About Dance Acadmey 1

Established in 2006 we are a CDET recognised dance school based in Chepstow, Monmouthshire with our own studio. We offer lessons and classes in Ballroom, Latin, Street, Western Line, Salsa, American Smooth, Classical Old Time, Modern Sequence, Rock and Roll, Ballet and Tap. Our aim is to encourage you to reach your full dancing potential, whatever your age and experience. If your personal goal is to dance competitively or socially, we will help you achieve this. We are fully committed to your dancing aspirations.
The school enters regional and national competitions throughout the year, the highlight National Championships/Medallists which are held in Blackpool every year. Family and friends are welcome to join us for this weekend away and we do enjoy some leisure time whilst we are there from Blackpool’s famous attractions.

If you are not competitive a good way to measure your dancing progress is by taking medal tests, which are normally held twice a year. We are proud of our 100% pass rate in medal tests and our success is celebrated with a gathering of pupils and their families to receive their awards and certificates. In addition to this we meet for social evenings, theatre and show trips. We also offer dance weekends away at various UK destinations which are always very popular and a fantastic way to meet new friends and catch up with old friends.
Take a look at our teacher profiles Lawrance, Fiona, Grace & Janet. We also hold masterclasses with guest teachers.


Lawrance has been dancing since the age of four. That’s over 40 years of dancing! His passion for dancing is evident in his passion for teaching others to experience and enjoy dance as much as he does.
Dance Academy 1 was set up in 2006 and is based in Chepstow but Lawrance has been teaching since 1996.
Fellowship in Ballroom, Classical Old Time, Modern Sequence & Latin American.
Additional qualifications to teach in American Smooth, Hip Hop/Street, Tap, Freestyle/Disco, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Argentine Tango, Line Dance, Catwalk.
Adjudicator and examiner for the United Kingdom Alliance (UKA).
Involved in the Welsh Area of Professional Dance Teachers, a member of and adjudicator of the British Dance Council.
As well as teaching, examining and judging Lawrance is regularly asked to judge competitions such as ‘Stars of Wales’ and you may have seen his most recent TV appearance on the BBC Strictly Come Dancing ident working with Karen Hardy.
Dance Academy 1 is often asked to participate in local activities such as carnivals, corporate events, demonstrations, press interviews and also competes in local and national competitions.
Lawrance attended the Bill and Mary Winston School of Dance in Sedbury where he gained his UKA medals and began dancing competitively. In 1980 he went to Wayne and Wendy Packard’s dance school where he developed the competitive side of his career. He joined the famous Peggy Spencer formation team and worked with celebrities such as Bonnie Langford and Wayne Sleep, dancing in front of the Queen in 1989. He turned professional in 1994 and continued to rise through the competitive ranks culminating in several national finals. His dance school was growing at this stage and left little time for competitive practice. Lawrance took the decision to teach dancing full time and to enthuse pupils of all ages with his passion for dancing.


Fiona has been actively involved with Dance Academy 1 since it was set up in 2006.
Her current daytime job is working in schools for the NSPCC and ChildLine involved with child protection and fundraising for the charity. Prior to this she has over fifteen years experience in sales and marketing and running her own business.
Fiona is an Associate Member of the United Kingdom Alliance (UKA) in Modern Sequence and Drama. She is also qualified in Catwalk.
Drama was introduced into Dance Academy 1 in 2009 to a group of KS2/KS3 students who have seen some brilliant results in their medal tests and drama grades.
You can also see Fiona (if you look really hard!) on the BBC Strictly Come Dancing ident with Lawrance.
Drama helps develop important skills and abilities which are used in everyday life.
Skills and abilities which will help you become more confident, more engaged and more creative.
Whether you study drama as well as dance, or drama on its own, it helps with performance, posture and practice techniques whether working independently or in a group situation.
Ask anyone who studies drama at Dance Academy 1 their opinion on drama and we are confident they will say it is about: –
Fun – Drama Games, Memory Recall, Quizzes
Diversity – Mime, Improvisation, Monologues, Acting, Comedy v. Tragedy
Learning – From Nursery Rhymes to Sonnets, from Prose to Plays, from Poets to Panto
Study – Film/Book Reviews, Types of dance & music, Stage directions, Authors, Genres
Performance – Solo, Group, Exams, Shows


At the age of 7, I enrolled in the Mary Wilde School of Dancing in Manchester to study ballet, tap and modern dance. Over the course of ten years I passed all my graded examinations, including my teaching diploma, with distinction and at the age of 17 I emerged from the school as a fully qualified ballet teacher.
Over the following three years, my professional career flourished and I performed throughout the UK in the most distinguished theatres and cabaret clubs of that era, and also featured in a number of televised performances, alongside the likes of Roy Castle, Freddie Starr and Dusty Springfield.
At 19, I was requested to audition at the prestigious London Palladium, but turned it down to embark on the opportunity of a lifetime; a 14-month tour of Italy, France and Switzerland as a lead dancer in a top cabaret organisation.
The intense physical demands of the job means that a career as a professional dancer is rarely a long one, and in my twenties I retired from show business and concentrated on raising a family.
Dance has remained an integral part of my life; my two daughters also studied dance and I was regularly involved in their childhood productions with school, girl guides and amateur dramatic societies, contributing to choreography and costume. In later life, I renewed my love of dance for personal enjoyment and took up Latin and Ballroom dancing at Dance Academy 1. Once my passion for dance was reignited there was no stopping it, and I now teach ballet and tap to adults and children of all levels. For fun and relaxation I continue to learn Latin and Ballroom, enter dancing competitions and both choreograph and act in local pantomime.


I have always loved to dance, starting at the age of 3 with ballet, the feeling that I get when I dance (even if it’s only round the kitchen) has never left me.
Originally I was trained in Ballet, Tap and Jazz, moving to Contemporary in my teens taking numerous exams along the way. More recently adding Ballroom, Latin, Street and Slow to this growing list amongst others.
Since joining Dance Academy 1 apart from meeting some great people (not to mention their fantastic dancing) I have qualified as a Tap teacher and now teach Tap, Ballet and Street and intend to add to my qualifications soon. I love teaching others to dance and hope they find the same joy in it that I do.
Away from dancing I am a qualified teaching assistant and am currently studying for a degree in education studies. In the small (and ever decreasing) spare time I have I enjoy making my own competition dresses, and up-cycling my dance shoes to make them just a little bit different.
In this my 20th year of dancing I have no intentions of stopping!