Testimonials

I was at Highams School of Dancing almost every single week between the ages of 4 and 18! It was the only hobby I ever stuck at throughout my whole childhood and that includes stints in trampolining, football, gymnastics and more. The best thing was that we took all our shows and exams seriously and took pride in our dances, however we always kept that element of fun and I never felt any pressure which I imagine some dance schools would put on kids. It lead me to take part in competitive cheerleading at University and nowadays I still use my dance skills in the occasional barre or step class (and on a night out!) Jess xx

Jessica Wilson

I started at Highams School of dancing when I was ten and stayed until I was 18, only leaving as I had gained a place at University. Throughout my time I have gained so many skills which has enhanced me as both a dancer as well as in my every day life at school/college/work and now university. Confidence, creativity, initiative, as well as leadership and teamwork skills are too name just a few. I have achieved and exceeded in exams, shows and teaching qualifications through the guidance and support of the Principal Sarah Barrett whom is self-motivating and encouraging whilst striving to find the potential and best out of all the students that attend the school. I definitely felt part of a community and a family whilst at the school. The guidance and tuition that I received at this dance school allowed me to gain an abundance of certifications in both graded and vocational exams as well as my Associate Teacher qualifications in both Modern and Tap, all of which created a portfolio which I was able to show Universities when applying, and definitely helped me to gain a place on the Dance Practices program at Liverpool John Moores University.

Kirsty Merry

I learnt to dance under Sarah’s guidance from the age of 5 until I left for University at 18. Not only was she an incredible teacher and helped me achieve amazing exam results, but she also built my confidence week by week to help me develop as a person, too. I couldn’t recommend Highams School of Dancing enough because of this – it shaped my childhood, gave me lifelong friends and made me the person I am today (who still LOVES to dance )

Rosie Alexandra Smith

Myself and my older sister started doing ballet and tap when we were just out of nappies. That was the beginning of a long lasting relationship spanning over many years. We took exams yearly and loved the shows that we put on at Chingford Assembly Hall. We look back fondly at that years as being very happy ones.

Becky McFetridge

I loved my time at dancing,it helped my confidence grow massively and I made some good friends. I really enjoyed helping in the younger classes as it was a great experience and helped me gain a lot of skills. It also helped me when it came to writing a CV and personal statement as I felt like a had a lot more to say about myself. Over all, i really enjoyed my time at the school!!

Olivia Springate-Jones

I was a part of the Highams School of Dancing for 13 years, where I participated in a number of exams and shows. Over that period I managed to achieve Grade 6 in Ballet, Advanced 1 in Modern, Advanced 2 in Tap and an Associate qualification. None of my achievements would have been possible without the support of Sarah and Lucy, who constantly pushed me and helped me develop to my full potential. Their support encouraged me to pursue my talents and I achieved a 2:1 BA Hons degree in Music and Musical Theatre at University. I will always treasure my time here as it’s where my interest started in the Arts and it’s were I met friends for life.

Eilis Martin

During my 14 years at this dance school I have loved every second to the classes, teachers and students. The dance halls where spacious, clean and great to dance in. The teachers were always fun and helpful, always approachable and could always help you no matter what your ability in different dance styles. They helped build your confidence and helped you hone your dance skills in tap, ballet, pointe, jazz, contemporary, street dance and show dances. I have taken many exams to build my skills in these which has become invaluable in my future studies as I now attend the university of Chichester studying musical theatre which a key aspect of that is dance. Thanks to the lessons it has put me in good stead for the future putting me in higher and intermediate dance classes which can help with my future career of becoming a performer. I always found the lessons lovely and fun, I was always pushed to try new things and found lessons never to be too difficult or too easy. I was pushed at my level through my many years there and was never expected to do anything dangerous or that I wasn’t ready to do. For example, I had excellent training with getting my feet ready to go on pointe and learning about it, so I didn’t hurt myself. The students who attend are lovely and welcome all new people in, I never feel unwelcome or like I didn’t have friends there. The atmosphere is so relaxed and happy everyone gets on well with each other and I feel that made my experience all the better. The friends I have made at this dance school will forever be some of my best friends. The school gave me a great chance to build my confidence with performing as we had an annual dance show at Harlow play house which was always the highlight of my year. This gives the students a chance to not only dance but also explore different styles with going for that, and gives every child there a chance to perform on a professional stage with proper lighting and sound. This time of year, was always well organised and fun, costumes are supplied and always look amazing every year. The rooms at the play house are well lit and spacious coping for any number of students. They are also always plenty of teachers and assistant teachers ready to help with any problems throughout the 3 nights, so I never felt stressed or worried about anything and could just enjoy my time at the dance show. I got to dance a lot of exams at my time through dancing spanning from Class all the way to intermediate which has really helped me into getting into uni as they are all UCAS registered. From then on, I went into assistant teaching in classes, ages ranging from 3 to 16. I learnt and developed many new skills which I can now take with me when applying for certain jobs. I then took teaching qualification in both tap and modern which means I have a qualification proving I can teach the NATD syllabus which is an amazing thing not only to put on my CV but also when looking for universities. This has been invaluable to me. Overall my time at Higham’s school of dancing has been amazing and I have no faults with the school at all. I would highly recommend this dance school to any child/adult willing to try new things in a relaxed atmosphere and have fun whilst doing so! I have learnt so many things and had a chance to discover my passion which is performing. Ever since I set foot on the stage at Harlow I knew this, and I owe it to going to this dance school. Never have I felt more welcome or enjoyed my time more than here! All the way through the years, from being a small 4-year-old dancing a few small dances to a 19-year-old being a lead in the show, getting her teachers qualifications and getting distinction grade in a lot of exams.

Alicia Alvarez

I joined Sarah’s dance class as a clumsy four year old with two left feet and a dream to be on the stage. A year in, I took part in my first show, and I remember watching the older girls and dreaming that one day I would be like them. Over the next fourteen years Sarah not only taught me how to dance, but how to see my own potential. She coached me through countless exams, encouraged me to persevere when I struggled with steps, and introduced me to lifelong friends. When I turned 18, I left Highams School of Dancing as the girl I dreamt of being when I was four. And I cannot thank her enough for leading me there.

Chloe Kingscote

My two girls have thoroughly enjoyed their time at Highams School of Dancing . They have learnt so much more than just dancing and made some wonderful friends along the way. I can also highly recommend the Adult tap class , great fun, great friends and a great way to spend a Monday night .

Glaze Family

Some of my earliest memories consist of dancing with highams school of dancing. Sarah was my teacher as a child myself. I even remember Lucy as a little girl. I throughly enjoyed dancing at highams school of dancing many years ago from normal lessons in the same room they have lessons in now. Show night used to be at Chingford assembly hall which I still drive by now & think of those fun memories dancing. I gave it up as I was turning into a teenager,Looking back I totally regret that decision.
Having my two young daughters now attend the school is very important to me. Like when I was a student, highams school of dancing teaches students to be proud of their achievements & how important it is to have respect for others while working together. They teach them that in life it takes lots of practice to become good at something & that putting in hard work you can accomplish your goals. These things are important in the real world when your an adult so learning it through a fun activity like dance while your young, without your children even realising what life lessons its teaching them, you just can’t go wrong. While there’s seriousness with highams school of dancing they also don’t forget to add the excitement & fun into dance. Music they choose is always well known.
Teaches at the school are very professional, students are very well behaved & always striving to reach new goals & levels constantly.
Exams are great not only for your child but for you also as it gives you a behind the scenes insight to highams school of dancing. It proves just how much effort goes into your child’s lessons & other children’s lessons.
The annual photoshoot & dress rehearsal for the annual show is a nice few hours for you & your child. You get to see your children up close in costume & my daughters favourite bit is making the most of putting on make up and looking pretty for mummy to take lots of photos on her phone before they have more photos done by professionals which I have bought every year & are still hung on my walls at home.
Show nights – I don’t think there’s one person in the audience not proud of their child to be apart of highams school of dancing. It makes all those early lesson & extra rehearsals worth while. It really has become like a west end show. And you realise that saying “you get what you pay for”.
I’m constantly telling other mums about highams school of dancing & I will always continue to support them. It’s by far the best dance school around !!
Sarah & Lucy you are incredible. Student teachers you are amazing.
Just like I always did, my two daughters always come out smiling. To me that says it all…

Kira Kenwood

I danced at HSOD since I was 3 years old, starting in the chicks and worked my way up through the school to the adult tappers. Throughout my time at HSOD I’ve met friends for life who I am proud to call my family, including Sarah and Lucy. The memories I’ve made at dancing are unforgettable and one you can’t ever recreate, as well as participating in dance exams in all different styles, earning trophies, medals, badges and certificates. Another one of my favourite moments at HSOD is taking part in annual dance shows; I had the opportunity to have main parts in previous shows and I loved every second… dressing up, the make up, photoshoots and being on the stage under the lights. Whilst dancing at HSOD I had the opportunity to train and become a teacher and work along side Sarah and Lucy, so I studied and trained for my 2 associate teaching qualifications in Tap and Modern dance which developed my confidence and teaching ability to lead any class of any age. This also allowed me to go to dance lectures for NATD which meant meeting different dance schools a part of the association , learning new skills and learn dance sequences from some West End dancers. Sarah and Lucy make you feel so welcome, they bring out a different side to you and you can really be yourself dancing at Highams School of Dancing. They have inspired me to be who I am today and I cannot thank them enough for the opportunities and memories that they have allowed me to make. Your dance family is for life.

Becky Dibble

I joined Highams School of Dancing when I was 4 and stayed until i was 18, and during those 14 years I had the best experience dancing at the school. Coming away from HSOD I have gained an Advanced Two grade in tap, Advanced One in modern, Grade 6 in contemporary and ballet and 4 years of Pointe classes which to me is a massive achievement, and that all comes down to Sarah and Lucy who made lessons fun whilst learning technical exercises. The exams may not have been my favourite part of HSOD, however they gave me useful experience which came in handy during my GCSE and A Level Dance practicals. Gaining a teaching qualification in tap enabled me to boost my confidence and enthusiasm during my last few years at the school and has left me with skills I can utilise forever. From my first show dancing to Bear Necessities to my last dancing as a troll, one of my favourite parts of my experience were the dancing shows. My favourite show was Peter Pan, where I was thrilled to take on the part of Wendy and was even given the opportunity to use some of my own choreography within the show. My best years were when I was a part of the senior class, and because of this I can happily say that I’ve made friends for life during my time at HSOD. I want to thank Sarah and Lucy for allowing my experience to be as enjoyable as it was and pushing me to be the best dancer that I could be. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time dancing and teaching at HSOD and look forward to return as an adult tapper when I finish university!

Megan Woolf

Having a daughter attend there for 13 years, she loved it. Sarah and Lucy Barrett put on a great show every year, which all are in, from the babies to the mothers” dance class. Exams are taken, but it is no way am exam factory. Recommend if you want a nurturing environment.

Jannine Jacobs-Roth

Great dance school and my three daughters love going! Amazing show put on each year and exams throughout the year to show their progress. Highly recommend them.

Sarah Wilson

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