Biographies

Natalie Carter RAD RTS, School Principal and Ballet Teacher

Natalie is a highly experienced Ballet and Pilates Teaching professional with 33 years professional experience. She trained at Rambert School and in her younger years danced at Sadler’s Wells with the National Youth Ballet. Her professional dance career began at the age of 17, dancing with ballet and contemporary companies in the UK and abroad, her favourite roles were in the classical ballets with the Vienna Festival Ballet Company.

Following injury, Natalie trained at the Royal Academy of Dance in order to achieve full teaching qualifications. Natalie saw Pilates as the perfect style of exercise to complement her Ballet teaching and she is now level 3 advanced qualified with Body Control Pilates and is also qualified to teach Pilates to children aged 5-16 years old.

Northamptonshire School of Dance was founded in 2003 with the aim of offering Royal Academy of Dance Ballet, Tap, Contemporary, Street Dance, Singing, Musical Theatre and Body Control Pilates classes to children and adults in the local area. As well as running her busy school, in the last eight years Natalie has directed four highly successful dance shows incorporating all pupils; in 2012, An Invitation to the Dance, in 2014, A Celebration of Dance, in 2018, The Nutcracker, and in 2022, Alice in Wonderland.

Natalie continues to pursue her professional development with The Royal Academy of Dance and is currently studying Level 4 Body Control Pilates teacher’s qualification.


Hayley McDonald BA (Hons) RAD RTS AIDTA, Ballet Teacher

Hayley teaches RAD Ballet and Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT). She has danced ballet, tap, street and contemporary since the age of three years old and having completed her RAD grades and vocational examinations, moved to London in 2010 to study at the Royal Academy of Dance. There she gained a BA (Hons) Ballet Education Degree as well as completing the Licentiate of the RAD. Since then she has taught at several dance schools in London and the Midlands and is also fully PBT qualified.


Bethan Reynolds RAD RTS ARAD, Ballet Teacher

Bethan teaches RAD Ballet and Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT). Bethan trained vocationally at Elmhurst Ballet School until the age of 18 and then went on to dance professionally with the Slovakia National Ballet for 7 years. Bethan then completed the RAD’s Professional Dancers Postgraduate Teaching Certificate.


Emily Street – IDTA Teacher, Musical Theatre, Jazz, Street, Fitness, Ballet

Emily started dancing at the age of 3 and began teaching at the age of 16. She completed her IDTA Associate Ballet Teaching qualification before going on to train professionally at PPA in Guildford.  Whilst at PPA, Emily gained her Licentiate in Musical Theatre through Trinity College London as well as teaching ballet, jazz and musical theatre at PPA Kids school.  Emily continued to teach at dance and theatre schools alongside her performing career.  5 years ago Emily trained as a group Fitness Instructor, teaching a range of classes at the Move Your Frame studios across London. She is currently working towards her Pre and Post Natal fitness Teaching Qualification. 


Lucy Thynne – BA Dance, Contemporary Teacher

Lucy teaches Contemporary Dance. She runs her own successful dance school in Bath – Pound Ballet Studio. She is a freelance dance artist, holds an honours degree in Dance and her training and technical background are in classical ballet and contemporary modern technique. Lucy has been dancing since she was little and teaching since 2008 in schools and dance schools covering GCSE and A level Dance, choreographic technique and physical theatre workshops.

As a choreographer and performer Lucy was a founder member of Third Stage Dance Company, based in The South West. Her own company focuses on Dance in Education for children and adults of all ages, abilities and special educational needs. Her work develops students to be unique performers and choreographers. Lucy is also a Partner Dance instructor, specialising in helping beginners gain confidence and take to the floor without anxiety.

She is continually expanding her experience in other world dances and movement styles to develop her work, for example studying Chinese Martial Arts, and touring the UK with a Middle-Eastern Dance Company.


Holly Beard, Tap Teacher

Holly teaches IDTA Tap to our students, and also to our adult dance participants.

Holly began her dance journey with lessons at the age of 7 and has had experience dancing at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Disneyland Paris and Chance2Dance.

Holly has gained the Level 3 diploma in teaching Ballet and Modern with the IDTA.

She also has a Level 3 Diploma in Children’s play, learning and development, alongside IDTA Associate Freestyle teaching qualification.

Holly will be taking her Level 4 in Tap and Ballet over the next few months.


Helen Nettleingham – AIDTA LCM LAMDA, Tap and Street Teacher

Helen has been teaching at the school for over 15 years. She now lives in Essex, so is part of the planning and support team at the school.

Helen completed her professional training at Pattison Theatre Arts where she achieved both teaching and professional performance qualifications with the IDTA in Tap, Freestyle, Modern, Theatre Craft, Ballet and Gymnastic Dance alongside professional accreditation with LAMDA and LCM.

Her professional career has seen her dancing in touring shows, as the Princesses for Disney, and many years of events with The Vegas Show Girls.


Mandy Manning, Business Manager

Mandy is responsible for the business management of the dance school, ensuring that it complies with all legislation and providing support with the organisation of the business, allowing Natalie to focus her efforts on delivering the best dance experience for all of the students.

Mandy is our Safeguarding Leader and has qualifications in Mental Health First Aid, Understanding Autism and ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training), and also volunteers for Homestart Northampton. Mandy is currently studying a course in Counselling and and Introduction to Neuroscience in Early Years.


Rachel Baker ARAD

Rachel has been dancing since the age of 7, mainly in Ballet, but also delving into Contemporary, Lyrical, Jazz and Commercial styles. She completed all the RAD grades with a distinction in Grade 8 by the time she was 15 and also completed all the RAD vocational grades up to and including Advanced 2, gaining her Level 4 Diploma in Vocational Ballet in 2021. She has worked as our Cover Ballet teacher for over 2 years and is currently working towards her Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies with the Royal Academy of Dance. She had choregraphed in multiple performances and worked backstage. Rachel has a deep interest in pointework and has written a Level 3 qualification on understanding pointework and most importantly its safety.