Miss Kerry’s journey through dance!

Last month, we joined Miss Kerry as she celebrated her birthday!!

As a special dedication to our inspirational Principal, we take a look at her journey from student, to performer, to dance school owner and entreprenuer.

Born and bred in Norton, North Yorkshire, Miss Kerry started her dance journey at her local dance school, Kirkham Henry Performing Arts. The high quality training she received there, plus the encouragement to apply for various associates programmes are what kickstarted Kerry’s passion for the arts.

She now commits to doing the same for our young dancers at their local independent dance school.

From here she became a Junior Associate of the Royal Ballet (2 years) and York Scholar (3 years) before going on to train at the Royal Ballet School, White Lodge (5 years). This truly made her independent, resilient, committed and all encompassed by the arts. Whilst Ballet was the main focus at the school, Miss Kerry was very passionate about singing and became the schools soloist singer on many occasions. Following her passion for Musicals she went on to gain a Diploma of Higher Education in Theatre Dance at London Studio Centre. At this college she trained in all dance genres and became a “triple threat” performer.

Miss Kerry has performed (dancing and singing) in some truly iconic stage productions such as Seussical the Musical, a UK tour of Godspell, Cinderella, A Journey of Jazz, and Classical Spectacular.

These performances have taken place across the UK in Cardiff, in grand theatres such as Sadlers Wells, The Royal Opera House and The Royal Albert Hall! (what a theatre to dance in!) She has also done her time at sea! Performing in shows aboard Holland America Cruise Liners whilst literally travelling the world. (all seven continents!)

Miss Kerry is still a member of York Dance Company and even though her performances are not throughout the UK anymore, she still hits the stage locally and has even danced in the film Mister Mayfair. (once a dancer always a dancer!)

Bad muscle memory can unfortunately lead to injury, and in 2007 Miss Kerry ruptured a ligament in her knee resulting in knee surgery. At auditions following that she no longer felt her fearless self - so in 2010 Miss Kerry’s thoughts turned to teach what she has learned to a new generation (including teaching all about the body and how to keep it safe from injury).

She received a distinction for her Professional Dancers’ Teaching Diploma at the Royal Academy of Dance and holds their Registered Teachers Status.

Miss Kerry taught a wide variety of genres in quite a few schools including Pineapple Dance Studios! She has also been a mentor for RAD students in London and continues this role in York at their International Summer workshops (though not so much now due to the success of YRAD).

Miss Kerry doesn’t just teach dance. She also has a great passion for Zumba, and in 2013 was selected to perform at Twickenham Stadium for the Chime for Change concert where the likes of Beyonce and J-Lo performed! She teaches people of all ages and loves the different challenges and moves that Zumba involves alongside dance.

Miss Kerry founded Yorkshire Rose Academy of Dance in 2013.

Knowing nothing about business, and having no Yorkshire contacts, Miss Kerry bravely opened up 10 new classes for YRAD in Ballet and Jazz styles. She started building a team of fabulous teachers whilst constantly learning how to be a “business woman”. Word of mouth must have spread because the students kept coming and we now have wonderful community within York.

At the same time as running YRAD she was offered the role of associate cover teacher for the Royal Ballet’s Junior & Mid Associates programme. This progressed to being the regular teacher for the Newcastle branch for a couple of years before giving it up to focus on YRAD. (she maintains her cover role if they get stuck). She also taught private lessons at Queen Margaret’s School for a couple of years, but again, her priorities were with YRAD so sadly had to give it up.

Miss Kerry’s values on forming strong foundations and learning the basics to set up dancers for progression really shows in all the students that come to our school.

She truly believes that the skills learnt within the dance community set you up for life and she just loves to see all her students thrive!

What does the future hold for Miss Kerry and YRAD?

We are now seeing the first cohort of students moving on to vocational schools, and we’re full of pride for their successes. It is hoped that we can help many more students on this path for years to come, but also just to enrich people’s lives with all that dance can offer. We can all agree that Miss Kerry is an inspiration to all her students and the values she teaches shape each and every one of them to be the best version of themselves.