee is passionate about developing talent in students and having fun.

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Airin Iten

Copthorne Prep & Forge Wood Primary Dance Teacher

Airin Iten is originally from Switzerland. He started going to Ballet classes age 3 and soon after started learning other dance styles, as well as Voice and Drama. He was awarded a Diploma in Musical Theatre, Tap, Modern, Contemporary and Ballet in Switzerland as well as a Diploma as a Dance Pedagogue. He opened his own dance and performing art school ‘Wave’ in 2001, where he taught his very passionate students (aged 3-75) for over 17 years.

He performed a self written musical as well as a show with his professional contemporary company each year. His students competed from 2010 till 2017 at Swiss championships and at the World championship very successfully.

Alongside managing his school he performed regularly on stage for over 20 years in performances such as Cats, Space Dream, The Magic of Music, Bärenstark and Swan Lake amongst others.

In 2020 he decided to give his life a new turn and moved to London.

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Natalie Hunt

Horsham Dance Teacher

Hello! My name is Natalie and I graduated from Performance Preparation Academy in 2023! During my training I was a dancer in two fantastic musicals, Fame! & RENT. As well as playing Morticia Addams in the Addams Family. I have performed in 2 professional pantomimes & have done a UK Tour of a childrens show called 'Dinoursaur Adventure LIVE!'. I started out as a gymnast and did this for 8 years, and then went into dancing and musical theatre! I love to share my experiences and see people improve!
 

Qualifications: 1st Class BA Hons In Performance in Musical Theatre, Acrotrix Level 1, DBS, First Aid
Trained

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Carmen Goddard

Redhill Dance Teacher

Carmen began dancing at 3 years old and went on to complete vocational grades in ballet, tap and modern. She has a particular passion for ballet and was a Cecchetti Associate through her teen years. When she was 17 she began studying with the Royal Academy of Dance where she completed her Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies. From there she went on to study Musical Theatre and Cabaret Performance at Chichester Conservatoire, through this she developed her skills in many dance styles, alongside singing and acting. Carmen has a passion for teaching and sharing her love of dance.

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Miss Faye

Kilnwood Vale Primary Dance Teacher

Faye has a wealth of teaching experience, teaching professionally since 2012 for local dance
schools and Private schools in and around Surrey. Having trained and entered many students for ISTD graded & vocational exams with 100% pass rate, as well as choreographed dances and large show medleys for numerous performances. She began her training at a young age when she started learning Latin dance which she pursued throughout her childhood and went on to train with top professionals to take part in regional competitions which she thoroughly enjoyed. She had discovered her love for dance as a child and in addition to her Latin dance went on to train in Modern, Jazz, Tap and Ballet at her local Performing arts school where she took part in many shows & performances.

 

Faye has always had a love for working with children and so decided to share her passion for dance by training to become a teacher. In 2010 she started her vocational dance teacher training at The Centre Performing Arts college in London. Faye is also a qualified Yoga teacher and enjoys combining the benefits of Yoga within her dance classes.

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Miss Kate

Lets Explore & Meath Green Infants Dance Teacher

Bio coming soon!

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Miss Grace

Horley Infant School Dance Teacher

Bio coming soon!

OUR OFFICE TEAM

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Helen Gomez

Office Manager

Helen has been part of the Inspire Academy of Dance family since her daughter started dancing with Miss Jo aged 2.

With a background in Administration and Marketing, Helen joined the Inspire family in February 2019. Helen will be the one answering your emails, Facebook message and phone calls and also will be the one sending out the invoices every term. If you have any questions then please let her know.

Outside of working with Inspire, Helen supports a couple of other local business with their marketing needs. Now both her young children do a number of classes in Copthorne and Horley and love them!

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Gemma Withers

Office Administrator

Gemma joins us in September 2022 as part of our administration team. After graduating from the University of Sheffield, she spent almost 10 years working for Transport for London across multiple large projects.

 

More recently, she has managed the administration and finance of a local Pre-school. She has 3 young children and enjoys spending time outside.

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Mia Busby

Social Media & Marketing

Mia joined the Inspire Team in 2022 to manage our social media accounts. Her role has since evolved in to managing all areas of marketing for the Inspire business.

Mia has an extensive background in Marketing having previously worked on promoting large-scale events and awards. Alongside working for Inspire, she also supports a number of local businesses with all their Marketing needs in Sussex and Surrey.

She has a BA Hons degree in Fashion Management & Marketing and also has a 2-year old daughter.

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