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Our Teachers

Sarah Anne Westcott Dance Studios

Our Dance Teachers

Sarah Anne Westcott Dance Teacher Headshot

Sarah Anne Westcott

Sarah Anne started dancing at the age of three and studied her BBO Ballet and Tap grades at her local dancing school in Bideford. After leaving school she went on to further her dance training with Marjorie Tattersall at the Bristol School of Dancing, where she gained her teaching qualifications.

After a short career performing Sarah Anne returned to her home town of Bideford and realised her life-long dream of opening her own Dance Studios. Passionate about teaching Sarah Anne wanted to pass on her love of dance to her pupils.

Over the years Sarah Anne has had the privilege of being taught by many renowned former dancers and artistic directors. She continues to further enhance her knowledge by travelling to Elmhurst School of Ballet and bbodance London for regular CPD courses in all genres of dance.

Sarah Anne is a registered teacher, Senior Examiner and Area Representative with bbodance and also holds teaching qualifications with the ISTD, IDTA and ABD. She holds a certificate in Safe & Effective Dance Practice and has also taught GCSE dance. Most recently she has become a licensed teacher for the RAD Silver Swans programme and DDMIX.

Many of Sarah Anne’s pupils have gained bbodance scholarships in Ballet and Jazz to attend their prestigious training scheme and former pupils have gained places at top vocational schools, going on to work in the industry as performers on cruise lines and in Ballet companies. She is very proud that some of her former pupils have gained their teaching qualifications and now teach at the studios
Juliette Regan Dance Teacher Headshot

Juliette Regan

Juliette danced with Sarah Anne from the age of 13 before leaving at 18 to pursue her dream of becoming a Butlins Redcoat.

Following a Christmas season dancing in the annual professional pantomime in Barnstaple, Juliette returned to the studios as assistant teacher and 25 years later she remains committed to giving the students the opportunity to flourish through dance.

Juliette’s own 2 daughters have progressed through the studios with her eldest Scarlett having completed her Level 4 Teaching Qualification with Sarah Anne’s support and subsequently gaining a dance degree at Roehampton University, starting her first teaching job in Watford in September 2019. Juliette is also one of our DDMIX instructors.
Rachel Humphreys Dance Teacher Headshot

Rachel Humphreys

Rachel has been dancing since the age of 3 here at the Sarah Anne Westcott Dance Studios and went on to attend junior and senior bbodance monthly scholar’s classes in London.

At the age of 14 Rachel enrolled at the Urdang Academy in Covent Garden. She was invited to audition for the Vienna Festival Ballet company aged 17 but decided instead to gain her dance teaching qualifications enabling her to achieve registered teacher status with bbodance. Rachel has now been teaching for 15 years and loves seeing the students learn and grow doing something they enjoy. She also has 2 girls that keep her very busy!
Sophie Andrews Dance Teacher Headshot

Sophie Andrews

From a young age Sophie trained with Sarah Anne Westcott in ballet, tap, modern and jazz taking exams in every style. She also took musical theatre lessons and enjoyed dancing in many shows, festivals and summer schools where she gained lots of performing experience. At 17 Sophie completed a Level 3 Teaching Classical Ballet qualification with BBOdance and continued onto the Level 4 Diploma qualification.

At Petroc Sophie studied A Level dance, training in different contemporary dance techniques, choreography and performance skills. She went on to do a foundation degree in Community Dance practice and learnt to work with a range of ages and abilities.

Sophie first started teaching contemporary dance lessons after studying it at Petroc and choreographed her first piece, gaining first prize at North Devon Dance Festival. She is now introducing the new BBOdance contemporary syllabus into her classes and also enjoys teaching a variety of ages and styles throughout the weekly classes at the studios.
Jade Bayliss Dance Teacher Headshot

Jade Bayliss

Jade’s passion for dance started back in 1997 when she was just 2yrs old and joined the studios for her very first ballet lesson. She has been dancing ever since, taking lessons in ballet, tap, modern, jazz, musical theatre and singing.

As a student Jade worked her way up through the grades and took part in the bi-annual dance shows, local dance festivals, workshops, dance events like Thrill the World and Pasha. In 2013 she started travelling between Devon and London to gain her BBOdance Assistant Teaching Qualification and in 2015 she achieved her Level 4 Diploma in Dance Teaching Qualification.

Since gaining my qualifications Jade has helped choreograph dances for the studio shows, dance events and group and solos entries for local dance festivals. Jade holds a current enhanced DBS, Emergency Paediatric First Aid Certificate, Level 2 Safeguarding Certificate and Chaperone Licence.
Ashley Howells Dance Teacher Headshot

Ashley Howells

Ashley has danced at the studios for over 15 years and has recently become a qualified DDMIX instructor, leading classes alongside Juliette.
Val Fay Dance Teacher Headshot

Val Fay

Val began Tap dancing at the studios 25 years ago, as an adult student, followed by ballet classes and many years of modern dance. She studied the tap grades and was proud to achieve her Grade 8. Val now teaches the twice-weekly adult Tap Classes and assists with the Adult Stretch and Tone session.

In 2005 she started work on the reception desk on a Saturday morning and has since continued to fulfil Administration duties in Bideford and at our Torrington classes.
Karen Taylor Dance Teacher Headshot

Karen Taylor

Karen started off at the dance studios back in 1997 as a typical dance mum dropping off and collecting her youngest daughter (who now helps teach) from the studios. As she became more & more involved so did Karen, from chaperoning during the many events the students take part in to helping design and make costumes when needed for the bi annual dance shows including costumes for students taking part in local dance festivals.

In 2007 Karen started working alongside Val on the reception on Saturday mornings. Karen holds a current enhanced DBS, Emergency at Work First Aid Certificate, Level 2 Safeguarding Certificate and Chaperone Licence.
Brenda Last OBE - Our Patron Dance Teacher Headshot

Brenda Last OBE - Our Patron

Brenda studied with Vera Volkova and aged 16 she won the gold medal in the Royal Academy of Dancing’s prestigious Genée International Ballet Competition. She completed her training at The Royal Ballet School.

In 1957, Brenda was founder member of Western Theatre Ballet when it was formed by Peter Darrell and Elizabeth West. In Darrell’s signature dramatic style, Brenda created roles in several of his ballets, including A Wedding Present (1962).

In 1963, Brenda joined the Touring Company of The Royal Ballet, becoming Principal Dancer in 1965. A nimble, technically strong and exuberant dancer, she created roles in several ballets including Frederick Ashton’s Creatures of Prometheus (1970) and Peter Wright’s Arpège (1975). She remained with Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet until 1977, when she was invited to become Artistic Director of Norwegian National Ballet. Three years later, she returned to the UK and joined the teaching staff of London Contemporary Dance School, later becoming Director of The Hammond School.

She has taught throughout the world for both the Royal Academy of Dancing and BBOdance and has given classes to many of the world’s major ballet companies and has worked extensively at Japan’s Noriko Kobayashi Ballet. For many years, she was an advisor to Arts Council England and the Olivier Awards. Most recently, Brenda was Director of Training at BBOdance, and now Patron, and she still teaches regularly for Michael Clarke Company.
In December 2012 she received an OBE for Services to Dance. Many of our great dancers owe a huge debt of thanks to Brenda for her outstanding teaching and coaching.
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Sarah Anne Westcott Dance Studios, The Studios, Rope Walk, Bideford, North Devon. EX39 2NA