All of our teachers are DBS checked, fully insured and have completed a COVID Awareness Course.
Gemma Feeney (Principal) – BA Hons. Dance and Theatre Performance, C.D.M.T. Recognised Teacher, R.A.D. Registered Teacher, R.A.D. C.B.T.S., I.S.T.D. D.D.I. & D.D.E. Modern and Tap, Certified DDMIX Instructor, Affiliate Teacher of the Royal Ballet School
(Ballet, Modern, Tap, DDMIX)
Gemma started dancing at the age of four and completed her RAD Ballet exams up to Grade 8 and Advanced 1 alongside her ISTD Modern and Tap exams up to Advanced 2 level. At 18 years of age Gemma secured a scholarship to take up full time vocational training at Bird College of Dance and Theatre Performance where she graduated in 2004 with a BA Honours Degree.
After dancing professionally for a time in film and on cruise ships Gemma decided to embark on the fulfilling and rewarding career of teaching. In 2008 she completed the Royal Academy of Dance Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies and in 2011 she achieved excellent marks in the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing Diploma in Dance Instruction and Diploma in Dance Education in both Modern and Tap.
Gemma was selected by The Royal Ballet School in 2022 as one of just 30 teachers from around the world to be a part of the first cohort to train as Royal Ballet School Affiliate Teachers. The implementation period has proved to be hugely successful with students and parents and Miss Gemma looks forward to rolling out the RBS Affiliate Training and Assessment Programme to more of her Ballet classes upon achieving full affiliation in the new year 2023.
After teaching Ballet, Modern, Jazz and Tap to students aged three to adults from Nursery to Advanced level for a number of years in both private dance schools and a number of local Prep schools Gemma took a short career break in the summer of 2014 to start a family of her own. Aucott School of Dance was founded in May 2015 and continues to grow.
Gemma trained with Dame Darcey Bussell DBE to become a qualified DDMIX instructor in 2016 and has also become a part of the DDMIX for Schools teacher training team leading inset training days for schools around the UK. Gemma is a qualified Zumbini and Zumbini for Schools Instructor and is looking forward to re-introducing this fantastic movement and music experience for 0-4 year olds with their caregiver when her own children begin school.
Nikita Gilmer – Teaching Diploma in Street Dance (Dance Educators S.A.), 1/4 Colours for Hip Hop Dance (Dance Educators S.A.), Certified DDMIX Instructor
(Street Dance, DDMIX)
Nikita has had a passion for dance from a very young age, going from Ballet to Acrobatics, to Jazz and Tap. At the age of 14 Nikita really found her calling in Street and Hip Hop dance. She has danced in many shows, events and competitions bringing home numerous gold medals.
At just 18 years of age Nikita achieved her Teaching Diploma in Street Dance and went on to run her own dance studio in South Africa before embarking on her journey to the UK. We are delighted to have Nikita as part of our team at Aucott School of Dance teaching Street Dance and during lockdown in 2020 she also qualified as a fully certified DDMIX instructor!
Jack Shaw-Downie – Associate Diploma in Performing Arts (ADPA), Associate of the London College of Music in Musical Theatre Performance
Jack gained his LAMDA gold medal in acting with distinction, before embarking on his professional acting career. Jack has played a vast array of lead roles. He has performed at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London’s West End and the NIA Arena in Birmingham, where he was a soloist in Cats the Musical for the Stagecoach 25th Anniversary. Jack gained a distinction for the Associate Diploma in Performance Arts (ADPA), which has been developed for teachers working with young people in part-time performing arts schools. He is also an Associate of the London College of Music in Musical Theatre Performance and has recently appeared in the UK Tour of Cilla the Musical. Jack continues to teach in various schools in the Winchester area and we are delighted to welcome him to the ASD family on a permanent basis after his popularity as a guest teacher at Summer Dance Camp and the success of his musical theatre medley in our 2019 showcase.
Natalie Relf – ISTD DDI Classical Ballet (Ballet, Contemporary, Progressing Ballet Technique PBT)
Natalie trained at Laine Theatre Arts gaining a full 3 year scholarship. She also formally trained as an associate with the Royal Ballet School and Central School of Ballet. Since graduating Natalie has gone on to work onboard luxury cruise lines for the last 5 years, such as Celebrity Cruises and Carnival cruise lines. Between contracts Natalie has taught at various dance schools offering workshops and also guest teaching. Whilst training she also gained her Diploma in Dance Instruction in ISTD Classical Ballet. Natalie is a qualified Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT) instructor and delivers this wonderful conditioning class to our senior school. Natalie is about to embark on the next stage of her training with the Royal Academy of Dance CBTS. She is a very popular and valued member of our dance family.
Katrina Kelly – RAD RTS (Ballet)
Ayrshire born, Katrina started her professional training at Dance School of Scotland and then continued to Elmhurst School for Dance. Since leaving Elmhurst she has toured with Vienna Festival Ballet, performing classical ballets such as Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake. She then danced in Thursford Christmas Spectacular in Norfolk. Katrina has danced around the world on various cruise ships and performed in The Snowman for the past five years. Most recently Katrina was awarded a Professional Dancers Teaching Diploma with The Royal Academy of Dance.
Sophie Sherman – ISTD DDI (Tap, Modern, Jazz)
Miss Sophie trained professionally for three years at Italia Conti Arts Centre in all aspects of dance, acting and musical theatre. She graduated with teaching qualifications, in ISTD Ballet, Tap and Modern Theatre Dance as well as a PCE and as a Level 1 Acro Instructor. After graduating, she enjoyed a performing career abroad as well as in the UK and gained some extreme skills such as Aerial hoop, stilt walking and fire breathing!
Miss Sophie says “I have been teaching dance and performing arts now for many years. I love to watch people of all ages gain confidence, have fun and shine and I hope my students have as much fun in my lessons as I do teaching them!”