Marie-Louise Flexen is an experienced professional dance artist and versatile performer. She is also an award-winning choreographer, who has worked with renowned dance makers and theatre directors since graduating from the London School of Contemporary Dance in 1992.
Since 2002 she has produced, created, and directed many Arts Council funded and commissioned performances, which have included large-scale site-specific works, touring dance theatre, dance films, combined arts collaborations, outdoors arts, street theatre, participatory dance and cabaret. She has also created performance for influential cult musicians Sparks and Jarvis Cocker.
Marie-Louise was a core company member of internationally renowned Seven Sisters Group London 1994-2002 in productions performed nationally and internationally at The Royal Opera House, Royal Festival Hall, The National Theatre, St Pancreas Chambers, V&A Museum, Selfridges, The Place Theatre, and train stations across Europe.
Marie-Louise danced for Sole Rebel and Swerve Dance Theatre between 2012 – 2018 as a company dancer.
More recently, in 2021 Marie-Louise received an Arts Council Developing Your Creative Practice grant (DYCP) to evolve her practice of dancing with horses. This was also the year in which Marie-Louise joined Mandala Theatre Company, Oxford working alongside Yasmin Sidhwa on movement direction and choreography. Additionally, she has recently resumed collaborative work with The Velcro Collective in Gloucestershire – a relationship that began 15 years ago in its earlier form as Velcro Dance Company.
Marie-Louise won the 2015 Inspiring Leader, Dance UK award. She was a finalist for the choreography award category in The Place Prize 2005 and was nominated for a Total Theatre Award 2007.
Astrid is a Venezuelan dance teacher, choreographer, and performer based in the UK since August 2015. She started her dance career in Venezuela while she was a teenager and had her first contact with Middle Eastern Dance. Since then, she has been training in different dance styles such as Latin-American dance, Jazz, Ballet and Contemporary dance but keeping her main focus in different styles of Bellydance.
Astrid studied ballet and contemporary dance in a recognised university in Caracas, Venezuela, Instituto Universitario de Danza. At the same time, she studied to become a French language teacher at a Pedagogic University in Caracas, Venezuela. This is where she discovered her passion for teaching. Lastly, in August 2017, she became certified as an American Tribal Style Bellydance Teacher by Caroleena Nericcio-Bohlman and Megha Galvin in Southend-on-sea, UK.
Astrid has over 6 years of performing dance experience in her own country and has gained valuable teaching experience, which includes an apprenticeship with Marie-Louise as a teaching assistant, other teaching assistant positions, teacher cover and as the main teacher in various dance schools in the UK since 2016. Astrid believes that the learning process must be achieved by the creation of the right atmosphere, memories, and feelings. This is made by finding a balance between enjoyment and technique whilst students are being encouraged to be part of a family where every member loves to dance just like them!
Astrid will be teaching our Saturday classes and belly dancing classes.
Pippa found her passion for dance studying at GCSE level, where her final year choreography was showcased at Chichester Fringe Event. On moving from the Sussex to Wiltshire she furthered her studies in Performing Arts at New Collage, Swindon where she developed her skills as a singer, performing in Pantos, musical and dance showcases throughout her two years. On completing her studies, she auditioned to become an entertainer for a holiday chain and spent a season in Majorca singing and dancing and is where she also learnt to Suba Dive.
On returning to the UK Pippa moved to Walsall and started teaching at a local performing arts school and later developed her own Early Years Programme to introduce ‘movement’ into schools in the West Midlands. It was here she enrolled in a Dance BA at Wolverhampton University where her training in Ballet, Jazz and Contemporary was broaden and a love of Dance history and Dance Science was founded. Taking class at the DX Studios in Birmingham and working with well-known local Choreographers such as Rosie Kay and Marie Blundell. Pippa worked on projects including the open and closing ceremonies for World Wheelchair Basketball Championships, World Gymnastics Championships and the World Trampolining and Tumbling Championships held at Birmingham NEC. In 2011 Pippa qualified as a Zumba Instructor adding to her Exercise to Music qualification and began teaching classes across the West Midlands.
Moving back to Wiltshire/Gloucestershire in 2015 Pippa continued teaching Zumba, Dance, Fitness and taking classes at Swindon Dance until joining Cirencester Dance Club and is also another singer in the group. Pippa hopes to give dancers a strong understanding of technique accompanied with body conditioning to create strong and confident performers.
Pippa will be teaching Ballet and Jazz.
Sarah started dancing at the age of 5 working her way through RAD Ballet Grades and ISTD Modern / Tap Grades with the Maria Anderson School Of Dance in Greater London. She also studied Jazz, Singing and Acting during this time taking part in many amateur panto’s and All England Dance Competitions.
After Leaving School Sarah took a Performing Arts Diploma course at Stanmore College in London, learning Contemporary, Choreography, Performance Skills and Music Productions Such as Cabaret, Hair, Beggers Ball and Mac The Knife.
When Sarah turned 18 she become a Redcoat Entertainer at Butlins Holiday Camp in Bognor Regis for the Winter Season before joining Sole Dance & Drama Academy, Greater London as a Primary Ballet Modern & Tap Teacher, as well as taking part in Street Dance Classes and taking outside classes at Pineapple Studio’s London, whilst also taking part as a Professional dancer in music video’s and professional productions.
Sarah being a keen singer / song writer has worked within the music industry at the age of 18 along side Production House records, Baby D, Dj Slipmatt and signed with Kathy Brown in 2011. When Sarah was 14 she caught the eye of one of the band members from the Beautiful South at a holiday park who wanted to sign her to the band but upon finding out her age unfortunately could not move forward .
In 2011 after Sarah had her first child she decided to go back to her roots and start her own business teaching after school dance clubs at various state and private schools. During this time Sarah also joined her sister and became part of Kidology Dance Company in Greater London teaching Street Dance, Baby Ballet and assisting in a number of dance show cases.
Sarah has recently relocated to Cirencester from Hertfordshire with her family to start a new exciting chapter of her life with Cirencester Dance Club.
Sarah’s early dance experience and training was with Swindon Dance, including Swindon Youth Dance Company and Dance Foundation Course. She then completed her dance training at The Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, cementing her love of both dance styles. During her training Sarah worked with renowned choreographers including, Mark Baldwin and Ross McKim.
Sarah went on to perform as a core member of Swerve Dance Theatre Company, a small to middle scale performance company, for over ten years. During this time, Sarah also worked on a variety of other professional performance projects. She was fortunate to work with choreographers such as Helen Ganberg, Laila Diallo, Angus Balbernie, Adrienne Hart of Neon Dance and Marie-Louise Flexen. Her work as a dance artist, included tours of theatres, performance in festivals, outdoor events, site specific works, dance on film and collaborations with artists from other art forms.
Sarah’s dance association also led to work with Swindon Dance in many teaching, and administration/coordination roles, between 2006 and 2020. Including, as Programme Manager for the Swindon Dance Centre for Advanced Training, a pre-vocational programme for young people from 2016 to 2020. Sarah continues working for Swindon Dance as a freelance teacher.
For fifteen years Sarah has taught dance, specialising in ballet, contemporary, and choreography. She gained her diploma for teaching in the life-long learning sector (DTTLS) from the British Ballet Organisation. Working with children, young people and adults, she has taught in private schools, further education, community and pre-vocational settings. Alongside her teaching, she has regularly created performance work with adults and young people.
Sarah is thrilled to be working with Cirencester Dance Club and shares in its values. She really enjoys sharing her love of dance and movement and being in the continual learning environment that dance provides.
Kez is a creative practitioner based in the South West; having trained in performing arts, classical and contemporary dance styles, music and theatre as a young girl, she now creates, teaches and performs professionally.
With a degree in Contemporary Dance, training from Extraordinary Bodies and Matthew Bourne’s Overture and years of experience working with communities and creatives, she is excited to deliver an inclusive, imaginative and fun approach to creativity and dance as part of the Cirencester Dance Club team.
Helen has always loved dance and gymnastics.
As a child she attended the Marjory Newbury School of Dance in Harrogate and passed all the Royal Academy of Dancing classical ballet examinations and performed in several semi-professional pantomimes at the Harrogate Theatre.
As a young adult, Helen was a dancing member of Harrogate St Andrew’s Players and later Harrogate Phoenix Players and performed in several musical productions including Barnum, where she learnt to trapeze at Leeds Circus School.
Helen joined Harrogate Gymnastics Club at the age of seven and was soon in their main display and competition squads.
After finishing university studies in Hotel Management, Helen went to America to teach gymnastics at a summer camp in Maine.
In 2009 Helen started coaching at Cotswold Gymnastics Club when her young daughter, Lara expressed an interest in the sport.
Now a qualified Level 2 coach, Helen teaches the Elite Squad and Junior Development gymnasts.
Lara is in the Elite Gymnastics Squad and Display Team at Cotswold Gymnastics Club. She is also ASC qualified, and enjoys assisting Helen with teaching gymnastics at Cirencester Dance Club.
Amy’s passion for performing arts starting within acrobatic gymnastics. Which she trained in since she was 3 and competed nationally in for 3 years. At age 10 she found a greater love for dance.
Amy started training in Contemporary, Lyrical, Ballet & Commercial. She is now also experienced in Hip-Hop, Musical Theatre and Tap. She began competing in dance at age 12, becoming the dance captain of her team and later retiring from competing at 17 to further her professional training.
Amy achieved a grade 9 (A*) in her GCSE dance, and a Distinction in her diploma in Performing Arts : Dance. She was an associate of Urdang Academy for 2 years. Amy is currently studying her BA Honours in Musical Theatre at Wilkes Academy in Swindon.
Amy first starting her teaching experience as an assistant to her dance principal at her local school at age 14. She has then progressed to teaching her own classes in Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Commercial and Ballet.
After graduating with her degree Amy would like to work as a dancer on cruise ships as well as continuing to teach dance!
Since 1984, BANXY has been a respected veteran of the world B-Boy scene.
During his 34-year career as a dancer and choreographer working in video, teaching, theatre and touring, he has worked with such bands as Meat Beat Manifesto, George Michael, and Boy George.
His Breakdance crew “The Scarecrows” were worldwide renowned for their ideas in choreography and were a permanent feature at the UK Breakdance championships from 1995-2000. Since 1998 he has also collaborated closely with the British Hip Hop Artist and M.C Jonzi D on productions and UK tours.
Banxy has taken his experience and knowledge and has created his own theatre production BUSK which toured to sold out venues across the UK. He has also taken his passion of dance and music and Graduated with a full BA Honours degree in “Performance Industries” and won the AMS Award for most outstanding music production from the University of Wolverhampton.
He continues to perform and is the newest member of “BRITAINS GOT TALENT” Finalists “OLD MEN GROOVING”
We are so excited to welcome Banxy to our teaching team and he has certainly raised the ‘coolness‘ of our team!