News for Half Term February 2018

Goodness, it’s Half Term already!! It feels as though we have only just started back after Christmas!

The School has grown since Christmas and we are now at a point where most classes are full. I am going to be starting a Waiting List. I am SO pleased we have become this popular!

An exciting piece of news is that International Dance Supplies has been listening to teachers and working with them to make the experience of finding dance kit much easier. They have developed a Shop Front program for Dance Schools which allows parents to order direct from IDS and not have to wait for the dance teacher to remember to make the order! Ordering and returning kit will now be in your control. I have set the relevant pages up with the uniform we use and it remains exceptionally good value for money. I am very impressed with the service we get from the company – orders made before 2pm are sent out that day and often arrive by first post the day after ordering. You can find the link on the Uniform Page.

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New Class for Young Children starting in April 2017

The school is growing. I am opening a NEW class for younger children aged 4 – 5yrs. Based on RAD Primary Ballet, the children will have a broad experience of music and dance. The class will be on Wednesdays from 4.15 – 5pm.

If you know anyone who would like to join the new 4.15pm class, or any other class, please do tell them about it. You can use a Special Offer Voucher to introduce someone new – please ask me for one.

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Special Offer

If you introduce a new student to the school who then joins after their free trial class, both you and the new student will receive a free lesson. The value of the lesson will be taken off your and their fee at the start of the next term.

I have vouchers that you can use – please put your name on it so that when it comes back to me I will know who introduced the new student.





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FREE danced-based exercise class for the over ’50s


Do you enjoy dancing? do you like exercising to music, would you like to meet and get to know new people in your local area?

What is this?

This dance based class is primarily aimed at those people who are over fifty who prefer to stay fit by dancing or who would like to add a dance class to their fitness regime; those who have difficulty moving – having arthritis for example and those who would like to work with a group to do their exercise. There are clear benefits from choosing dance as an exercise form, proven by science. Dance not only challenges and develops the body physically but also develops the brain as well – new pathways are made in the brain when we learn something new. Double the benefit – keep your brain active as well as your body!

The class is designed to:
Develop your balance and co-ordination

Help you strengthen and tone your muscles

Safely raise your heart and breathing  rate to improve circulation

Improve the movement in your joints and flexibility in your muscles

Help you have fun, meet new people and make friends

Chair based exercises will be part of the class for those with limited mobility.

If you know of someone older who might like to do this class, please let them know about it.

When & where is the class?

The class will be held on Wednesdays from 11am – 12pm at Haggerston Community Centre, 8 Lovelace Street, London E8 4FF

How much is the class?

FREE – this class is funded by L&Q.

This class is also open to those who are under fifty who would like to take advantage of this  opportunity to get out and meet new people.

How to join:

Complete the form on the “Contact” page of this website


In person: sign the contact sheet at Haggerston Community Centre, * Lovelace Street, E8 4FF

Phone: call Amanda on 07562659133 and leave a clear message with your phone number and name.

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I have a day and a time for the Adult Dance Class: Mondays from 7 – 8pm.

The first class you do is free, whenever you join us. After that, the fee is £8 per hour.

Please let Amanda know if you have any health issues or injuries that need to be taken into account for the teaching. We will be exploring several styles of dance, using Ballet and Cunningham Contemporary Dance as a basis.

Wear something comfortable, the hall is warm, so layers are a good idea. Bring some socks and be prepared to work barefoot as well. Please always bring a bottle of water – there is fresh water available to refill bottles.

Tell your friends and bring them along as well!

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Starting Pointe Work

This is a huge and exciting moment for all dancers. Here is a general (not necessarily complete) list of what dance teachers consider before allowing a dancer to go “en pointe”:

The student has the required core strength in the body

Demonstrates correct posture and alignment in positions and while moving

Maintains turnout while dancing

Shows awareness of proper ankle and foot alignment, avoiding sickling or rolling-in

Effectively uses plié while dancing

Stretches or points the foot while dancing

Can piqué passé with a straight leg

Can perform repeated relevé in the center without tiring & while maintaining alignment

Can balance on one foot with the body correctly positioned over the supporting leg

Coordinates movement well, particularly in regard to varying approach to relevé (from plié, from straight leg, stepping or springing into, etc.)

Attitude and work ethic play a large role in dancing at an advanced level. Students must display dedication during class and a strong commitment to the art form at all times.

For a useful video about preparing your pointe shoes, copy this search title into your browser :

How to Sew on Pointe Shoe Ribbon- Amanda from Grishko UK



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Best Foot Forward…


I have been asked about adult dance classes by several people – it is something I would love to start up. I have already booked a slot at the hall from 7 – 8pm on Thursday evenings, I have some music – now all I need is the Corps de Ballet / Chorus Line / Hoofers!

The NHS has been in partnership with some of the big ballet companies, developing Dance for Wellness for a few years now. Dance is having a beneficial effect on those living with Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimers disease. A friend of mine is pioneering research into using dance as a means of helping older people prevent falls in later life, by developing their balance and co-ordination. It has long been known that keeping moving is good for your health and mental well-being. I am keen to develop an adult group who want to dance and would like to hear from you about what sort of dance you would like to try.

On offer are the following:

Ballecore – a system of movement that uses the best of ballet, yoga and pilates techniques to stretch and strengthen the body. From this basis, we would also explore Ballet further.

Contemporary Dance – again a combination of floor based work as well as moving through space and some choreography.

Tap Dance – For all aspiring Freds ‘n’ Gingers, this will get your brain firing as well as getting your body going.

If we get really enthusiastic, there’s Line Dance and Morris Dance to explore too, I have a set of sticks ready!

If you know of someone who is a little older and who might be available during the day, or if you yourself are available during the day, I would also like to start a day time class for adults. Day and time to be discussed. This is a future project.


I signed the school up for this years’ Big Dance:

Big Dance Pledge

Some of you may know the work of the choreographer Akram Khan. This year he has created a piece of choreography for people to learn and to develop into their own work. The idea is that on May 20th, the whole country dances their piece at the same time, either at 1pm or at 7pm, or both! I spent a delightful day at the English National Ballet Studios learning the choreography and will be doing several versions of it with different groups of students in the school who will share the work with their parents. It would be wonderful to have an Adult Group do this as well.

So get up in the attic, drag out your legwarmers, polish your tap shoes, pull on your tutu and join me in a dance! Email me to let me know you would like to try this out –

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Best Hair Styles To Improve Balance

When someone mentions ballet dancing, we immediately think of the ballerina in her white tutu, hair pulled back into a bun, standing on her toes. We tie our hair up this way for two very important reasons: a) long hair flaps into the face, even when in a pony tail and disturbs our focus; b) hair tied close to the head help us to balance, especially when standing on one leg, either to show an arabesque line or more importantly when turning in pirouettes.

Long hair is heavy and a child with long hair needs to become accustomed to both the hair style and their altered balance as they are training before considering taking a ballet exam. If a child only has their hair up for their exam, their balance can be thrown and this will have a negative impact on the mark they ultimately achieve.

Please could all dancers have their hair in a bun every lesson so that we can help them gain a good sense of balance and they can focus on their technique. It also makes them FEEL like a ballerina. The best round bun style looks a little like a cinnamon roll – flat to the head, much like having very short hair. Below are two styles I have used successfully for myself – the plaits across the head is my preferred style for Albion Dance School. In the weeks before Easter, I will be showing the children how to do their hair – if you are unsure about how to do hair, do ask and I am happy to demonstrate for you.

Hair for Primary Grade, Grade 1, Grade 2 Ballet & Tap - Grade 1 & Grade 2 Modern Exams Hair Grade 3 & up Modern & Tap Exams

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Verrucae are persistent things and can be no trouble at all and disappear by themselves. Sometimes though, they can be extremely painful, especially on weight bearing areas of the foot and require determination to get rid of.

Verrucae are a type of wart. The NHS Choices website gives this information:

“Warts aren’t considered very contagious, but they can be caught by close skin-to-skin contact. The infection can also be transmitted indirectly from contaminated objects or surfaces, such as the area surrounding a swimming pool.

You are more likely to get infected if your skin is wet or damaged. After you become infected, it can take weeks or even months for a wart or verruca to appear.

Most warts are harmless and clear up without treatment.

The length of time it takes a wart to disappear will vary from person to person. It may take up to two years for the viral infection to leave your system and for the wart to disappear.

You might decide to treat your wart if it is painful, or in an area that is causing discomfort or embarrassment.

Common methods of treatment include:

  • salicylic acid
  • cryotherapy (freezing the skin cells)
  • duct tape
  • chemical treatments

Treatment for warts is not always completely effective, and a wart will sometimes return following treatment. ”

Whilst the dance studio is generally not a wet floor, the children do get very hot and feet get sweaty. This is a great environment to pass verrucae on, so please check your child’s feet regularly and treat any verrucae you spot. Please send your child with a pair of socks to save spreading the virus.

Over time, I have had verrucae several times. The best remedy I have found is the following:

Use Salicylic acid (the Schol Gel one has worked for me) – clean the foot and remove any dead skin. Apply the gel and allow to dry fully. Cover the verruca with a tiny disk of duct tape – you will be smothering the verruca. Then cover with a plaster and leave at least 24 hours. If you can successfully cover leave a treated verruca around 3 days, you will be able to see a big difference quite soon. Again, clean the foot and remove all dead skin. Repeat the treatment process on a daily basis if the duct tape / plaster fall off – or on a 3 day basis if not. Keep going until the verruca has got the message and gone!

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Welcome to Albion Dance School

I hope everyone had a good half term and you are raring to go!

All dancers must bring a bottle of water with them to class. We have access to fresh drinking water to refill bottles, but there are no cups available at the hall.

In the first week we will go over the fire drill for the building and have a practice. After this, there will be an unannounced fire drill once per term. The children do the same in school and whilst it may disrupt one lesson, it is vital that everyone knows what to do in the event we have to evacuate in emergency.

Please remember to let me know if your child’s medical status has changed, or if your child has had a recent injury, so that I can adapt my teaching appropriately. If your child has had a cold, flu or any diahorrea or vomiting bugs please allow 48 hours before bringing them to class.

DANCE IS NOT JUST FOR THE KIDS… Come on, break out those leg warmers…

I want to start adult dance classes on Thursday evenings from 7 – 8pm. If you are interested in having a go at Ballet, Tap & Modern, Contemporary Dance and other styles too, contact me via the email box on the contact page. We will start by exploring different dance styles to see what suits us – there will be an aspect of body conditioning as well, with the main intention being that we Find Our Feet and DANCE!

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