Welcome to The Helen Laxton School of Dance

 

 

WhatsNew

 

Outstanding Results

Congratulations to all pupils who recently took Grades 2,5,6 and 7 RAD examinations. A total of 19 Distinctions with many in the high 80's and 90's and 25 high merits.

 

New Lyrical and Contemporary Classes plus Adult Fun Fitness, Exercise, Dance and Ballet Classes

 

 

 

 

   

 

CurrentNews

 

Congratulations / Good Luck

Congratulations to Emma Harris on gaining a place at Bird College, Danika Gawronski and Laura Male for gaining a place at Chichester to study Dance.

 

Congratulations to Molly Birnie for gaining a place at Falmouth University to study Dance, Tara Jordan for gaining a scholarship to attend Barbara Speake Stage School.

 

Congratulations to Faye Jordan for gaining a scholarship to study performing arts at Susie Earnshaw Theatre School.

 

Congratulations to Natasha Webb on gaining a place to study at The Royal Academy of Dance

   

 

RecentNews

 

 

Former pupil Abigail Matthews has made her West End debut in the hit musical "The War Horse"

Former pupil Alex Jackson has extended his contract in the West End hit musical "The Bodyguard" and has also performed with Rita Ora and Arianna Grande

Full Scholarship places at top vocational dance schools, Chloe Burton to Doreen Bird College, Faye Jordan to Susie Earnshaw Theatre School, Ellen Welch to Ballet Theatre UK

Faye and Tara Jordan on winning Gold Medals for England at the World Tap Dance Championships which were held in Germany

 

 

 

 

   

 

Latest News

 
 

 

 

See our Show reel on You Tube

The Show reel was created by Rhiannon Watkins which includes previous performances of Everybody Dance recorded at the Octagon Theatre Yeovil and also a selection of dances from the Somerset Youth Dance Company Productions Rhiannon was a former pupil at the school who trained from the age of 2 - 19 years passing all her examinations up to and including Advanced level. Rhiannon is now studying for a BA Hons. in Television and Film Production at Portsmouth University. She has also continued with her dance training with Portsmouth University Dance Squad which recently won the National Hip Hop Championship.

 

2016 Highlights

 

What an amazing year we had! Lots of fun, lots of hard work, lots of outstanding achievements! Many pupils were entered for Royal Academy of Dance Ballet Examinations, we once again maintained a 100% pass rate in the children’s Examinations with many pupils gaining the top mark of Distinction. At vocational level our students gained outstanding marks at Intermediate Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced level with Ellen Darcey gaining a Merit for her Advanced 2, the final Examination in the whole of the Royal Academy of Dance’s syllabus and one which very students worldwide achieve. 2016 started with a trip to watch our pupils performing in sleeping beauty, the professional pantomime which ran for a month over the Christmas and New year period. A wonderful experience for our pupils and a real insight into the life of a performer.

In February our 2 Hip Hop Crews Rhiact and Rhimix who are coached by Award winning dancer and choreographer Rhiannon Watkins, performed at Spring Forward at The Octagon theatre. The girls and boys performed brilliantly once again. Also in February, 11 year old Ashley MacLauchlan was offered a place on the National Youth Music Theatre programme. A fantastic achievement with lots of great performance opportunities.

In June we had a wonderful evening watching former pupil and now professional Ballerina Caroline Rees performing with the JSLN Ballet Company on their tour of the UK. Caroline was a pupil at our school from the age of 3 years. Even at a very young age Caroline was committed to becoming a professional Ballerina, so lovely to see our pupils achieving and living their dreams.

 

 

Also in June our very young Octagon Academy Pre School children took part in their very first stage performance in “Shine” at The Octagon theatre in Yeovil. They all danced beautifully and had a wonderful time. There were over 200 of our pupils who performed in ‘Dance Dance Dance “ a charity performance which we run to raise money for The Yeovil Community Arts Association who sponsor young talented dancers, performers and musicians and help to to achieve their dreams. In two sold out performances we managed to raise over £4000 for the charity.

 

 

In July we had lots of very talented dancers auditioning for our Award winning Hip Hop Hop Crews who are trained by Rhiannon Watkins and who compete and perform at all kinds of events throughout the year. This year we also started up a very exciting Hip Hop Training Academy where novice dancers with potential train in all different genres of Hip Hop & Street Dance and work towards auditioning for a place in one of our Crews.

Our school choreography competition showed outstanding talent from all of our pupils who took part. The winners who will be performing their dances in Everybody Dance 2017 at the Octagon Theatre in March are Freya Jenkins and Olga Trojanowska, Hazel Luscombe, Charlotte Hamlett and Mary Butler. After watching an outstanding performance by Isobel Rowe she has been selected to perform the senior solo for Everybody Dance 2017.

Also in July we were asked to provide a student to take part in a music video King of Fools with Jo Burt.  Seventeen year old Chloe Burton gave a beautiful performance in her first professional music video. Chloe also appeared later in the year modeling at The Alternative Hair show at The Albert Hall in London. 

The highlight of the year has to be the surprise party to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Helen Laxton School of Dance in Yeovil. Hundreds of pupils old and new attended the party, there were some outstanding performances, some very funny performances, lots of fun and laughter and some beautiful video messages from former pupils who are now performing and teaching all over the world. A truly magical evening !

The summer holidays brought lots of fun and hard work with brilliant performances at our Summer Holiday Workshops

News of summer dance employment from former pupils, Jessica Stephens graduated  from The Performance Preparation Academy and was offered a job dancing in Spain. Georgia Green gained her first professional work dancing in the Canary Isles.

 

The wonderful and very talented Kate Jordan graduated form Bird College in July and before she had finished the academic year she was offered a dance role in the revival of the amazing show 42nd Street in Paris. Kate is now working on the production which will open in London’s West End in 2017. Kate has been in numerous productions, she has performed on music videos, in television shows and in modelling assignments. Kate has a very exciting career ahead of her.

 

In September we waved goodbye to lots of our Senior pupils who gained places at top dance Schools, colleges and Universities to study dance. Corrie-Ella Cheshire, was offered a place to study at Stella Mann Performers College and UEL , Corrie chose to study at Stella Mann college.

Charlotte Diamond was offered a place at Chichester, Winchester, Falmouth, Plymouth & De Montfort Universities to study dance, Charlotte chose to go to De Montfort University. to study for a BA (HONS) Dance and choreography. Alice Hobbs gained a place at The Royal Academy of Dance, Bath Spa University & the University of Worcester. Alice decided to go to the University of Worcester to study for a degree in dance and community practice. 

Mollie Foster at just 16 years old was offered a place at Millenium, Performers and Laine Theatre Arts, Mollie chose to go Laine Theatre Arts. Tilly Boulay was awarded at place at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. Tara Ivory Jordan was awarded places at all of the top dance and theatre schools that she auditioned for, Tara has chosen to go to The Millennium Theatre Arts School.

Emma Harris was awarded a place on the 3 year degree course at Bird College after spending the summer working in Disneyland Paris. Elena Uren was awarded a place to study Drama and Theatre skills at Falmouth University. Natasha Webb was offered a place at The Royal Academy of Dance on the three year teacher training degree programme. Natasha was also offered a place on the Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies course, a distance learning programme which allows students to train in their home town whilst teaching and being mentored by their teachers. Helen Laxton will be mentoring Natasha who will gain an internationally recognised dance teacher training Cetrificate.

Alexander Burton has being offered another year studying dance at The Royal Ballet School on The Senior Associate Programme, he will travel to London to The Royal Ballet School every weekend to further his training.

Auditions for Peter pan, the Professional pantomime at The Octagon Theatre, Yeovil went extremely well for our pupils with 15 children being chosen to be dancers and lost boys. A great experience for everybody.

December saw former pupil Elise Cohen - Yuill release the first single from her debut album. Elise has been working on the album for years, writing and playing songs and fundraising to create her album, we wish her and all of other pupils every success in the future  

 

2015 Highlights

2015 was yet another fantastic year for the school with lots of  highlights. In February 2015 some of our senior pupils performed as backing dancers for The Andy Abraham's Show, a show which raised money for street children in Africa. In March the whole school took part in "Everybody Dance 2015" a 6 show dance spectacular at The Octagon Theatre Yeovil involving all of our pupils from 2 years of age up to and including the adults. The show was a sell out success which raised thousands of pounds for local charities.

In May our pupils were once again chosen to dance with Pasha Kovalev and other stars from Strictly Come Dancing in their sell out 2015 tour, a fantastic time was had by all.

In June our pupils performed at the Urban Jam at various locations in Somerset, in Shine at the Octagon Theatre and at numerous school fetes and charity events. The school has maintained it's 100% pass rate in dance examinations this year with many pupils gaining top marks. Many senior pupils have gained places at top vocational schools and colleges. Many of our former pupils have gained new West End, Dance Company and Television contracts throughout the year. Both our Hip Hop Crews were successful at the UDO competitions in October and have been awarded a place in the National Finals in Scotland in 2016.

 

 

Some of our Success Stories of 2014

 

 Another academic year over and what a year it has been, so many highlights, so much fun !! Great performances at The Octagon Theatre with Dance Dance Dance 2014, Strictly Come Dancing with Pasha and Katya, Spring Forward Performances, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun with The Somerset Youth Dance Company, Hairspray with The Somerset School of Performing Arts, Snow White with the professional pantomime, performances with Twist and Pulse as well as numerous charity performances.

Also lots of great personal achievements to celebrate, once again a 100% pass rate in all examinations.

Full Scholarship awards to top vocational dance training colleges, Chloe Burton to Doreen Bird College, Ellen Welch to Ballet Theatre UK and Faye Jordan to Susie Earnshaw Theatre School. Harry Johnson on gaining a place at the three year dance course at Urdang. Rhiact and Rhigenerate our Hip Hop crews winning awards at the UDO South West Hip Hop Championships and being invited to take part in the World Championships. Faye and Tara Jordan on being selected onto the Junior England Tap Team. Will Gregory aged 9 on his first professional TV appearance and so many more outstanding achievements throughout the year.

It has been a fantastic and very rewarding year teaching exceptionally hard working and talented pupils who have all achieved so much A great big thank you to all our parents for your constant understanding and support, you are all amazing !! A massive thanks you must also go to our amazing teachers Catherine Sprackman, Jo Cousins, Hannah Ingham, Rhiannon Watkins, Claire Derrick, Katie Sutherland and Anna Soughton who all work so hard to enable the children to reach their full potential, giving them inspiration, goals to achieve and lots of fun !!

Former pupil Abigail Matthews made her West End debut in the hit musical "The War Horse" and another former Alex Jackson has extended his contract in The West End hit musical "The Bodyguard".

Two pupils who have been training with us from the age of three years have now become dance teachers at the Helen Laxton School of Dance, Katie Sutherland has successfully completed her Royal Academy of Dance Teacher Training and Hannah Ingham is in her final few months of the course.

Many of our students have gained places at Vocational Schools and Colleges to further their dance and performance studies Kate Jordan was offered scholarship places at Urdang, Bird College and Laine and chose to take up a place at Bird College. Georgia Green was offered a place at The London Theatre School, London Studio Centre and Stella Mann College, Georgia chose to study at Stella Mann, Jessica Stephens, Charlotte Burton, Jenny Ellis all received offers of a place at PPA Guildford, Amy Morris was offered a place to study Dance at Edgehill and De Montford Universities, Chloe Burton has been offered a place to study full time at Laine Theatre Arts and The Urdang Academy and Ellen Darcy on being offered a place at Ballet Theatre Uk.

Other success stories this year… Ashley Mac Lauchlan was awarded a part in a local film and also made it through the first round of auditions to play Charlie in the West Ends Musical Charlie and The Chocolate Factory and to the final auditions of the hit musical "Matilda". Rose Hadfield on being accepted into the National Youth Dance Company, Kate Jordan won a Gold Medal for England at World Tap Championships which were held in Germany. Her sister Faye came 3rd place in the first ever British Children's Tap Team. Faye also made it through to the final round of auditions for the West End Hit musicals Billy Elliott and Matilda. Charlotte Burton was the first ever pupil in the school to pass her Royal Academy of Dance Advanced 2 syllabus examination. Normally this examination is only taken by pupils in full time dance training. Charlotte passed with a Merit, an outstanding achievement ! Alexander Burton has been offered another year on the Royal Ballet School Mid Associate Programme, he has also been offered another season with The London Children's Ballet.

Former pupil Alex Jackson has extended his contract in the West End hit musical "The Bodyguard", he has also recently performed with Rita Ora, Arianna Grande and also at the MTV EMAS awards.

Full scholarship places at top vocational dance schools wre obtained by Chloe Burton to Doreen Bird College, Faye Jordan to Susie Earnshaw Theatre School and Ellen Welch to Ballet Theatre UK

Abigail Matthews Stars in Evita

 

 

In April, one of our West End stars Abigail Matthews, returned to the West End to star in Goodnight Mr Tom for which she gained outstanding reviews. Abigail had just completed a year in The Warhorse in the West End before being offered a part in goodnight Mr Tom May saw 8 year old Elouise Church win the 'Star of the Future' at the Cinderella awards for her role as Cuddles in the pantomime Snow White

Abigail trained at the Helen Laxton School of Dance from the age of 3 - 17 years gaining all of her Royal Academy Ballet Examinations and her Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance Modern Examinations to Advanced level. At 17 years of age Abigail began her vocational training at Mountview where she excelled in all aspects of musical theatre. Before she completed her final year of training Abigail was offered her first professional engagement, a 15 month contract playing the mistress in Evita which is touring all over Europe.

Abigail Matthews has most  recently been nominated for best female in The Off West End Awards for her role in The Hired Man, and has also been performing in the hit musical The Lion, Witch and Wardrobe an outstanding achievement for anybody let alone a 22 year old!

Alex Jackson

Alex Jackson has had a phenomenal year dancing with many huge stars in pop concerts and television. He has had numerous modeling assignments and also work on music videos. Alex has just been given his first West End contract in the musical "The Bodyguard"

Alex a former pupil who has just completed his training at Urdang has had a very busy year so far. He performed on the X Factor, in Coldplay's new music video, at the Britt awards and he has also had several modeling assignments. Alex has most recently been performing in the opening and closing ceremonies of the London Olympics along with former pupils Caroline Rees and Emilie Woan.