Sarah first came to class when she was 4 years old.
It was to be a happy and busy period in all our lives and I didn’t really understand what I was taking on when we first joined.
I thought back then, the class (in an old church hall), was just a small village thing, nothing big, until not long after we joined, tickets were being sold for a Presentation Night at which pupils were presented with exam medals. This was a chance for parents to see work other classes were doing. How wrong I was, I couldn’t believe my eyes when we walked through the door at the Park Hotel in Tynemouth and a dance display was taking place for girls aged 16, they were fantastic, so talented. I just didn’t know back then what Mrs Bentley was all about and what she was capable of. It made Sarah want to dance more.
Gradually our trips to the church hall increased and it wasn’t long before Sarah was attending a Ballet Class, a Tap class, a Stage Class and a Disco class. When I think about how many miles we covered over those years along dark country lanes, it’s staggering!
I feel that Simply Dance Academy gave Sarah a healthy respect for exercise and how to use and know her body as she grew. It wasn’t long before that confidence spilled over into other areas in her life. The school encourages respect not only for others but for self. Good old fashioned manners and a healthy respect for tutors is also encouraged.
As a mother, I feel that Sarah also learned valuable life lessons from being part of the Dance Academy. She learned discipline in herself; preparation and time management skills; learned to manage herself in regard to diarising events and organising herself in advance; she’s learned to follow instruction without question. She has also had to learn how to control her nerves and to stay calm under all conditions especially in exams and shows and most recently in TV and live concerts.
I am currently Head of Musical Theatre at Newcastle College and teach Jazz and Musical Theatre at Dance City. I am also the regional coach for Billy Elliot the Musical.
The Susan Bentley School of Dance offers a variety of dance styles, to all ages. Staff provide a professional and consistent approach to training the Individual. The school caters for those who wish to train as a dancer and also for those who enjoy dance as a hobby. The Susan Bentley school of Dance is a versatile, friendly and excellent place to learn how to dance.
My experience at the school began in 1981 at the age of two, departing from the school at the age of nineteen. This clearly demonstrates my loyalty and enthusiasm to train with Susan for so long.
I trained in Jazz, Tap and Ballet and I was taught valuable skills that encouraged me to pursue a career in dance. Susan taught me the fundamental aspects of dance and inspired me to develop and mature as a dancer. She was always approachable, professional and someone I admired.
The school is an amazing stepping stone for those who wish to go further in dance and I benefitted greatly from my training with Susan. I made life long friends; some are still my closet circle of friends. Dancing with Susan on a Saturday was the favourite part of my week; she encouraged me from a very young age to follow my dreams.
I have taught and have students whom I teach at Newcastle College, who are current students of Susan Bentley and they always demonstrate discipline, a sound grasp of technique and performance skills. I would and still recommend the school to any potential dance student, in my opinion it is one of the North East finest dance schools; I am a very proud ex-student!
Simply Dance Academy has been more than we could have hoped for…
Mrs Bentley is incredibly knowledgeable as a Teacher and (having been a dancer herself), knows all the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ and ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ of dance of which there are many, so advise is always there should you need it. She is also an examiner travelling up and down the country to examine other children and knows what she is talking about when she is teaching your children. So if you’re looking for the best, you’ve found it in this school.
Progression and achievement is showcased regularly in productions engineered to give pupils a stage on which to express themselves and to show their families and friends what they can do. A chance for the little ones to dress up, for the older girls to perform and for all to shine; priceless!
In all the years I have known Mrs Bentley I have never heard her raise her voice to anyone. She never asks a child to do more than she thinks they are capable of therefore all children grow in confidence, always able and willing to move on to the next step.
Mrs Bentley treats every child the same, whether they show promise or whether they have two left feet, whether they are budding stars or not, as far as she’s concerned, they are all important and are all individuals. Classes are structured for all pupils to progress whatever their level, exam results are consistently good and marks always high. The teaching staff have been/are dancers themselves, raising standards even further. In the 15 years, Sarah attended Simply Dance Academy she made friendships with girls, tutors and mentors alike. It’s a friendly happy and truly exciting place to be.
Sarah is now working in London as a Professional Dancer. She has danced with X Factor, Sir Paul McCartney, Shirley Bassey, Il Divo, Take That, Boyzone, D’Arcy Bussell, Will Young, Pussy Cat Dolls, and Pixie Lott, the list is endless. She is having a wonderful, exciting and challenging life. Mrs Bentley gave Sarah a solid foundation and we owe a lot to her.
If you choose this School you are indeed making an excellent choice you won’t regret.