Meet The Team

Amy Charles

School Principal. BA(Hons).CDE.(LISTD (DDP)).AIDTA.AA.

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Amy began dancing at a young age, studying for her exams in ballet, tap, modern, jazz and freestyle with the RAD, ISTD and IDTA. She was also a keen member of Stage by Stage, Exeter Little Theatre Company and Exeter Musical Society and for many years enjoyed participating in numerous productions, pantomimes and All England Dance festivals often taking lead roles and expanding her experience by training in singing and drama. Amy was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to perform with different companies at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Her Majesty’s Theatre, London and The London Palladium. After, achieving top grades in Performing Arts and Dance amongst her other A Levels, Amy studied for four years at Bournemouth University to gain a BA (Hons) degree in Public Relations. During this time she also became a pupil of the Julie Adams Stage School, Bournemouth, and was later employed as a dance assistant for the school’s gymnastics classes. After graduating, Amy enjoyed working as a Marketing and Public Relations Officer for a number of years, employed by Ogilvy PR, Devon and Cornwall Police and Teignbridge District Council, but eventually decided to return to her love of dance and trained to become a fully qualified dance teacher.

Under the guidance and expertise of ISTD examiners Deborah Bond and Gaynor Walter, Amy studied to gain the Foundation in Dance Instruction (FDI) and then later the Certificate in Dance Education (CDE). Both exams, are overseen by the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance (ISTD), and involve training in child development and lifespan, health and safety, observation and teaching skills, choreography, musicality and syllabus training.  Amy went on to study with the South West Dance Teacher Training Centre and completed her training with the International Dance Teachers Association (IDTA) taking her Pre-Associate 1, Pre-Associate 2 and Associate Qualifications in Classical Ballet, plus her Anatomy and Physiology Diploma gaining a high distinction in all exams. She also trained with Acrobatic Arts to become a qualified acro instructor and attended a teacher training intensive with dance consultant Rebecca Davies to enable RADAR Technique to be introduced to Charles Academy. In 2018 she commenced her training with Swindon Dance to gain the LISTD Diploma in Dance Pedagogy qualification allowing her to gain QTS.

Amy regularly attends teaching courses to ensure her continued professional development, and has undertaken full first aid and safeguarding training and like all Charles Academy staff holds a DBS check. On qualifying, Amy was offered the role of Head of Modern & Tap at the Euridge School of Dance, Exeter, where she worked before moving on in 2009 to establish Charles Academy of Dance. Additional, to teaching the syllabus work, over the years, Amy has taught dance and choreographed for many local primary and secondary schools, the Eden Project Relays Festival and the Crediton Learning Community.

Amy’s fun, friendly and kind teaching approach is accompanied with a wealth of experience, a focus on integrity and high standards, which is demonstrated through her exceptional student examination results and the success her choreography has achieved at the local, regional and national levels of the All England Dance Competition. She is passionate about sharing her love and dance, choreography and teaching, and has very successfully helped to coach many students over the years to achieve places in the top vocational colleges, universities and training schemes. As Charles Academy enters its eleventh year, Amy is very excited to see what the future holds and as always is continually proud of all of her students!

Cassie Hill

Head of Ballet. ARAD. RAD RTS.

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Cassie trained at Sidmouth Ballet School, achieving top grades in her exams of ballet, modern, tap and jazz, and in 1996 was selected as a Senior Associate of the Royal Ballet School. In 1998 she was chosen as a Scholarship Winner for the English National Ballet School Easter Course. She later went on to attend a 2 year Intensive Classical Ballet course at the English National Ballet School, qualifying with a National Certificate in Professional Dance, Elementary Solo Reading Examination in Classical Ballet, and an honours grade in Benesh Movement Notation. During this time she studied pas de deux, repertoire, contemporary dance, jazz, music appreciation plus much more.

In 2003, Cassie began her training to achieve Royal Academy of Dance Registered Teacher Status, by completing the Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies (CBTS). She completed a teacher placement at Sidmouth Ballet School, where she was then employed as a dance teacher coaching children through to adults the RAD syllabus, choreographing for the school productions and preparing students for exams with a 100% pass rate.

As well as training to become a teacher, Cassie has a great deal of performance experience. In 2001, she joined La Scala Ballet, Milan as a dancer in the Corps de Ballet for their productions of Giselle, Sleeping Beauty and Excelsior. And in 2002, she danced with the English National Ballet in their production of Swan Lake at the Royal Albert Hall. Later that year she joined Ballet Ireland for their tour of Les Sylphides, Irish Rhapsody and Highlights from Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker.

Cassie joined Charles Academy on opening 10 years ago and is a very valued, skilled and highly experienced member of the teaching faculty. She has very successfully choreographed many ballet routines for our annual show, the Eden Project Relays Festival and local competitive dance festivals, as well as entering students for RAD exams and the Royal Ballet Junior Associate Scheme.

Sarah Dickinson

Contemporary, Modern, Tap and Jazz Tutor. ISTD DDE.

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We were delighted to welcome Sarah to the teaching team in September 2016. Before going on to train professionally at Performers College, Essex, Sarah trained at Charles Academy, completing her ISTD Modern and Tap Advanced 1 qualifications with top level distinctions. She then went on to perform professionally in dance and musical theatre, before moving back to Devon, and completing her ISTD DDI and DDE teaching qualifications in both Modern and Tap, as well as her DDI Ballet.

Sarah teaches the ISTD syllabus at Charles Academy in some of our modern, tap and jazz grades plus our beginners and intermediate contemporary and lyrical class. She has gained a 100% pass rate with all her examination results and professional attention to detail, beautiful choreography and kind teaching style makes her a very well-liked, respected and valued tutor within our school.

Carly Banbury

Customer Service Apprentice

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.Carly is completing a Customer Service Apprenticeship with us in her role as Receptionist and Business Administrator. She will be available to answer your queries and help with the day to day running of the school. As a former student dancer, she knows her stuff (!) and has lots of exciting new projects in the pipeline for the future! Carly is fully DBS checked, first aid trained and is also fully licensed as a chaperone through Devon County Council.

Matt Charles

Business Administrator. BA (Hons). MSc.

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In addition to the teachers, you will also see Matt around the Charles Academy of Dance. Matt is involved in the daily running of the school in his role as Business Administrator. He will be available to answer any questions you may have and can deal with any invoicing queries. As with all Charles Academy staff, he is fully DBS checked, first aid trained and is also fully licensed as a chaperone through Devon County Council.

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We look forward to hearing from you and starting your journey into the magical world of dance!