I’m so grateful to CSD for giving me the opportunity to dance for a living. From beginner tap all those years ago (I told my mum I wanted to be Michael Flatley... that’s
definitely showing my age...) I knew that dancing was the thing I enjoyed doing above everything else, and even though it was hard growing up as a boy who
does ballet, the teachers at CSD motivated, inspired and challenged me every step of the way. They gave me the opportunity to learn the principles and discipline
required to pursue a dance career, and allowed me to learn what kind of dancer I am, my strengths and weaknesses, and where those could take me.
After finishing school I studied full time at London Studio Centre, where the rock solid technique I learned from CSD let me grow and learn countless different styles
and genres. For the past 11 years I’ve been with CCL, the world’s leading cruise line, performing countless shows, travelling the world (I have a list of top 10
beaches) meeting lifelong friends and my husband and learning management skills as a dance captain, and now teaching skills (before coronavirus...eye roll) as a
dance supervisor. My whole career and lifestyle I owe to CSD and I will never forget it or take it for granted! Thank you everyone at CSD, Hazel, Nicola, and Rebecca
for giving me these opportunities and I have no doubt that you are still inspiring young dancers with your dedication to dance. Xxx
Central was a 2nd home for my entire childhood. I loved all styles, particularly tap and jazz as a student and later as a teaching assistant in my teens. I went on to
train in hip hop and contemporary dance, completing a BA (Hons), a Masters and finally a PhD all in dance studies. I am now a Senior Lecturer on the BA
(Hons) Dance: Urban Practice degree at the University of East London. I also work as a professional dancer, and have been lucky to have had many exciting
experiences. A couple of highlights include dancing with hip hop dance company Boy Blue in projects such as “Emancipation of Expressionism” on BBC2’s “Darcey
Bussel’s New Dance”, and travelling to New York to perform a duet at the Alvin Ailey Theatre as part of the “Ladies of Hip Hop” festival. I currently train hard in a
dance form called Litefeet. I will always be very grateful to Central, for the best possible start in my dance training, which became a
strong foundation of my whole career.
I struggle to find the words to describe my time at central school of dance and drama. Not only was this the training the sparked my passion for dance, it also helped
build my personality. I have so many happy memories of dancing and giggling with friends. The discipline and confidence I gained while at central set me up for
life. My time there was cut short when I moved on to train at Tring Park at the age of 11, but I was always welcomed back for classes and even teach a couple!
Once a central dancer, always a central dancer. I have been so lucky to have had a beautiful career dancing and have never looked back. (Some credits include
P&O cruises, Thursford, Champions of Magic, La Nouvelle Eve Paris, and Hippodrome London). Thank you for all you have done for me, my sisters (one
who is still dancing at the school), and everyone else who has gone through Central. Will always be a special place in my heart for you all.
Well what can I say about CSD. My home from home with teachers who have cared equally about my growth as a person as they have about my training and career.
In short - Career 15 years professional dancer, (still going) T.V, Movies, Theatre, Musical Theatre, Music Videos, Backing Dancing, Choreographer, Teacher, worked all
over the world blah blah blah. Too much over too many years to highlight. I am so humbled and grateful for the career I have had and continue to have.
But this is not why I write today. I write because non of this would have been possible without the belief from Hazel and Nicola in those early years. Without their
inspiration and investment in me not only to become a professional dancer but a decent person (I had my wild ways). I really had some hard times, in my personal
life, in the three years I trained with Central and my life could have taken a very different downward turn. But Hazel and Nicola kept me focussed, allowed me to
believe and dream the impossible was possible and they championed my career every step of the way. They cared and still care to this day about me as a
person. Looking out for me, at times feeding me and above all believing in me and my dream. From leaving you in 2005 I have gone on to develop so many skills
over so many different dance genres and areas within this industry. You helped me fall in love with learning as much as I already loved dancing and that is why I am
still developing and growing in this ever changing industry today. I wasn’t your ordinary student and they taught me as an individual not just another dancer in class. And that to me is what separates CSD from other schools, from other teachers. They will invest in you as much as you are prepared to invest in
yourself. A lesson for life not just for dance. I love you guys and thank you from the bottom of my heart for believing in that small, northern sixteen year old who
walked into your school one day and for being such a big part of developing her into a daring 19 year old ready to take on the professional dance world. I walked
straight out of training with you at CSD into three months at Broadway Dance Centre in New York then into my professional career which is still going strong…..We
did it! You are my extended family, my friends, I thank you dearly Xx Lana
And an honorary mention to the best group of dancing friends ever! (You know who you are) I love you guys. 15 years and we’re still going strong too Xx
Dancing with Central has had a huge impact on my life and I have so many happy memories to look back on as well as making life-long best friends through the
process. I am so proud of all the achievements I attained over the years and experience that has supported my endeavours.
CSD is where my passion for dance began and is the reason I chose to further my dance education at Middlesex University, where I studied Dance Performance. It was
at this time that I was able to begin working as a freelance dancer and signed model working with clients such as Rimmel London, Visa and Reebok.
Since then, I have been offered a permanent contract to work for The Royal Academy of Dance as their Dance School Administrator. I am loving being surrounded by
like-minded people and utilising all the knowledge I have acquired from CSD.
BA(Hons)MRes LRAD ARAD RTS
Central has been more than a dance school for me. I started at Central when I was 5 years old, shy but focused, and went on to complete my Advanced 2 in Ballet,
Modern and Tap. My dance education there was incredible, but importantly I feel so grateful for the extra mile CSD has gone for me over the years: I assisted Miss
Hazel teaching the little ones from the age of 16; I completed my secondary school work experience at Central; during my degree at the Royal Academy of Dance I
was lucky enough to complete my final year teacher training placement and mentorship with Miss Hazel and Miss Sam; and I've even returned to Central to
interview students for my Masters degree. Central has been the most consistently supportive entity in my life since age 5 through 25 and I will forever be grateful for
that. I'll never stop mentioning them and bragging about my experiences even now. As a ballet teacher, I am always drawing on my experiences at CSD, be it the
amazing choreographies Miss Sam created for us, the constant push and motivation from Miss Nicola and Miss Hazel, or the inspiration and self-belief
instilled by Miss Rebecca and Miss Natalie. Thank you so much, CSD!
My time dancing at Central was the happiest time of my childhood and a time I think about constantly. Dancing taught me so much – confidence, determination,
teamwork, discipline and perseverance. These skills have attributed to so much of my future including the Musical Theatre society I lived and breathed at University
and the summer camp I taught dance & drama at. It also gave me the confidence to go travelling on my own. More than anything, the memories and
friendships I made at dancing have impacted me greatly. I am still best of friends with people I met at Central. Every show with my best friends, every Saturday
rehearsing with our lunchtime trip to Wilkinsons, every end of term tap dance we loved to make up; my time at CSD was always spent laughing and
having fun around my favourite people (even though I know I laughed a little TOO much – sorry Hazel). Every school trip missed for the show and every Saturday
spent rehearsing was always worth it. I feel so lucky to be able to look back on my time at CSD with nothing but incredible memories and a yearn to do it all again. I
am forever grateful to Nicola, Hazel, Rebecca and all those who taught me, to the wonderful friends I made and also my mum who was my taxi driver for 15
years! CSD will always hold a special place in my heart. “There are shortcuts to happiness and dancing is one of them”.
"When I joined CSD I was incredibly shy but as I grew up at Central I also grew in confidence to one of the loudest (and probably cheekiest - sorry Hazel) in the class! I
always looked forward to coming to dancing and it helped me through some tough times allowing me to forget anything going on at home, focusing my energies
on something positive. Dancing would always lift my spirits whilst being surrounded by my best friends who always supported one another. I had a lot of laughs
and good times at Central which our friendship group never fail to reminisce about when we meet up. There is definitely something unique about your dance
friends and I’m so glad we have remained close even 5 years after leaving Central.
Although I did not embark on a dance career I continued dancing at university and now having almost completed my Master’s degree, I am looking to start a career
within the fitness industry, driven by my love for dance.
Finally one of the best parts about Central is that they always welcome me back with open arms to join classes whenever I come home. This past year in particular, I
have taken Nicola’s Advanced 2 modern class working towards the exam. Central will always have a special place in my heart and I am thankful for the great
friends and support they have given me over the years”
Wow, how the years have flown by…
I can still remember getting my first pair of ballet shoes when I was 3 years old.
Through the years it has sometimes been a chore and a challenge but always rewarding, and even if I convinced myself it wasn’t going to be before going, when
stepping into the room it was like a home from home.
Through the years the amount of time in class has ranged form 2 all the way up to 10 hours a week and I have enjoyed every minute of it … well that’s a lie, but at the
end of every single class I was honestly pleased I’d been.
After 12 years of attending classes I finally realised how much Central meant to me and the last 2 years have been fantastic - I will so miss it when at Uni.
Although ballet was my main style I picked up Tap around Grade 3 and eventually got my head around the steps at about Grade 4 (although time steps came … never
:)). I was looking forward to taking my Advanced 1 Tap in April this year but unfortunately 10 days before my exam date lockdown was enforced and I couldn’t take it.
I did 5 shows in total and can remember every one of them - what wonderful memories. For 3 of these I had my own dressing room (much to the envy of the girls)
which was great, even if I did lose out on some of the atmosphere.
Being the only boy for the majority of my time meant that I had to miss out on the pointe classes but i did get extra time 1 to 1 with Hazel.
During teenage years I got a lot of comments saying ‘boys don’t do ballet’ and ‘that’s too girly, what do you want to do that for?’ and to that I say my thighs made me the
strongest in the scrum at rugby and my core the best at my rowing club.
Thank you, Hazel, for shouting at me when you knew I could do better, Natalie lately for the Zoom lessons over lockdown, Sam for those last minute exam prep
lessons, and last but not least Rebecca for fun and enjoyable yet demanding tap classes. My time with Central has been unforgettable and i will surely miss it.
I joined Central when I was 7 and I can honestly say that my time there was the highlight of my childhood. I absolutely loved the classes, exams, workshops and
shows. I have so many treasured memories that will stay with me forever. I also made amazing friends, that at the age of 38, I still see regularly.
Not only did I learn to dance at Central but I also learned many life lessons that have shaped me as a person and professional. I learned the value of hard work,
commitment, work ethic, professional attitude and determination. Not just from our lessons but by watching the excellent example that Nicola, Hazel and our other
teachers gave us. I was encouraged to develop my creativity and have the confidence to try new things, learn from my mistakes and never be afraid of failure.
I left Central with my advanced dance exams and teaching qualifications. I have performed a little but mainly worked as a dance teacher. Throughout my career I have
been complimented for my technical accuracy, knowledge and willingness to learn. Things I attribute to my time at Central.
Olivia Kate Stewart
A number of my childhood memories are built around Central School, it was my second home where I made friends for life.
Dance has always been a passion of mine and I knew that I wanted to do it for a career from an early age.
Central school provided a platform by giving me the most amazing training, discipline and built my confidence to further my training at The Urdang Academy, where I
gained a full scholarship at the age of 16. I went on to have a successful career which included a variety of work ranging from Thursford Christmas Spectacular,
Priscilla Queen of the Dessert (kmc), P&O (Azura & Ventura), Snow White, The Wizard Of Oz, and also performing and working with Strictly come dancing Stars, including Craig Revel Horwood, Karen Hauer, Kevin Clifton and Robin Windsor.
Without Central this wouldn't have been possible and I would like to say a massive thank you to all my CSD teachers
I can’t believe I can finally say I have completed my 17 years at central! Having three older siblings who have all danced at central, I always looked up to them and felt
that leaving dancing was a lifetime away. I remember watching my sister and her friends, in senior rehearsals for the show on Saturday afternoons and thinking I
couldn’t wait until that was me. When the time actually came around and I was dancing 6 days a week and 9-4 on Saturdays, I think my legs would have strongly
disagreed with my younger self; however it was everything I dreamed of.
Spending so much time at dancing really made it become a second home. From a young age dancing has always been an escape for me, a time to forget about what
was happening outside the studio. Having lifelong friends there to be able to have a chat and a laugh with always helped to forget about a bad day. The amount
of talking and laughing however may not have been to Miss Hazel’s standards, but they’re stories for another day.
I truly am grateful for all the work and support given from all my teachers over the years. I may not have been the quietest of students but I have learnt so much here
and gained so many important life skills. Although I have a confession, my time at central is not technically coming to an end. For this next academic year I
am taking a year out so I’ll be able to finally complete my advance 2 training in ballet, tap and modern and finish my grades in LAMDA. Thank you again central
for everything you have given me and I can’t wait to return.
Joining CSD at the age of three, there’s not a part of my life that I remember where dancing wasn’t a part of it. I remember being nicknamed ‘dolly daydream’ by my
mum for my tendencies to wander off in my own world while all the other children were practicing their plies and skips; but it didn’t take long for that nickname to
become ‘prima Donna’, as I loved being in the limelight and was always ready for some stage time. CSD became a safe haven, you could always rely on Hazel to
bring you back down to Earth with an adage, and I always knew I could find a friend within those studios, some of whom I still can’t live without (I’m sure we drove our
teachers mad with our giggling).
CSD was where my dream of performing was born, and what a place to nurture a dream. While I wasn’t sure what path I would be taking back then, the lessons of
discipline, perseverance and humility have been my foundations every step of the way. Since leaving Central, I’ve been lucky enough to reside as a performer in
Paris and now Tokyo. I wasn’t sure it would be possible, but I still dance every day and perform alongside people whom I can only admire and look up to. I’m grateful
every day for my fundamental training, the opportunities that has led to and, of course, the friends I’ve made along the way.