2021 Dance Graduate Biographies

Luke Henderson

Luke only took up dancing at the age of 10 at Expressions School of Dance, where he trained in freestyle and ballet. He also trained at Dardas Diamonds in acrobatic arts. Luke would like to thank Amanda Mitchell and Alanna Dardas for starting him off in dance and enhancing his love and passion for it.

At the age of 11 Luke successfully auditioned for The Dance School of Scotland and started there in 2017. Dance School has helped Luke gain versatility in various styles and taught him perseverance and a work hard ethic. Luke would like to thank the Dance School staff, especially Mrs Miller and Martin for all of their efforts and words of encouragement.

Luke has been a CYD? Dance Star for the past 3 years, travelling all over the UK and training and learning from top industry choreographers.

Luke would like to thank his parents and family for all their support, especially his dad for his tireless help and travelling. After a stressful year of online auditions, Luke has gained a full scholarship to Laine Theatre Arts starting in September.


Evie Lang

Evie started dancing at the age of 7. She was taught by Lesley Farmer at Dance OFF studios. Evie was encouraged to audition for Scottish Ballet Associates and danced with them for two years. During this time Evie had the opportunity to dance in Scottish Ballet’s Cinderella. It was at this time that she decided to audition to join the Dance School of Scotland.

During her four years at the Dance School Evie achieved her RAD Advanced Foundation Ballet, ISTD Intermediate Foundation Modern and Higher Dance.

Evie has now decided to pursue her interests in academic studies. Evie would like to thank all her teachers for helping her to progress. She is excited to see what the future holds and wishes all her friends good luck as they continue to pursue their dreams


Iana Phillips

Iana started her dance journey at age 2 and a half with Central Scotland Ballet School. During this time she auditioned successfully for Scottish Ballet Junior Associates and progressed through the program to Senior Associates. She was extremely lucky to be picked to be in Scottish Ballet’s ‘Nutcracker’ and toured with the company to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle, which she enjoyed enormously. She was also successful in gaining a place in the Modern Ballet Course within the Junior Conservatoire program at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

During her time at Central Scotland Ballet School she won the Millennium School Trophy in 2019, was also successful in many competitions all over UK and was the Scottish Lyrical champion in 2019. She was chosen for Team Scotland two years in a row for the Dance World Cup, competing in solo ballet, lyrical, modern, contemporary duets and had an amazing time competing in Germany and Spain. She was also chosen as the Team Scotland mascot. Iana was crowned Grand Prix winner of the Russian Ballet Competition in 2018.  She also spent a year with Sara-Maria Barton Company with great classes, training and new friends.
Since joining The Dance School of Scotland in S3, Iana has loved every minute – friends for life have been made and she has gained distinction in her RAD Advanced 1 Ballet. During lockdown online classes were hard for Iana; trying to find space at home was difficult with her two sisters also dancing. She is absolutely devastated that she hasn’t had the chance to be in an end of year show and not a graduation show either.
Audition videos were stressful to film in small places especially as each school wanted different things, therefore she thought there would be no chance of offers. 
After final auditions for all four schools she applied for, Iana had offers from Central Ballet School, Elmhurst Ballet School (fully funded offer), Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and even the reserve/waiting list for the Royal Ballet School. She has chosen RCS as it’s always been a dream to be in Scottish Ballet one day.
She wants to say a special thank you for everything to Mrs Clark, Sammy, Amanda, Sara-Marie, Kerry Livingston, Kerry McLellan, Claire and Katie. Also to all the DSS teachers for helping that final couple years and all the resi mums for everything and just being there. A special thank you to her mum for being her rock.


Alana Smith Saville

Alana comes from Orkney and started dancing at the age of 9 at Just Dance.  As her love of dance progressed, she was fortunate enough to get into the Dance School of Scotland entering into S3. 

With the excellent teaching at the school, Alana was able to catch up with her fellow students.  This enabled her to be accepted into three other ballet schools: Northern Ballet School, Central School of Ballet and Edinburgh Festival Ballet.  Alana has chosen to attend Edinburgh Festival Ballet, which is under the guidance of Peter Schaufuss.

Alana wishes to thank all of her teachers whilst at the school for their commitment and encouragement, without which she would never have been able to make the next step in her chosen dance career.  She also wants to thank the residency staff for making her feel at home and always being there when there’s a problem.

Finally, she wishes to thank her fellow classmates for making her feel so welcome and giving the Dance School a positive atmosphere, and to Fiona for giving her a second home. 


Zara Bell

Zara was age six when she took her first tentative ballet steps in 2011 at the Studio, Glasgow where she studied the Cecchetti classical ballet method under the guidance and tuition of Maureen Christie (M.A. Dip. Ed F.I.S.T.D).

Zara joined the Scottish Ballet Associates programme in 2016 and went on to secure a place with the Dance School of Scotland in 2016. One of Zara’s memorable highlights was opening 2019 Annual Show with a solo performance to a packed audience at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow. She danced to the enchanting music of Malcolm Arnold to a piece entitled Galloway-‘Serenity’, choreographed by Lorna Scott. Zara was thrilled to play a part in transporting the audience to a magical place free from the stresses of day-to-day life.

Zara received a Distinction for the Royal Academy of Dance Advanced 1 qualification and is currently studying for the Advanced 2 exam.

Zara is delighted to have gained a place with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland on the BA Modern Ballet Degree course, and can’t wait to join the course in September 2021.

Zara would like to thank all the teachers who have helped her progress so far and is grateful for all the shared memories made along the way. She would also like to thank her family for all their support and wishes everyone the best of luck for the future.


Edel Makein

Edel started dancing at Yvonne Gray Dance Studios at the age of three, where she completed most of her RAD and ISTD exams and competed with their successful competition team. Later she gained a place on the Scottish Ballet Associate programme where she was fortunate enough to perform in the Scottish Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker in the Christmas of 2014. 

She then successfully auditioned for the Dance School of Scotland where she continued her training for the next 4 years. Whilst being at the Dance School Edel has achieved her RAD Advanced 1 Ballet and her ISTD Intermediate Modern with distinction.

Edel is furthering her dance training at Morea Performing Arts where she will also complete her DDE teacher qualifications. 

Edel has made some amazing memories at the Dance School and would just like to thank all of the faculty for the excellent teaching and guidance they have given her. She has been privileged to have been taught by many wonderful teachers and especially honoured to have been inspired by the late Mr Woody. Many thanks to the residency staff for looking after her these past four years. She would also like to say a big thank you to her family for their constant support and encouragement. Finally, Edel would just like to wish all her friends at DSS all the best for the future in whatever path they take.


Mia Nicholas

Mia started dancing when she was 7 years old and attended Johnstone Academy of Dance. At age 9 she successfully auditioned for Scottish Ballet’s Associate programme and was selected to perform in Scottish Ballet’s adaptation of The Nutcracker. The experience of performing, training and touring with the Company cemented Mia’s determination to pursue a career as a professional dancer, and in 2016 she successfully auditioned to the Dance School of Scotland. Throughout her time at the Dance School Mia has achieved excellent marks for all of her exams, including RAD Advance 1. 

Highlights for Mia in her time at the school are performing at the annual summer showcase and getting to perform a ballet solo in the 2019 show in Glasgow’s Theatre Royal, as well as receiving the school’s achievement award.

Mia is delighted to be moving on to study the BA Modern Ballet course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and would like to thank all of the dance school staff for their help and support throughout her time at the school. She would like to give a special thanks to Miss Stewart for helping her refine her ballet technique, and to Mrs Sinclair for her help and encouragement throughout Mia’s first few years at the dance school. Mia also thanks Mr Burke for his continued support throughout her time there.

 Additionally, Mia would like to thank her mum and dad for everything they have done to encourage her. The last five years wouldn’t have been possible without their constant support.

 Lastly, Mia would like to thank her friends for making her time at the dance school so much fun and for the many special memories. Mia wishes them all the very best of luck for the future!


Olivia Pelosi

Olivia started dancing when she was 4 at Dance Matters with Susan Munro. Susan encouraged her to start classical ballet so she joined Maureen Christie at The Glasgow Ballet Studio when she was 8. Olivia went on to join Scottish Ballet Junior Associates where she trained for 2 years. In 2016 Olivia joined The Dance School of Scotland where she has spent the last 5 years training. Throughout these years she has had lots of wonderful experiences such at performing in The Theatre Royal and The Royal Concert Hall. She has also attended many fantastic summer schools such as English National Ballet Summer School, Yorkshire Ballet Summer School, Elmhurst Summer School, Rosina Andrews Elite Summer School and Sara-Maria Barton Company Summer school where she learnt from many amazing teachers.

Olivia has loved her time at The Dance School and has made the most amazing friends during her time here, she would like to thank all the Dance School faculty for helping her throughout the years she’s had here. Olivia would also like to thank Sara-Maria for helping her improve and stay focused throughout lockdown 1.

After auditioning in very difficult circumstances Olivia was very lucky to receive 4 offers and she is delighted to further my training at Kings International Ballet Academy in September.

Olivia would also like to thank her family for the constant support throughout her dance journey. She would also like to thank Eilidh, the schools physio, for helping her with her recent, ongoing injury and to everyone at the Dance School for making this past year very enjoyable despite circumstances. A special thank you to Susan Munro and Maureen Christie who introduced her to dance and have always believed in her.


Phoebe Quinn

Phoebe started dance classes at the age of 3 at The McCarthy School of Dance in Clarkston, Glasgow. Through their nurturing and comprehensive training Phoebe’s talent and passion for dance grew and she was encouraged to apply for Scottish Ballet Associates, successfully becoming a Junior Associate and following this gained a place at The Dance School of Scotland in 2016.

During her 5 years at the Dance School, Phoebe gained distinction in RAD Advanced 1 Ballet and ISTD Intermediate Modern Theatre. The highlight of her year is the Annual Showcase and Phoebe has loved performing at the Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall. Phoebe was delighted to successfully audition for Scottish Ballet’s Youth Exchange however plans to travel to Hong Kong were changed due to Covid and a digital exchange took place with students from New York.

Following a challenging few months of online auditions, Phoebe has received offers from Trinity-Laban, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Morea Performing Arts and reserve for Bird College. She is looking forward to starting her BA in contemporary dance at Trinity-Laban in September.

Phoebe would like to thank her first dance teachers Claire and Jenny for introducing her to dance, and her friends and family for supporting her. She is extremely grateful to all of the Dance School staff and pupils for making her experience here so memorable and wishes them all best of luck for the future.


Holly Beagan

Holly’s biggest inspiration for dance is her big sister Amy and after seeing her sister perform, she knew she wanted to pursue it. Holly started her dance training at the Linda Lowry School of Ballet at the age of three and here she performed various shows, and was invited to participate in the Go Dance event. In wanting to follow her sister’s footsteps she auditioned for The Dance School of Scotland, and in 2015 she was successful in gaining a place.

For the last six years Holly has achieved her Advanced 1 RAD Ballet and Advanced 1 ISTD Modern. In her final year at Dance School Holly has been offered places at Performers College, London Studio Centre, Laine Theatre Arts, and Morea Performing Arts. After graduation Holly will continue her training at Performers College on a BA Honours Degree course for Musical theatre and Dance.

Holly is extremely grateful for the experiences and support the Dance School has given her, and for helping her reach out from her comfort zone. Holly would like to give a massive thanks to all the faculty and teachers at the Dance School for all their hard work and effort they put into her training over the past six years. Holly would like to give a special thanks to Mr Woody for always giving great advice and for telling her “We are the DSS, there is nothing we cannot do!” Holly gives another thanks to her sister and her first dance teacher Mrs Lowry for making her fall in love with dance.


Tia Corrigan

Tia started dancing at the age of 2 at her gran’s dance school The Christine Aitken Academy of Dance and then went to the McKechnie School of Dance and Performing Arts in Grangemouth where she started competing at the age of 4 at competitions and championships. She went on to be a ballet and song and dance champion at the age of 9. Tia also was competitive in highland and won her first championship at the age of 8. Tia successfully auditioned for Scottish ballet which she joined in Primary 6.

In 2014 Tia was asked to dance in the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow – the theme being The Braemar Highland Gathering which was a wonderful experience at such a young age.

In 2015 Tia successfully auditioned for the Dance School of Scotland where she has trained for the past 6 years. Whilst at the Dance school she performed in Celtic park and the Glasgow City Chambers. Tia has gained her Advanced 1 RAD ballet and is sitting her Advanced 1 ISTD modern exam.

In 2019 the Dance Director of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo invited Tia to perform with them in Sydney Australia and Dusseldorf Germany; this was an amazing opportunity and memorable time for her.

Tia has gained places at Laine Theatre Arts, Performers College and London Studio Centre but is still deciding where she would like to train.

Tia would like to thank Mr Burke and all the staff at the Dance School for all the support and great training she has been given over the past 6 years. Also to her mum and gran for the support and encouragement they give her. She would also like to thank her friends at the Dance School for making her years filled with fun and laughter. She wishes them the best of luck to all of them in the future. She would also like to thank Mr Woody for believing in her and for giving her the confidence for everything; she misses him every day .


Siobhan Grady

Siobhan started dancing at Margaret Gilbride’s School of Dance in Glasgow when she was 4 years old. Whilst still in attendance at MGSD, she was also a student at Scottish Ballet through their Junior Associates Programme and successfully auditioned to perform in Peter Darrell’s production of ‘The Nutcracker’ with the entire company on their UK Winter Tour 2014 / 2015 at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre and Theatre Royal(s) in Glasgow & Newcastle.

The experience gained with Scottish Ballet encouraged Siobhan to apply to the Dance School of Scotland where she secured her place for 1st year in 2015 and gained her place in the residency where she lived for 4 years.

During her 6 years at the Dance School, Siobhan has achieved RAD Advanced 1 Ballet and ISTD Advanced 1 National with distinctions. She also completed her ISTD Advanced 1 Modern exam at the end of this term. She is so appreciative to have had opportunities to represent the school in performances at other venues including Celtic Park, SECC, Glasgow City Chambers and The Westerwood Hotel all for the Scottish Learning Festival.

In her final year, she was delighted to have received offers to attend Laine Theatre Arts, Performers College and London Studio Centre. Siobhan has chosen to attend Performers College to continue with her studies and starts in September. Although Siobhan will be sad to leave the Dance School, she will cherish all of the wonderful memories when at the Dance School and at the residency.

Siobhan would like to thank all of the staff at Knightswood, including the residency, for their fantastic help over the past 6 years. In particular, Mr Burke for his continued support and Mrs Sinclair for her hard work and teaching in Siobhan’s first two years at dance school. She of course would like to thank Mr Woody, who she misses greatly. She will never forget his inspiring advice and how special he made her and other’s time at DSS. She also extends her gratitude to her mum and dad for their incredible encouragement and support they have given her throughout her experience in dance and academic studies

Finally, Siobhan would like to thank her friends from the Dance and Musical Theatre Courses for their love and support over the years and wishes them all the very best of luck for the next step in their education.


Nicola Kelly

Nicola started dancing at the age of 2 at The Janice Marshall Stage School, where she performed in various Musical Theatre shows playing lead roles. During her time at Janice Marshall, Nicola was awarded the Terry Drake Award for musicality at the RAD Awards. She was also awarded the class prize at the ISTD Janet Cram heats and awarded a place in the finals in London.

In 2016 Nicola trained for a year at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She is thankful for the wonderful ballet training here and at Janice Marshall stage School, as it helped her gain a place at The Dance school of Scotland in 2017.

Nicola is grateful of The Dance School for all of the amazing opportunities especially the opportunity to audition for the Scottish Ballet Youth Exchange, in which she gained a place in. This was one of the best experiences Nicola has ever had; she got to work with various choreographers and travelled to Italy to perform in their National Dance festival, along with many talented dancers from Scotland and Italy.

Being a part of the Youth Exchange gave her the opportunity to go to New York to work with Gibney Company choreographers and a group of dancers from Move NYC. The dancers’ work ethic and movement really inspired Nicola. This was such a memorable trip for her as it was just before the world changed in March 2020. 

Nicola is so excited to start Laine Theatre Arts in September to continue her training.

She would like to thank all of the faculty at the Dance School of Scotland for all of their help and support. She would also like to thank the teachers at Janice Marshall stage School, Royal Conservatoire and Scottish Ballet Youth exchange for believing in her.

Finally, Nicola would like to give a special mention to Mr Woody who always had faith in her to succeed. 


Ariane Ngassam

Like every little girl, Ariane tried and tested every activity under the sun, eventually deciding that dance was the one for her. She started with ballet, tap, jazz and modern at Yvonne Gray Dance Studios in Cupar. Ariane then became a part of the dance and cheerleading competition teams, performing across the UK, achieving various awards. In Primary 6, Ariane was also successful in gaining a place at Scottish Ballet as part of the Junior Associate Programme where she studied for two years.

In her final year of primary school, Ariane was encouraged to go to the open day at The Dance School of Scotland to look into a potential option for high school. This opened a new pathway, unlocking the possibility of a career in dance. She auditioned, got in and had the best 6 years of her life…so far. In addition to this, Ariane was given the opportunity to perform in the Edinburgh Playhouse in “Into the Woods” and “Oliver” where she fell in love with musical theatre.

After being successful in all her auditions, Ariane has accepted her offer on the degree course at The Urdang Academy, which after attending the summer school in 2019, she knew was the place for her. Ariane is extremely excited to begin her training as well as being lucky to be living the heart of London.

Ariane would like to thank the faculty for supporting her through the highs and lows of her time at the Dance School and for always believing in her. She would particularly like to say a massive thank you to Gwyneth and Ms Willard for their listening ear when she needed it most. Last but not least she would like thank the staff at the residence for always putting at smile on her face, checking up on her and making her feel safe and happy. (She will miss her late-night chats with Carol-Anne more than anything).

Ariane’s time at the Dance School of Scotland has been emotional, hilarious, hard work and unforgettable and she would like to wish all of her peers the best of luck in the future.


Abigail Norrie

Abi began her ballet training with Lindsay McWilliams at Encore School of Performing Arts at the age of 3 and at the age of 9 went on to join the Scottish Ballet Junior Associates for 2 years, before auditioning and successfully gaining a place at the Dance School of Scotland in 2015. 

During her time at the Dance School, she has gained her RAD Advanced 1 Ballet and Advanced 1 Modern and took part in many pieces in the annual showcase, as well as performances outside of school such as the SECC and the City Chambers. 

 Abi is delighted to have been offered a place at London Studio Centre, Morea Performing Arts and Performers College, where she has accepted a place and looking forward to continuing her training. 

 Abi would like to thank Lindsay McWilliams for inspiring her at the start of her dance journey, Mr Burke and all the Dance School and Residence Staff who have helped her so much throughout her time at the Dance School, with a special acknowledgement to Mr Woody, who always believed and supported her and all the students. 

 Abi would also like to thank her family for all their support and everyone in her year at the Dance School and wishes them all good luck for the future.