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Principal and Teachers

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Miss Helen

Curtain Upp’s Founder and Principal

Uppingham resident, Helen Becque, began dancing at the age of 4, training in Ballet, Tap, Modern, Jazz and Acrobatics. Whilst performing in competitions, shows and pantomimes, dancing soon became a passion for Helen and an increasingly important part of her life. During her time at University, Helen taught dance and danced professionally for “Impact” dance group, performing on stage and television. After several summer seasons in the UK, Helen auditioned for international cruise lines and soon found herself travelling the Mediterranean and Far East with Sun Cruises. These contracts provided Helen with the experience to work with Princess Cruises as a Dancer and later, Line Captain, taking her to Hawaii, Mexico and Alaska.

During her global adventures, Helen fell in love and decided to give up travel to start a family. It seemed like a natural transition for Helen to combine her love of the creative subjects and teaching. So she returned to education and become a fully qualified secondary school teacher.

Uppingham resident, Helen Becque, began dancing at the age of 4, training in Ballet, Tap, Modern, Jazz and Acrobatics. Whilst performing in competitions, shows and pantomimes, dancing soon became a passion for Helen and an increasingly important part of her life. During her time at University, Helen taught dance and danced professionally for “Impact” dance group, performing on stage and television. After several summer seasons in the UK, Helen auditioned for international cruise lines and soon found herself travelling the Mediterranean and Far East with Sun Cruises. These contracts provided Helen with the experience to work with Princess Cruises as a Dancer and later, Line Captain, taking her to Hawaii, Mexico and Alaska.

During her global adventures, Helen fell in love and decided to give up travel to start a family. It seemed like a natural transition for Helen to combine her love of the creative subjects and teaching. So she returned to education and become a fully qualified secondary school teacher.

After teaching Expressive Arts consisting of Art, Drama, Music and Dance for nine years and also raising a young family, opening Curtain Upp stage school is a dream come true. Helen aspires to create her own expressive arts community with an initial focus on dance, offering children from Uppingham and beyond, the opportunity of making new friends, learning transferable skills and becoming part of something truly special. Helen’s early dance experiences helped to shape the rest of her life, provided her with the fortuity to travel the world and meet her soul mate. She is truly grateful to her parents for giving her the opportunity to dance.

curtain upp stage school uppingham helen becque dance teacher principal oakham rutland corby leicester peterborough melton mowbray

After teaching Expressive Arts consisting of Art, Drama, Music and Dance for nine years and also raising a young family, opening Curtain Upp stage school is a dream come true. Helen aspires to create her own expressive arts community with an initial focus on dance, offering children from Uppingham and beyond, the opportunity of making new friends, learning transferable skills and becoming part of something truly special. Helen’s early dance experiences helped to shape the rest of her life, provided her with the fortuity to travel the world and meet her soul mate. She is truly grateful to her parents for giving her the opportunity to dance.

curtain upp stage school uppingham helen becque dance teacher principal oakham rutland corby leicester peterborough melton mowbray

Miss Danielle

Curtain Upp Dance Teacher

Miss Danielle has been dancing since she was three years old. She enjoyed professional training at The Guildford School of Acting, achieving the highest grades of her year group for dance modules. Miss Danielle graduated with a first class BA honours degree.

Since her graduation, Miss Danielle has worked professionally in London, teaching at leading drama schools, acting and performing voiceover work. Her UK professional stage credits include, Dance Captain for “Guys and Dolls”, Dance Captain for “Children of Eden”, Assistant Choreographer for the 25th Anniversary of “Phantom of The Opera”, Assistant Choreographer for “Footloose”, playing the Baker’s Wife in “Into the Woods”, playing Wednesday Adams in “The Addams Family”, playing Maria Von Trapp in “The Sound of Music” and she is currently rehearsing the lead role of Cathy for the musical “The Last Five Years”, which is being filmed in 2021.

Miss Danielle relocated to Rutland in 2019 and is delighted to be teaching the students at Curtain Upp. With first-hand experience of the importance of encouragement, fun and being able to creatively express yourself through performance, Danielle loves developing these qualities in her students. Danielle’s favoured subjects are acrobatics, modern jazz and musical theatre.

In addition to teaching musical theatre, dance and circus skills, Miss Danielle has is a Personal Fitness Trainer (BoddiBoo.co.uk), specialising in pre and post-natal exercise and rehabilitation exercise after major surgery, such as a hip/ knee replacement or spinal injuries. Most recently through the Coronavirus pandemic Danielle has gained further qualifications in teaching hypno-birth, enabling her to work with clients preparing for a positive birth.

 

Our Dance Assistants

National Association of Teachers of Dance

All our Dance Assistants have a strong dedication to Curtain Upp. They are chosen to assist in classes for several reasons including a passion for dance and a compassionate nature. Their responsibilities include helping with music, props, and the general smooth running of the class. They may encourage a struggling dancer, lead choreography, help with shoe changes or escort dancers to use the bathroom. They are always a source of positive and enthusiastic energy in the class and our dancers love their input during lessons. They work seamlessly with our teachers by anticipating their needs so that together we can provide a fun, safe and supportive learning environment for our younger dancers. We are so grateful to have Miss Charlotte, Miss Emma, Miss Lyanda, Miss Poppy and Miss Lucy as part of the Curtain Upp team.

N.A.T.D.

National Association of Teachers of Dance

curtain upp stage school uppingham helen becque dance teacher principal oakham rutland corby leicester peterborough melton mowbray

Curtain Upp ® is proud to be a member of the NATD (National Association of Teachers of Dance), which is one of the world’s oldest dance teaching organisations, founded in 1906. By 1912 it had 50 members and today it boasts several thousand around the world. Examinations in all disciplines (listed below) are taken through this internationally-recognised examination board and are accredited to Ofqual.

The Association aims to promote the enjoyment and knowledge of a variety of dance genres through each Teachers’ passion and commitment to the art form. It offers an extensive range of dance styles with a comprehensive range of carefully developed graded syllabi for the amateur and professional. The aim of all examinations is to encourage a positive approach to achievement and strive for the development of each individual to their maximum potential.

Professional examinations are available in Classic Ballet, Modern Stage, National Tap, Theatrical Dance, Contemporary, Ballroom, Latin American, Freestyle/Street & Rock’n’ Roll and Gymnastic Dance. All branches have a syllabus of graded examinations and medal tests which can eventually lead to professional standards. Such examinations are also available in Alternative Rhythms: Salsa, Tango Argentino, Mambo & Merengue.

The NATD respects and encourages the diversity and values of individuals and their culture, whilst being committed to the highest standards of service, integrity and fairness. Going forward, the Association will continue to support the development and relevance of dance in a rapidly changing society.

People Dancing

Foundation of Community Dance

curtain upp stage school uppingham helen becque dance teacher principal oakham rutland corby leicester peterborough melton mowbray

Curtain Upp ® is proud to be a professional member of People Dancing, The Foundation for Community Dance (which is the UK development organisation and membership body for those involved in creating opportunities for people to experience and participate in dance).

The Foundation believes dance can change lives and transform communities and supports a vision of a world where dance is a part of everyone’s life and their mission is to make dance important to all individuals, communities and society by promoting excellent dance practice. People Dancing works with and on behalf of artists, organisations and teachers involved in leading, delivering or supporting community and participatory dance.

People Dancing’s leadership of the community dance network is a driving force for the sector, providing a platform for exchange, critical debate and peer learning. This exposes the members and partners to diverse dance practices and new contacts. By helping to expand professional horizons, profile and professional identity, People Dancing is an invaluable resource for anyone working in community dance and also creates opportunities for anyone to take part in dance activities.

One Dance UK

UK Body for Dance

curtain upp stage school uppingham helen becque dance teacher principal oakham rutland corby leicester peterborough melton mowbray

Curtain Upp ® is proud to be a member of One Dance UK, (which is the UK’s dance support organisation leading the way to a stronger, more vibrant and diverse dance sector. The organisation provides one clear voice to:

Support all those working in the sector to achieve excellence in dance performance, education and management, advocate for the increased profile and importance of dance in all its diverse forms and settings, enhance dancers’ health, well-being and performance, identify gaps, provide opportunities and improve conditions for dance to be learnt, discussed and seen
Membership provides individuals and organisations with support, advise and connection to people across the dance sector.
Their aim is to create a workforce that is well-equipped to secure dance’s prominence in the cultural landscape of the future. One Dance UK does this by providing services, information and opportunities for dance organisations and all dance professionals including:

  • Dance artists and choreographers
  • Dance teachers, educators and practitioners
  • Dance managers and producers
  • Dance medicine and science/research professionals
  • All children and young people

"Dance is the hidden language of the soul."

– Martha Graham, American Dancer and Choreographer

 

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curtain upp stage school uppingham helen becque dance teacher principal oakham rutland corby leicester peterborough melton mowbray