Mrs Penny Cullerne-Bown (Principal; Classical Ballet; GCSE Dance; Director of Youth Ballet Company)
Mrs Cullerne-Bown is the founder and principal of East Oxford School of Ballet. Having trained at the Royal Academy of Dance and worked for ten years as a teacher and dancer, she then went on to read English at St Hilda’s College, Oxford University, gaining both BA (Hons) and M Phil degrees and running the University Dance Society for several years. In addition to teaching Ballet, Mrs Cullerne-Bown also taught English at the University for 5 years, at various colleges, and for 13 years at Oxford High School. During this time she also gained a Post Graduate Certificate in Education. It is Mrs Cullerne-Bown’s firm belief that the serious study of dance, especially Ballet, can be of lifelong value not only through the fitness and self-discipline it engenders, but also through the rewards of commitment to something difficult yet joyful. Dance should be a source of personal enrichment and education to every single student, and that is what every teacher at EOSB strives to ensure for the pupils.
Ms Hazel Gold (Classical Ballet, Contemporary and Choreography)
Hazel trained at The Royal Ballet School and the Allesley School of Dance. She initially performed as a classical dancer as a soloist with various companies and in shows including Vienna Festival Ballet (Swan Lake, Nutcracker, Cinderella, Coppelia), Rhythm of the Dance, Spirit of the Dance. Hazel later moved into contemporary and dance theatre, working with many choreographers including Matthew Bourne (New Adventures Company, Edward Scissorhands), Will Tuckett (Wind in the Willows (Mole), Pinocchio), Wayne McGregor and Kim Brandstrup. Opera dance credits include The Royal Opera’s Iphigenie en Tauride, Don Giovanni, Die Frau Ohne Schatten (soloist), ENO’s Rigoletto & La Traviata and Glyndebourne’s Rinaldo. Commercially Hazel has worked with Basement Jaxx and The Spinto Band and has advertised Telenor Mobile Phones.
Hazel has worked as movement director, choreographer and assistant director for many dance and opera productions at Glyndebourne, Scottish Opera and the Iford Festival. She has taught internationally, including for London Studio Centre & Bird College, and as rehearsal director for the National Youth Ballet of Great Britain.
Mr Nyroy Dixon (Jazz, Tap and Ballet)
Nyroy trained at the famous Bird College, specialising in Musical Theatre. He joined us in 2011, after an extensive theatre career in major shows such as Hairspray, High School Musical and Fame. He taught here for a year, before resuming his dancing career with the 2012 Olympic ceremony and a year touring with the successful production Nine to Five, returning in September 2013. Since January 2017 Nyroy has been Head of Dance at The Knightsbridge School in London, and I am very grateful that he maintains his position with EOSB as our senior Jazz and Tap teacher. His recent performing experience really informs his lively, energetic yet accessible classes, and he is much loved by his pupils of all ages.
Miss Netta Walker (Ballet and Tap)
Netta has a strong background in both classical ballet and musical theatre, having trained at the Legat School, Laine Theatre Arts and London Studio Centre Images of Dance company. She joined us in January 2009 after a performing career; she also holds the RAD CBTS, and has established herself as a super teacher and a central member of the EOSB teaching staff. She inspires the very smallest pupils up to the most advanced, with her calm and positive approach.
Miss Hannah Calvert (Ballet)
Hannah is an RAD qualified teacher (CBTS) who is also a working physiotherapist with the NHS! She provided outstanding cover teaching during Netta’s maternity leave, and is miraculously continuing to teach regular classes which she somehow fits in around her other professional commitments. Hannah teaches the very popular Adult Ballet class on Wednesdays this year, 7.30 at Rye St Antony, in addition to her other classes.
Miss Ellie Aldigheri (Pilates and Contemporary Dance)
Ellie is the founder and director of Lunas Dance Project, an adult Contemporary Dance company based in Oxford. The Youth Ballet Company have already been enjoying her teaching and her choreography for competitions has won high praise.
This year Ellie is taking a little break following the birth of her daughter in July! But hopefully our bond will remain strong.
Miss Charikleia Kyriazou (Ballet and Contemporary)
Chara (pronounced Hara) joined us in 2016 and has established herself as a very popular and effective teacher. She trained in the Vaganova Classsical method, and the Jose Limon Contemporary method, in Athens, graduating from a 3-year full time teachers’ course. I am happy that Hara will be continuing to enrich the children’s dance education this year.
Monica Franke (Pilates)
We are very fortunate to have Monica contributing to the students’ dance training. She is a highly qualified and experienced Osteopath, in addition to her Pilates qualifications – she established the Clinic on the Green in Bletchingdon, which offers a wide range of therapies in addition to Osteopathy. Monica’s wise and intuitive teaching will help the children and students (and, this year, also Adults at 2.45 – 3.45 on Sundays) to become the strongest and best-balanced dancers/people they can be.