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
(Ballet, Modern, Tap, DDMIX, Zumbini)
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.
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. Most recently Gemma has become a qualified Zumbini Instructor and is really looking forward to introducing this fantastic new movement and music experience for 0-4 year olds with their caregiver from September 2021.
Nicole Anelli – AISTD, Certified DDMIX Instructor
(Modern, Tap, Jazz & DDMIX)
Nicole trained at Laine Theatre Arts, graduating from the three year Musical Theatre course. She gained all Advanced exams, a Musical Theatre Diploma and graduated as a fully qualified teacher in Modern and Tap. During her final year of training, Nicole was also Head Girl.
Nicole went on to work professionally for a leading Cruise Line in Italy and in America, where she was part of four original casts working with American and British choreographers. During this time, she was also given the opportunity to be Dance Captain.
Since returning to the UK, Nicole has been pursuing her teaching career and has worked as a freelance dance teacher for many schools in Hampshire and the South West. Nicole is a fully qualified teacher with the ISTD in both Modern and Tap. She also completed her DDMIX Instructor training course in 2020.
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.
Emeli Salentino – National Diploma in Musical Theatre (Ballet, Tap)
Miss Emeli undertook her professional training at Bird College graduating with a National Diploma in Musical Theatre. She has worked for more than 7 years in the industry dancing in films, music videos, festivals and working as a model. She went on to work for both MSC and CMV Cruise Lines as a dancer and progressed to the roles of dance captain, production manager and assistant cruise director. Miss Emeli joined our team during lockdown looking after all of our online ballet and tap classes. We are delighted that she will be continuing to teach ballet during the Autumn term on Monday evenings and Wednesday mornings.
Natalie Relf – ISTD DDI Classical Ballet (Ballet, Contemporary)
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 DDI in ISTD classical ballet. Natalie is very much looking forward to teaching at the Aucott School of Dance from September!