Principal Karen Berry BSc Designated, BA (Hons) Classical Ballet Teaching

Appointed Tutor and Supervisor for the Royal Academy of Dance. R.A.D. Teaching Certificate, Teaching Diploma, Licentiate I.S.T.D.(MTB). SQA Visiting Assessor in Higher Dance, Teacher Training Manager Royal Ballet School London.

Karen founded the school in 1987 and has been teaching in Aberdeen for the last 27 years. Following a residency with Dundee Rep Dance Company, she co-founded a pioneering Aberdeen Youth Dance Company, as well as Aberdeen Youth Music Theatre . Karen has been employed as choreographer in Musical Theatre and has worked locally for the Education and the City Arts Departments as well as the Aberdeen International Youth Festival.

Karen completed the Academy’s BA (Hons) Classical Ballet Teaching in 2000 from which she has continued to research the teaching of dance from a motor development perspective. Karen has worked as a dance tutor throughout the north east of Scotland, delivering ‘in service’ training and short courses for teachers within the education department: primary and secondary schools. Karen has written and developed Dance Studies for Performing Arts (HNC) at Aberdeen College and for the current RAD CBTS programme. She has been instrumental as part of the Artistic development team responsible for the RAD’s Pre-School Dance Curriculum and the new Pre- Primary and Primary in Dance.

Over the past 15 years, Karen has worked for the RAD, teaching on Summer Schools, conducting teacher and student courses and classes for the Fonteyn Nureyev young Dancers Competition.

She is employed as an External Assessor for SQA Higher Dance and a member of the Qualification Design Team responsible for the new SQA qualification, National Progression Award in Dance. In 2013 she was employed locally as choreographer for ‘Cone Gatherers’ at HMT, which then went on to tour nationally. With the RAD, she works as a practical teaching supervisor as well as a course developer and lead tutor. Karen was a member on the new RAD Grades Creative Panel, responsible for the development and production of the RAD’s new Grades 1–5 syllabi launched in January 2012 and January 2014. Karen developed the new Grades course and was co responsible for training Tutors to teach the new work worldwide for the RAD. Karen has been a Trustee of the Royal Academy of Dance and a member of the Artistic sub-Committee since 2006. Karen splits her working life between Aberdeen and London where she is now currently employed as a Teacher Training Manager at The Royal Ballet Upper School, responsible for managing and developing the Diploma of Dance Teaching course on site and the new series of Seminars ’Inspire’. She also teaches Year 9s at White Lodge (Lower school) where her choreography has been staged at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden as part of the school’s summer shows.

Co-Principal Michelle Whyte BA(Hons) Theatre Dance

SQA Visiting Assessor in Higher Dance. RAD CPD Tutor. RAD (CBTS). ISTD CDE (MTB)

Since graduating from London Studio Centre in 2001 Michelle has been freelance teaching and choreographing across Scotland. She taught for 3 years at Dancebase in Edinburgh as well as teaching Higher Dance at Fife College, HNC and NC Dance at Aberdeen College and Dance Teaching courses for Edinburgh University.

Michelle has also been involved in the delivery of various community dance initiatives including various outreach programmes for Edinburgh City Council and Citymoves in Aberdeen. She joined Karen Berry School of Dance as Assistant Principal in August 2006 and became a partner in May 2008.

In 2009 Michelle became a visiting assessor in Higher Dance for SQA and was also been involved in the development of the new National 5 dance units. She also worked for the RAD to gain SCQF accreditation for all RAD Grades. Most recently she was selected to become a Tutor for the RAD and has been delivering CPD courses since 2014.

Lorna Scott RAD (PDTD)

Lorna trained at the Dance School of Scotland and Royal Ballet Upper School.

She was a soloist with Scottish Ballet and performed professionally with them for 14 years. During this time she worked with a variety of choreographers and performed in all the company's main classics and more contemporary works.

After retiring from the company Lorna re-trained with the Royal Academy of Dance gaining the Professional Dancer's Teaching Diploma with distinction. Following graduation, she worked at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts taking on the role as Ballet Teacher and Junior Conservatoire Coordinator. Lorna is now a freelance teacher and choreographer, she is also now an RAD CPD tutor.

Douglas Moir BA (Hons) Dance And Musical Theatre Performance


Douglas trained at Danscentre before studying at Bird College in London where he graduated in 2013 with a BA (Hons) in Dance and Musical Theatre Performance.

Douglas worked as a freelance dancer in London before returning to Aberdeen to retrain with The Royal Academy of Dance for a certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies and recently completed the diploma in Dance Instruction with the ISTD.

Charlotte Summers BA(Hons) Art and Teaching of Ballet, LRAD (Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Dance)

Registered teacher of RAD. ISTD CDE (MTB). Zumba Instructor

Charlotte trained at the Royal Academy of Dance, London, graduating with a BA(Hons) Art and Teaching of Ballet and Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Dance (L.R.A.D). Upon graduating, she choreographed her first professional ballet for Kent Youth Ballet, Assembly Theatre, Tunbridge Wells, as well as teaching freelance in London. Upon returning to her native Edinburgh, she went on to teach at the leading dance schools in the city, as well as in Fife, and lectured on the NC Dance Course at Adam Smith College, Kirkcaldy and guest lecturing at Edinburgh’s Telford College.

She has danced professionally in operas such as Die Zauberflote and L’Orfeo, under the direction of Gilbert Defoe and Jordi Savall. She has performed with the Edinburgh Mela and Zoonation Theatre Group as well as being involved in many Edinburgh Festivals as a dancer.

Jillian Louis BA(Hons) Theatre Dance

Originally from Aberdeen, Jillian Thomson has been teaching and performing around the UK for the last twenty years. Jillian is a former student of Scottish Ballet Dance School and completed her training at London Studio Centre.

Since then Jillian has worked with an array of dance companies and choreographers in many different dance genres from Contemporary, Physical Theatre, Tap, Hip Hop, Breakdancing, and Aerial Dance. She has worked pre-dominantly with Freshmess Dance Company, Curious Seed, Plan B, and has worked with many of today's leading choreographer's Janet Smith (Scottish Dance Theatre)and Eddie Kay (DV8).

Jillian is also passionate about working within the community and has also spent her time in-between being on tour as a Dance Development Officer at citymoves dancespace co-ordinating classes, projects and mentoring. Jillian worked closely with the Scottish Arts Council to develop opportunities for local artists and the choreographic development of professional dancers in the North East of Scotland.

She began working for Danscentre in 2010 creating the piece Grafted that went on to win the first ever UK Dance Proms competition and was performed in The Royal Albert Hall in 2011. She is now a senior teacher at Danscentre.

Audrey Fraser BA Hons Dance Education


Audrey has been teaching dance for over 15 years. Audrey studied with the Royal Academy of a Dance, graduating with a BA Hons in Dance Education in 2008 and gained RAD Registered Teacher status. Audrey also holds the ISTD Diploma in Dance Instruction and is a fully qualified highland teacher.

As well as having taught at various dance schools across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, Audrey has also been involved in community dance, delivering workshops and dance sessions in primary schools and community centres for all ages, as well as leading in-service day dance training for school teachers.

In her spare time, Audrey has also choreographed several shows for Aberdeen based theatre group Lyric Musical Society, as well as choreography for the Inverurie Panto.

Kathleen Thayne RAD (RTS)

Kathleen is originally from Baltimore, Maryland USA where she trained with the Baltimore County Youth Ballet and at summer programs for American Ballet Theatre and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet.

She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Dance and Arts Administration from Goucher College, where she was fortunate to work with esteemed dancers and choreographers such as Kathleen Tracey, Zippora Karz, Robert Hill and John Clifford. Her favourite roles during this time were as one of the Russian Girls in Balanchine’s Serenade and as the Second Violin in Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco.

Kathleen married an Edinburgh native in 2006 and spent a year in London as the International Examinations Officer at RAD Headquarters before moving north to Edinburgh and then to Aberdeen where she lives with her husband and two lively daughters. She holds the Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies from the RAD.

Ainslie Gill


Ainslie trained professionally at Elmhurst Ballet School in Surrey from the age of fifteen to eighteen where she achieved Advanced Vocational Qualifications and the ISTD Ballet Associate Teaching qualification. After graduating, she worked on board Cruise Liners as a principle dancer and vocalist for five years. Subsequently, Ainslie went on to work as a Creative Assistant and Assistant Choreographer. Within these roles, she has selected show casts by conducting London auditions, mounted shows onto new casts, installed shows onto Cruise ships and choreographed dynamic and diverse pieces as part of full scale, production shows.

Gillian Farquhar

ISTD (DDE), SDTA Associate, DDMIX Instructor

After working in the oil industry for 5 years Gillian decided to pursue her dream of becoming a dance teacher. She went on to study at Dance College Whitstable in Kent where she gained a distinction in vocational exams Advanced 2 Modern, Intermediate Tap and ISTD Diploma in Dance Instruction (DDI) Modern Theatre. Whilst in London Gillian attended workshops lead by Darcey Bussell at RAD Head Quarters to become a fully qualified DDMIX Instructor. Since returning to Aberdeen Gillian has completed her ISTD Diploma in Dance Education (DDE) in Modern Theatre and will soon begin to study with The Royal Academy of Dance for a Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies whilst teaching in various dance schools in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

Lesli Jamieson

Administration Team

Charlotte Kinsella

Administration Team

Harriet Foreman

Administration Team

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Danscentre Privacy Notice

This privacy notice is in place to inform our customers how Danscentre use and protect their personal data. Danscentre is committed to protecting your (including your dependants’) personal information. We are committed to providing a safe environment for all our customers, employees, casual and freelance workers and everybody who comes into contact with us, both physically and virtually (online). This Privacy notice relates to the use of any personal information provided to us online or via application forms, telephone, email exchange, letters or correspondence.

Who we are

Danscentre acts as the data controller for the purpose of Data Protection Law.
Registered Address:
89-91 Hutcheon Street
AB25 3RS

When do we collect personal data?

The term ‘personal data’ is any information relating to an identified or identifiable living individual.
When you participate in or sign up to any of the Danscentre classes, activities or workshops we may collect and store personal information about you.

We may collect personal data when you:

• Complete an enquiry form on the website
• Enrol in a Danscentre class or workshop
• Contact us via Facebook
• Respond to a survey or online form
• Visit us and/or speak to a member of staff or a volunteer

What personal data do we collect?

The type of information we collect depends on the reason for your relationship with us.

We may collect and hold:

• Your full name
• Your contact information including email address, telephone number and postal address
• Your contact preferences
• Medical information relating to your pupils if the parent/guardian considers it necessary to disclose in order for safe and effective dance training.
• Financial information
• Invoice and payment history
• Demographic information
• Other information relating to surveys or feedback
• Pupil information including photographic images taken during your training here at Danscentre

We do not collect special category personal data from our customers relating to their health, race, religious beliefs and political opinions unless there is a clear reason for doing so, such as providing additional access requirements at an event, course or performance. We only use this information to ensure we provide the best possible level of service and enable you to continue engaging with us.

Depending on your settings or privacy policies for social media like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter, you may give us permission to access information from those accounts or services.

How we may use your personal data

We always endeavour to be fair and transparent with how we use your information and ensure at all times that your information is protected.

The personal data you provide may be used:

• To provide a service or fulfil a purchase
• To process payments by debit/credit card or by setting up direct debits
• To invite you to participate in relevant surveys
• For marketing purposes when specific consent has been given
• To better understand your preferences in order to tailor our communications to suit your interests
• To analyse and improve the services we may provide
• For security purposes
• To act in accordance with the School’s Child Protection Policy

We will not hold more information than required and will ensure all personal data held is kept up to date and used only for its specific purpose(s) outlined in the policy. The retention policy will vary according to the purpose and may be contingent on circumstances when required to keep the data on the grounds of legal obligation and legitimate interest.

We will not sell, rent, trade or distribute your personal data to any third parties for marketing purposes unless we have received your prior permission to do so. Data may be shared with trusted service providers who are authorised to act on the School’s behalf and have entered into data processing agreements with us. These services may include payment processing, event ticketing, database services, examination awarding bodies, website hosting and email delivery services. In these circumstances your data will only be used for the agreed purpose relating to the service that they are providing. We do not transfer any personal data to countries outside of the European Economic Area (EEA).

Legitimate interest

We may occasionally hold or use personal data on the grounds of ‘legitimate interest’. In broadest terms, this means that we can process personal information if we have a genuine and legitimate reason and we are not harming any of your rights and interests.

Before using this basis, we carefully consider and balance any potential impact on you and your rights.

How we protect your personal data

All information you provide to us is stored on our secure servers. Any personal information retained is kept confidential and stored in a secure, password protected, database that is only accessible by relevant members of staff.

We will take appropriate technical and organisational steps to ensure the security of personal data about individuals, including policies around use of technology and devices, and access to School systems. All staff are aware of the privacy policy and their duties under Data Protection Law and continue to receive relevant training.

Your rights

Wherever you are asked to submit personal data there will be an option for you to select the type of communications you wish to receive. You have the right to update your preferences at any time by contacting us at enquiries@danscentre.com

The accuracy of your personal data is important to us and you have the right to update the personal data that we hold. Please help us keep our records up to date by notifying us when your personal data changes.

If you ask for your data to be removed, we will keep the minimum amount of information to ensure we adhere to your request. Please note however that we may have a lawful reason to hold or use the personal data in question which does not require consent.

You have the right to ask us not to hold or use your personal data however this does mean we may not be able to provide you with the full range of services that are offered.

Under the Data Protection Act 1998, or after 25 May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation, you have the right to request full details of your personal data that is held by us. To make this request please contact michelle@danscentre.com, including a description of the information you would like to see together with proof of identity.

This notice

We will update this notice from time to time. Any substantial changes that affect your rights will be provided to you directly as far as is reasonably practicable.


Danscentre Website T & C's

Website Terms and Conditions of Use

Welcome to our website. If you continue to browse and use this website, you are agreeing to comply with and be bound by the following terms and conditions of use, which together with our privacy policy govern Danscentre’s relationship with you in relation to this website. If you disagree with any part of these terms and conditions, please do not use our website.

Danscentre or us/ we/ our refers to the owner of the website.

The term you refers to the user or viewer of our website.

The use of this website is subject to the following terms of use:
The content of the pages of this website is for your general information and use only. It is subject to change without notice.
This website uses cookies to monitor browsing preferences. See our Privacy Policy for details.
Neither we nor any third parties provide any warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy, timeliness, performance, completeness or suitability of the information and materials found or offered on this website for any particular purpose.
You acknowledge that such information and materials may contain inaccuracies or errors and we expressly exclude liability for any such inaccuracies or errors to the fullest extent permitted by law.
Your use of any information or materials on this website is entirely at your own risk, for which we shall not be liable. It shall be your own responsibility to ensure that any services or information available through this website meet your specific requirements.
This website contains material which is owned by or licensed to us. This material includes, but is not limited to, the design, layout, look, appearance and graphics. Reproduction is prohibited other than in accordance with the copyright notice, which forms part of these terms and conditions.

All trademarks reproduced in this website, which are not the property of, or licensed to the operator, are acknowledged on the website.

Unauthorised use of this website may give rise to a claim for damages and/or be a criminal offence.

From time to time, this website may also include links to other websites. These links are provided for your convenience to provide further information. They do not signify that we endorse the linked website(s). We have no responsibility for the content of the linked website(s).

Your use of this website and any dispute arising out of such use of the website is subject to the laws of Scotland. By using this website you accept the exclusive jurisdiction of the Scottish courts in relation to any dispute arising from your use