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Colours of Dance Teachers

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Imogen Knight



Listed in RAD Register of Teachers: https://www.royalacademyofdance.org/dance-with-us/register-of-teachers/

Imogen Knight is a classical ballet, modern & tap dance teacher. Trained at Northern Ballet School in Manchester UK, she holds Diplomas in the Teaching of Dance, is a registered teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance and is an Associate of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance. 'Miss Imogen' continues to learn and to be curious about dance & education, attending courses & classes throughout the year as part of her Continuing Professional Development.

Prior to establishing Colours of Dance in Cambridge in 2010, Imogen created an extra-curricular Dance Programme at the Taipei European School, offering ballet and modern dance. The Dance Programme continues with a new teacher. Imogen was also involved in various other dance-related activities for the International Community in Taipei, such as teaching the Scottish Country Dance classes for the annual St Andrew's Ball and to the children and staff at the SOS Children's Village located just outside Taipei.

Imogen relocated to Taipei from Singapore, where she owned and ran a dance school. Her students in Singapore successfully passed RAD exams and took part in dance recitals & other performances. The school continues to flourish under its new owners.

Miss Imogen's approach is to teach correct technique and educate students about the art and style of the dance type they are studying in an appropriately disciplined class, whilst ensuring that learning dance is an enjoyable hobby for anybody who likes to dance.  At Colours of Dance, Miss Imogen has established a school founded on the principles of openness, respect, inclusion and hard work, which reflect her personal ethos.

In the wider dance community, Imogen is an actively involved Trustee of the Royal Academy of Dance (since 2016), chairing the Artistic Subcommittee and deputy chair of the Marketing and Membership subcommittee. Prior to that she served as a member of the RAD Regional Panel for the East of England and Midlands region for 6 years.  In 2020, along with other members of the profession, she co-founded Safer Dance, the Dance Schools Safeguarding Working Group, which aims to help dance schools ensure that all children are safe in dance, and remains a committee member of this group.


Christina Hudson

Associate Teacher: Ballet

I enrolled in dance classes at a young age and quickly fell in love with Classical ballet, which led to a 16-year career as a professional dancer with Ballet Magnificat in Jackson Mississippi.   I had the privilege of performing in over 15 original classical and contemporary works traveling extensively stateside and abroad.

Trained in the Russian Vaganova Method I had the honour to assist and then teach classes of students from a young age whilst still performing.   As is often the case for many professional dancers, I also taught master classes all over the world in addition to a daily studio setting. I really love challenging dancers in the fundamentals of classical ballet, whilst applying the artistry of expression within that medium!

I have just reloacted to Cambridge and will be continuing my devlopment as a teacher by training in the RAD method and taking over some syllabus classes at Colours of Dance.   I will also be assiting Miss Imogen with the more senior students, helping her to develop them to their full portential and perhaps prepare them for a career in dance.

Federica Gambardella

Associate Teacher: Ballet, Vaganova Method

I started teaching ballet at 21, soon after completing the 8 year-long course for the graduation in the Vaganova Classical and Contemporary Ballet technique, in 1991 at the Accademia di Danza LYCEUM of Mara Fusco, in Naples.

My teaching career starts in 1992, after the attendance of teaching methodology for Vaganova technique, at the Centro Regionale della Danza “Lyceum” di Mara Fusco, in Naples.

I continue to improve my teaching skills year after year, attending classes and workshops with world-renowned ballet masters, like R. Nunez, M. Berkut, T. Weikel, E. Piperno, D. Wayne, along with teachers from London Contemporary School.

In 1997–98 I took part in two seasons of a production of “Sleeping Beauty” with the “Balletto di Napoli” company.

In 2002 I achieved the Master Graduation in Classical Italian Leterature at the University of Naples “Federico II”, with a master thesis about archeologic evidences of dance in ancient Greece.

In 2004-2005 I attended a Master for Educational Dance, at the Mousiké Centre in Bologna (Italy). After the attendance of a number of classes and workshops on History of Dance and of Educational Dance at the “DAMS” in the University of Bologna (held by Eugenia Casini Ropa and Marion Gough), I began teaching Educational Dance both in Dance Schools and in Primary and Secondary schools.

In 2012 I worked with two different Dance School: “Patty Schisa” and “La Ribalta” Scuola di Teatro Cinema e Danza and then in September 2013 I moved to Cambridge and started teaching classes at Colours of Dance.

I have now re-trained as a teacher of Gyrotonics and am steadily building my own business.  However, I can't leave the world of dance completely, so I am really pleased to continue teaching ballet to adults on Wednesday mornings and Monday evenings.

Jane Mansley

Associate Teacher: Pilates (Body Control)

I am a Body Control and ActiveIQ Level 3 qualified Pilates instructor, trained to the Intermediate Matwork level. I am also a qualified Exercise to Music teacher, and run a range of Pilates and aerobics classes in and around Cambridge. My guiding principle is that improving health and fitness should be open to all, whether or not you consider yourself to be strong, coordinated, or flexible. Exercise should be safe and fun, and give a sense of achievement, so that you can enjoy looking after yourself for life. 

Before moving into fitness instruction, I was a scientist, gaining a PhD in genetics, and going on to work as a conservation biologist for ten years. I apply my scientific thinking to my work, and my practice is based on an objective analysis of the latest research. As a Registered Exercise Professional, I am committed to continued professional development, and keep my skills up-to-date with regular courses and workshops.

Ines Byrne

Associate Teacher - Pilates

I am a fitness and Pilates instructor based in Cambridge, UK. I currently teach Pilates and aerobics classes in Cambridge. I have a broad set of qualifications, including Body Control Pilates Intermediate Matwork, and teach a variety of classes for adults of all ages and all levels of ability and fitness.

I am passionate about exercise and its physical and mental benefits. I have more than 11 years of experience working as a fitness instructor, and I attend courses and workshops regularly to develop my skills and to learn the latest techniques.

Beth Connellan

Associate Teacher

Beth is a ballet and contemporary dance teacher, currently working towards her Certificate in Ballet Teaching studies with the Royal Academy of Dance for which Imogen has kindly agreed to be her mentor.

Beth achieved Advanced 1 ballet and Advanced 1 modern whilst training at Susan Robin School of Ballet in Surrey, where she also had the opportunity to compete in the All England Dance competitions and perform in the Dance Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. She successfully auditioned for a place in Shift Dance Company at The Place and they took a piece choreographed by Theo Clinkard on tour to theatres across England.

Beth then went on to train at Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds achieving her BA (hons) in Contemporary Dance. As part of her degree, Beth worked with a broad range of choreographers including Sharon Watson, Charlie Morrisey and Antonia Grove culminating in performances at multiple venues across West Yorkshire. After graduating she taught classes at the University of Leeds and choreographed dances for their competitions and shows. It was this experience which uncovered her passion for teaching and helping students to discover their own connection with dance.

Rachel Dawson

Associate Teacher - Ballet

Rachel Dawson   ARAD, RTS, TCP

Listed in RAD Register of Teachers: https://www.royalacademyofdance.org/dance-with-us/register-of-teachers/

I was born in New Zealand and trained at the New Zealand School of Dance, in ballet and contemporary, graduating with a 3-year diploma in dance performance.

I went on to perform with numerous dance companies throughout New Zealand, including an Australasian tour with Paul Jenden Dance Company. Following from this, I was the choreographer, director and founder of Catapult Dance Company in Wellington, NZ and was excited to be shortlisted for the role of Gollum in Peter Jacksons Lord of the Rings film Trilogy, but was beaten in the final casting by Andy Serkis.

I gained the RAD Teachers’ Certificate with distinction in 2001, and was proud to achieve ARAD initials.

In 2007, I moved to Cambridge, with my husband and two children. 

Since 2010 I have been employed by the Royal Ballet School as a technical teacher on their out reach programme ‘Primary Steps’, and lead their creative workshops in schools across the East Anglia region, a role that culminates in choreographing graduation performance pieces for Primary Steps students.

I previously taught for Bodywork vocational students and for Bodywork Theatre School in Cambridge for over 10 years, entering graded and vocational students into RAD ballet exams, whilst choreographing junior then senior end of year ballet shows from 2010-2019. I also thoroughly loved teaching adult get fit, contemporary and ballet classes as part of the community adult classes.

I enjoy inspiring students and seeing them reach their full potential. Energetic, highly creative and passionate about all forms of dance, I love to create a positive atmosphere within my classes. I am very excited to be teaching at Colours of Dance.


Brittanie Dillon

Associate Teacher: Ballet & Contemporary

fell in love with ballet when I started dancing at my local ballet school at age 10. I quickly realised that I wanted to pursue it more seriously which propelled me to audition for DanceEast Centre for Advance Training (CAT). This was pivotal in my evolvement and growth as a young dancer  as at 16 I successfully gained a scholarship place at the Central School of Ballet in London. Here I gained a First Class BA Honours Degree after 3 wonderful years of training. I took part in the Ballet Central Tour during my 3rd year. After this, I joined Matthew Bournes New Adventures company and had featured roles in the UK tours of ‘The Red Shoes’ and ‘Cinderella’. 

I have always been incredibly passionate about sharing the value and benefit of using dance as a powerful tool for communication, catharsis, creativity and expression. I believe that we should all have access to this, no matter our ability or background. This drove me to study for a MA in Dance Movement Psychotherapy. My knowledge and work in the mental health and psychology field is something I integrate into my practice as a dance teacher, and I am hugely passionate about supporting young people in their journey through life and helping them reach their full potential. 

I am beyond delighted to be joining Colours of Dance under the guidance and mentorship of Miss Imogen. I am also overjoyed to be joining the Colours of Dance Radiates programme. I can’t wait to make magic with all of the students in the studio! 

Claire Ludlam

Associate Teacher - Ballet & Pre-School Dance

For me, dancing is an integral part of life, and as a musician, I feel the two elements fuse together beautifully, with dance as the perfect medium for expression of stories old and new.

Being passionate about ballet from a young age, I trained at Alma Kirk’s School of Dance in the North, before coming to study at Cambridge University, where I joined the University Ballet Club. I am still an active member, participating in full-scale ballet productions which have included Swan Lake and Giselle. I believe wholeheartedly that being part of something bringing such joy and fulfilment on a personal level, can add a further dimension to working effectively as a professional.

A love of the expressive arts has helped enable me to imagine indirect approaches of communication with the children I have been privileged to work with as an Assistant Headteacher, musician, dancer and during my MA in Social Care. Finding the voice inside every child has been a quest I consider fundamentally important and I have always strived to facilitate a strong connection with each individual through creative modes.

Whilst training for my vocational grades at Ladybird Borland Dance Studios, I studied for my ballet teaching qualification, recognising the enormous value of dance education as a tool for empowerment, enjoyment and expression for all.  I passed with distinction as a United Teachers of Dance ballet instructor and have been fortunate to teach children and adults at all stages of their journey as dancers and watch them flourish and grow. I also set up my own Bright Sparks ballet classes in St Ives and have enjoyed taking pupils through those all-important first steps on their dance journey.

Joining Colours of Dance, along with my children, I fell in love with the spirit and unity of the school and feel delighted to be asked to become a member of the teaching team under the flagship guidance of Miss Imogen.

Safiya Maynard

Associate Teacher - Tap

I started training at age 3.5 years old in ISTD Tap, Ballet and Modern at Laton Ash Dance Centre. I fell in love with learning the graded work and always desired to further my knowledge on new steps and routines. I completed all my Medals and grades up to Advanced 2 in Modern and Tap. Having gained some teaching experience, I then took a three year diploma at Chichester College, where by in 2015 I successfully gained the ISTD's Diploma in Dance Education Tap and Modern. I continued my way in teaching at a number of schools and found my own teaching style, growing very fond of passing on technical skill to students, whilst also sharing a love for the movement.

I took part in dance competitions in my dancing years, winning cups for my performances and always had the best time taking part in my local dance school shows. Tap is by far my favourite ISTD dance genre and I endeavour to share correct technique and Tap Happiness!

Georgie Smit

Associate Teacher - Musical Theatre

I have been teaching singing and piano in the Cambridge area for the last 15 years.

I trained originally as a jazz vocalist, and have spent a large portion of my career working as a session vocalist, performing throughout the UK. To compliment my performing career, I have always worked as a teacher, having always had a real passion for teaching.   My teaching career has been really varied, and I have enjoyed teaching in a variety of settings to include stage schools and musical theatre companies.  Having joined Colours of Dance in a cover capacity in the Spring Term, I am delighted to take up a permanent role here, continuing to develop the musical theatre opportunities for the students.

Miss Georgie also teaches singing in both secondary and primary schools and is also the musical director of the Cambridge branch of the Out of The Shadows Choir. 


Michelle Tinkley

Associate Teacher Ballet

Michelle Tinkley
LRAD, ARAD, BA (Hons) Art and Teaching of Ballet

Michelle began ballet training at a small village ballet school, and became keen to pursue a career in Ballet age 9.

Achieving all RAD Ballet grades, Vocational exams to Advance Foundation and A Levels, Michelle progressed to the Royal Academy of Dance, London, reading BA (Hons) Art and Teaching of Ballet.

Upon graduating from the RAD Michelle broadened her horizons by taking up a Ballet teaching position in Canada. Since returning to England, Michelle has been a freelance Ballet teacher for almost 20 years running her own ballet school whilst also teaching in both Independent and state schools. Michelle has taught ballet for Swindon Dance, (Centre for Advanced Training) and currently is a Workshop Leader for The Royal Ballet School’s Training and Access PrimarySTEPS programme.

Jodie Winchester

Associate Teacher Streetdance

I have always loved dancing, starting Tap at the age of 6 was where my love of dance evolved! I trained at a local performing arts school, then left secondary school and studied BTEC Level 3 in Dance at Harlow College for 2 years. I then furthered my studies by training professionally at DNA Studios (formally knows as N.L.D.S) for 3 years, covering a wide range of dance, singing and acting styles. Further to studding for the ISTD DDI, I am now working towards the ISTD DDE, which I hope to complete in 2023.  I hope to pass on my knowledge to all of my students through encouragement and building confidence to make them the best performer they can be!

Dance Credits include: Sunday Night LIVE!, Formula 1 World Cup, London Hippodrome Casino, FOXES, Rugby World Cup, Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, Financial Times Awards, Saracens and ELROW! Festival.

Meng Yuan

Associate Teacher