About Us

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At Aspire Dance Studio there are 3 teachers:

  • Alex Thomas the Principal teaches Monday to Saturday for Tap, Modern, Jazz, Contemporary, Competition and Company.
  • Ruth Wood teaches Ballet on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays.
  • Penny Hemms teaches Classical Performance on Tuesdays, as well as Tap, Modern, Jazz on Wednesdays and Musical Theatre on Saturdays. 

All Aspire Dance Studio teachers have trained with the ISTD and have a variety of different experiences they can offer to support all children with their development in dance.

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Alex Bennett nee (Thomas) – Principal
Teaches Tap, Modern, Jazz, Competition and Contemporaryalex

Trained as a child at Hereford Ballet School for 15 years and after completing A-Levels at Hereford Sixth Form, completed a 3 year BA (Hons) QTS Degree at Worcester University, to become a qualified Primary Teacher.

Started Aspire Dance Studio in 2008 along side studying at Dance Academy South West in Bristol.  Fully qualified to teach up to major level in ISTD Tap, Modern and Jazz. Alex has many years’ experience in choreographing solos, duets, trios and groups dances for festivals, exams, shows and local events.

Alex has also taught Dance GCSE at Weobley High School for the past 8 years, and will be continuing to develop the subject within the school over the next few years.

Over the last 3 years Alex has lead Aspire Dance Studio to success at both Worcester and Gloucester Festivals where a number of dancers have qualified for championships and won many medals in both senior and junior age ranges.

Alex has recently completed her Acrobatic Arts training and is now a qualified Acrobatic Arts Module 2 Teacher. 

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Ruth Wood – Ballet Teacherruth cropped

Ruth began her dance training at the age of 4 at Hereford Ballet School.  A competitive gymnast as well as dancer, she won county and regional competitions and represented Hereford and Worcester.  At the age of 16 Ruth won a scholarship to the Hammond School, Chester to study classical ballet and went on to perform professionally in the UK and Spain.  Following this Ruth commenced teacher training at Janet Marshalls Dance Centre achieving ISTD CDE in Ballet, Tap and Modern. Ruth is a fully registered member of the ISTD and has been teaching for 9 years. Ruth regularly attends ISTD courses to refresh her knowledge and comply with the syllabi updates which she can then ensure are implemented throughout the dance studio.  Currently Ruth is completing a BA (Hons) in Professional Arts Practise at Middlesex University and plans to follow this by working towards ISTD Licentiate status.

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Penny Hemms – Ballet Teacher

Penny cropped

Penny began her dance training at the age of four in Charlton Kings. Her family relocated to Gloucester in 1986 and she enrolled at Gloucester Dance Studio where she continued her training in B.B.O Ballet, Modern and Tap until she was sixteen. She then attended Performers College in Essex and completed a three year full-time course in Professional Dance and Musical Theatre, gaining her Associate teaching certificates in I.S.T.D. Modern, Tap, Jazz and Ballet. Penny also choreographs festival solos and group pieces.

Penny has danced professionally in cabaret in London’s West End and performed at various famous locations including Wembley Stadium, the London Palladium and Her Majesty’s Theatre. Penny returned to Gloucester in 2001 and has been dance teaching around the county ever since. She has also continued to attend further teacher training and lectures in order to keep her qualifications up to date.

Penny joined the faculty of Aspire Dance Studios in January 2012 and is excited and proud to be part of a young, vibrant and talented school.
Penny Hemms A.I.S.T.D. FDI/CDE

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