Our Teachers  

Suzie began dancing at the age of 6 in Littlehampton, West Sussex. At the age of 10 she successfully auditioned for Elmhurst Ballet School where she studied full time for 5 years. After completing her GCSE’s she continued her training at The Royal Ballet School for a further 3 years. During this time she had many exciting opportunities to teach and dance within the school and company. At the age of 19 Suzie moved to Devon to teach with Susan Dukes and in September 2009 became Principal of the school. Over the last 25 years Suzie has taught for the Junior Associate programme of the Royal Ballet School, Italia Conti Associate School and Ballet Boost Associates. Suzie holds a Royal Ballet school teaching diploma, is a registered teacher with the RAD, ISTD and IDTA and is Acrobatic Arts and PBT certified. 
Tara Smith ARAD RAD RTS 
Tara commenced her dance training with Jan Cload in Sidmouth and quickly developed a passion for ballet. By the age of 13 she had taken and passed both the Intermediate Foundation and Intermediate Ballet examinations. After a break for her A’Levels Tara successfully auditioned for the Royal Academy of Dance Teaching Certificate programme and since graduating has taught all over Devon. 
Suzanne Butler 
Suzanne started dancing at the age of 4 and soon discovered her love of freestyle disco dance which later lead to her competing in competitions all over the country winning some prestigious titles including British isle Championships and European Championships 
At 16 Suzanne began training at Preston College graduating with a diploma in Performing Arts. Suzanne also trained with the UKA gaining her associate and then licentiate teaching qualifications in freestyle, cheer, street, and RNR as well as becoming a level 2 fitness instructor. To continue her professional development Suzanne has recently become an Acrobatic Arts Certified teacher. 
Debbie Collins 
Debbie started dancing at age 9 and when it comes to dance ballet is her first love. As a child she studied both RAD and ISTD ballet alongside other dance styles and at college she studied ballet, tap, contemporary, jazz and acro as well as drama. Following college Debbie briefly danced with Springs Dance Company and then took a break from professional dance to raise her family. In 2010 she moved to the USA where she returned to professional dance as a ballet teacher. She became full time Program Director at Children's Dance Theater where she taught, choreographed and co-ordinated several programs including annual ballet productions and the readiness for Pointe program. #neverstoplearning is a favourite hashtag of hers and she continues to add qualifications to support her teaching including gaining certification is IDTS, PBT and Acrobatic Arts. In July 2021 Debbie relocated to the UK and she joined the Exeter Academy of Dance in March 2022. 
Chloe Blackmur 
Chloe started ballet at the age of 3 working her way through the Cecchetti grades. She successfully auditioned to become a Junior Associate at The Arts Educational School in Chiswick which involved bi-weekly trips to London. Chloe then joined the Exeter Academy of Dance (Susan Dukes School of Dancing) and was taught by Susan Dukes, Suzie and Tara from grade 5 level up to Advanced 2. Chloe took and passed the Advanced 2 exam just before leaving to go to Middlesex University where she graduated with a First-Class Honours Degree in Dance Performance. After graduating Chloe returned to Exeter and, with Tara as her mentor, recently completed her Ballet Teacher Training with the Royal Academy of Dance. In her spare time she also competes in Olympic weightlifting and is a level 2 fitness instructor at the University of Exeter. 
Josie Gould 
Josie has been dancing since the age of 3 and her passion for the arts led her to study for her musical thatre diploma in London. From here Josie worked as a dancer/choreographer/actor in various contracts from the Warner Brothers Polar Express Tram ride to Dance Captain at Siblu Villages in France. Since returning to Devon Josie has gained a wealth of knowledge teaching dance to children of all ages and inspiring them to further their dance training. Josie is also a fully qualified personal trainer and regularly dances with Bass Beatz productions, WWA productions and Invasion Angels. She is extremely excited to be working at Exeter Academy of Dance and hopes to encourage and inspire young talented individuals. 






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