Letter to Downland Dance Members

Dear Students, Parents, and Members of Downland Dance.

I am delighted to be writing to you as one of the new owners of Downland Dance. As the formal change of ownership is effective on 1st January 2018, it seemed like a good idea to write to you ahead of this, to tell you about what we have planned.


Your existing group of wonderful teachers will continue to support the School, notably Judy, who has kindly agreed to stay with us, at least for the next couple of years. The new arrangements will enable Judy to concentrate on what she loves to do – teaching ballet! Suzanne, Alessandra, and Amanda, will continue to teach, as before.

We are pleased that we will be welcoming another teacher into the School, Laura Houghton. Laura is an active professional dancer, who graduated alongside Adam from Elmhurst Ballet School. She has agreed to fit some open classes in for us around her busy dancing career, commencing in January. Look out for details on the website, Facebook and newsletter.


Downland Dance will get a new look and feel. We decided to re-brand Downland Dance to create a fresh, modern, bright, and, more importantly, gender-neutral ‘brand’ in support of our ethos of inclusivity in dance. You will soon see our orange and black livery being used in our logo, website, adverts, newsletters and posters.

There are a number of things we have planned, which will make your school a leading dance academy in the area. Here is a taste of what’s to come:

  1. We will increase the number of open or vocational classes offered. This is to provide support and individualised training for students who aspire to move towards vocational training, and potentially onward into a career in dance. Our links with Elmhurst Ballet School where Adam and Laura trained, are especially valuable here.
  2. With our unrivalled links to professional dancers, you will have regular opportunities to meet, watch, and ask questions of professional dancers, as well as be taught by them in Masterclasses. The first of which is on Sunday 7th January.
  3. We are moving the East Hagbourne classes to the new Aureus School on Great Western Park, where you will get to dance in their modern ballet studios, as well as benefit from amply free parking and more space for changing and waiting. We will be expanding the timetable of classes and expect to incorporate some of the Abingdon classes into this new facility over time.
  4. Adam’s creative leadership will help break the gender stereotype in ballet, encouraging more boys to come to classes. Male ballet dancers are powerful athletes, and our Q&A sessions with male professional dancers will help endorse this point.

Adam Harris

Adam Harris

Rest assured, we will continue to provide high quality, RAD syllabus and open classes for all ages. Our approach is to build on that and on what Judy has nurtured for so many years. We will continue to provide a vibrant, happy, and exciting place for students, teachers, and the whole Downland Dance community.

If you have any questions about the future of the school, please get in touch via info@downland-dance.co.uk, visit the FAQ page on our website or speak to your teacher.

With very best wishes,

Jim Harris
Managing Director
Downland Dance Limited