Rachel Withers – Founder & CEO BalletBeFit
Rachel Withers started ballet in 1977 when she began training at the Dorothy Stevens School of Dance. A RAD York Scholar, training under Louise Browne, Rachel was awarded the Margot Fonteyn award for Scholar of the year in 1986. Rachel obtained her Advanced (now Advanced 2) RAD Certification at the age of 16. She was then accepted into the prestigious Royal Ballet School in London, England. One of Rachel’s career highlights was performing for Dame Ninette de Valois 90th birthday gala celebration in 1988 at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden with a capacity audience of nearly 2,000 friends, colleagues and admirers, including Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret and Dame Margot Fonteyn. Dame Ninette de Valois was a dancer, choreographer, teacher and founder of Britain’s Royal Ballet.
At the age of 18, she began her professional career, when she performed with the Royal Ballet in Sleeping Beauty. Rachel has studied and worked with numerous notable dancers, teachers and choreographers, including Dame Alicia Markova, Dame Beryl Grey, and Brenda Last.
In 1990 – Rachel began teaching at the Dorothy Stevens School, at the Goddard School of dance and Stagecoach Performing Arts. Rachel has taught age ranges from 2 years to 18 years in both Ballet, modern and creative dance. Whilst teaching, Rachel studied additional dance genres in particular contemporary dance and the Graham technique and gained a Bachelor of Performance Arts (hons) – Leeds University in 1993. After gaining her degree Rachel set up community art projects involving dance and drama for under privileged children and was involved with going into to schools to deliver creative dance and movement. Rachel has worked with offenders, prisoners, and has used dance and drama as a method of engagement, and creative expression, to build confidence, self-esteem and the ability to work positively with others.
Rachel has choreographed pieces for theatre groups and her worked has been performed at the Edinburgh Festival.
It was in 2008 that the concept of BalletBeFit started when Rachel taught a ballet based fitness class in her local gym. It was towards the end of 2011, that Rachel started to help other woman set up their own ballet fitness class and this was when BalletBeFit was born. It was in 2015 that the business went online and really started to develop.
Since then, Rachel has secured a contract with Warner Leisure to hold her BalletBeFit classes in their hotels. BalletBeFit now supports instructors globally through online training, workshops, events and books.
Sarah Tiffany – Instructor Trainer & Mentor
Sarah began training at Stagecoach Theatre Arts. After school Sarah went on to study a BTEC National Diploma in Performing Arts. Although she found all disciplines of the performing arts enjoyable, she decided to concentrate her attentions on dance & went to Middlesex University where she gained a BA Hons in Dance Performance.
After graduating Sarah took on a variety of dance contracts in the U.K. & abroad. Between contracts Sarah spent a lot of time teaching dance to ages 6 up to 60+ & also ran her own Theatre School. Sarah has varying experience in a wide range of dance styles including Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, Street, Irish, African & Belly Dance.
Sarah took a break from dancing to start a family which grew quickly as her and husband welcomed twins! During her maternity Sarah re-connected with Rachel who had actually taught her in her younger years. Rachel invited Sarah to join the team. Sarah contributes to course chorography, production and Sarah role at BalletBeFit is instructor trainer and mentor.
Sarah is currently expecting a new arrival to her family whilst looking forward to continuing with the BalletBeFit team and welcoming future members of the BalletBeFit family.
Eve Honey Wagster – Instructor Trainer & Mentor
Eve has danced and performed since the age of 2, she has studied and taken classes at Northern Ballet, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, University of Central Lancashire and more. As well as dance training, Eve has always been motivated to work within education and completed a teaching qualification in 2015.
Eve has completed her most recent dance related studies with a First Class Degree and plans to embark on an MA course in Choreography later this year. Alongside her education and training she commenced her teaching journey by working at a private dance school teaching various disciplines including; Contemporary, Ballet, Jazz, Commercial and Modern. Having taught students at all levels, of all ages and from varied backgrounds, Eve progressed to a job as Course Leader on the Extended Diploma in Dance at a Further Education college. This role included creative methods to teaching, learning, assessment in order to motivate students and ensure goals were met.
Eve also is the founder and director of her dance company, Revival Dance Company. The company offers workshops and training and performances focused around Eve’s specialism of Contemporary Dance which celebrates diversity and encourages creativity and freedom within dance.
Eve contributes to course choreography and production and Eve’s role at BalletBeFit is Instructor Trainer and Mentor. Eve brings new and exciting approaches to dance facilitation, informed by her own innovative practices as a freelance Contemporary Dance Artist and company owner.
Kate Dale – Instructor Onboarding
Originally Kate trained to be a beauty and massage therapist, and has trained with many well-known brands such as Elemis, Dermalogica, Neom and ESPA. Whilst training to become a therapist, Kate worked on The Orient Express Train the Northern Belle. Kate has worked in many prestigious hotels such as Crewe Hall and Rookery Hall whilst in the hospitality industry. Before Kate joined the BalletBeFit team, Kate was head of retail sales for a luxury spa hotel. Kate has won many awards for her customer service, and enjoys helping clients start their BalletBeFit journey and become part of our growing family. When Kate is not working for BalletBeFit you will find her baking and caring for her two Pyrenean Mountain Dogs.
Joanna Bradley – IT & Administration
Joanna started dancing at just two years old which led her to a lifelong love of dance and theatre. She continued to study dance and music through college and passed her Intermediate ballet exam with IDTA. Since completing her studies, Joanna has gained experience in IT, HR and administration. Joanna has also travelled which involved volunteer work on farms and in hostels when she wasn’t camping on beaches or scuba diving. Joanna joined BalletBeFit after travelling and has managed to combine her love of dance with her IT, HR and administration knowledge. Joanna still continues to dance however now it tends to be put to use around campfires with a guitar as opposed to on stages in a tutu or at a piano!