Rachel Elliott LIDTA
Rachel began dancing when she was three years old at the Old Palace in Maidstone. At ten years old she joined the Bush Davies Ballet School in East Grinstead and after eight years there as a boarder gained all her major RAD Ballet exams including Advanced Ballet, and ISTD majors in Tap, Ballet, Modern and National Dance. She also passed all her major exams in Drama and the Speaking of Verse and Prose.
After school Rachel worked in pantomime, Summer shows and extensively abroad. She danced in major No.1 shows all over this country, including seasons as a TV Topper and two seasons as a Tiller Girl! She was also Head Dancer at the Victoria Palace in the West End, where she worked with John Inman, Arthur Lowe, Ian Lavender, Susan Maugham and the Patton Brothers.
She married into a show business dynasty..Her husband, Brian is part of the double act The Patton Brothers, who are the older brothers of TV's The Chuckle Brothers and have appeared in lots of their TV series.
Rachel and Brian live in Cranbrook and have two grown up children, Naomi, who lives and works in London and is an Oboist, and Damian (married to actress Eliza Jade) who is part of a successful comedy double act "Double Trouble".
Rachel met Jane Coleman 22 years ago at St. Laurence Church in Hawkhurst and they were firm friends ever since, setting up a musical theatre class in Hawkhurst for nine years. Jane coached Rachel through all her teaching exams with the IDTA
Katie Dahlstedt - IDTA Bt.L4Dip
Katie's love of dance started when she entered her first dance class at the age of 8. Since then she has been continually involved in dance in various forms. Training first with Shirley Cox in Biggin Hill and then going on to Corona Academy of Theatre Arts in London where she studied and passed her ballet exams with the Cechetti method and her drama exams with LAMDA. She also appeared in various commercials and music videos. She then went on to further her professional training at London Studio Centre as a Musical Theatre Graduate learning from some of the West End's top choreographers. It was during her time there that her career as a Ballroom & Latin American dancer took off and she started travelling the globe representing the UK in competitions. After a couple of years teaching in Los Angeles she returned to the UK and started teaching at Pineapple Studios in London. With her husband and two children, she settled in East Sussex and sent her own girls along for lessons with Jane Coleman. After Jane heard about Katie's background, she brought her on board and encouraged her to continue teaching. Jane was an amazing mentor and inspiration to Katie and she is immensely proud to be continuing Jane's legacy.
Kate Riches - IDTA Bt.L4Dip
Kate is our wonderful teacher based at Battle Abbey Prep School and Catsfield Village Hall.
Kate started dancing at the age of three and has loved it ever since! The enjoyment she experienced from learning ballet and going through the grade work is something that she now loves to share with her students.
Dance has increased her confidence which has helped her in so many aspects of life.
She competed in dance festivals where she performed in group and solo dances in ballet, tap, contemporary, lyrical and modern. Kate completed her dance GCSE qualification at fifteen, her background in ballet complimenting the contemporary style of dance within the qualification. At school, Kate was selected to participate in a dance project with Google, where ballet was combined and integrated alongside motion and computer science technology. Through this experience she had the opportunity to perform in many venues such as the V&A, Brighton Pavilion, Amex Stadium and Excel centre in London.
Kate's interests have always surrounded dance, with her interest in textile design beginning from being surrounded by costume and set design.
She has participated in exams as a demonstrator for other dance teachers at fellowship level. Once gaining her intermediate qualification in ballet, she decided to progress further and continue with teaching qualifications.
Kate was six and a pupil at Battle Abbey school when she met Jane Coleman. Miss Jane always encouraged Kate and will always be an inspiration to her, being a close friend and wonderful teacher. Kate hopes to follow in Jane's footsteps with everything she taught her.
Lizzie is one of our lovely members of staff that was also trained by Miss Jane and Miss Rachel. She has been dancing with the school for years and is also a highly experienced Nanny, taking care of children privately or in nursery settings.
Having a wonderful way with children and a love of teaching them has been a real bonus for us, as she adores teaching our tiniest dancers.
Lizzie has been known to fully embrace our weekly themes by dressing up with the children and creating magical worlds for them to dance and let their imaginations run wild!
She currently studying hard to further her teacher training and build on that already vast knowledge of inspiring little ones.