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Meet the DanSci Dance Studio Family

Miss Ava (The Dreamer): Artistic Director and Founder

Ava Started dancing at the age of three in Great Yarmouth, enjoying experiences with the Royal Ballet junior associates and English National Youth Ballet before winning a scholarship to Northern Ballet School where she completed her Advanced major examinations in ISTD Ballet, Modern, Tap, National, Classical Ballet Teaching associate and RAD Advanced Ballet., graduating with a diploma in Classical ballet.  She has danced professionally in Europe and the UK, alighting famous stages such as the London Palladium and Royal Albert Hall as well as several Television and film credits. Ava is also a published author with a series of health booklets for Dancers and Models.

Mum of three; Ava Barron Thomas retrained after injury, gaining certificates in Sports Injury Prevention and her MSc in Dance Science from Laban, London. She holds a diploma in Sports Nutrition and NVQ in Customer service. However, it was opening her babyballet Franchise in Exeter which has highlighted her passion for great quality dance instruction for all. Helping build the local dance community by then going on to create DanSci Dance studio, with her husband Anthony Thomas (the logical one in our DanSci family!)

Ava insists that Exeter deserves a professional, safe dance space to rival other major cities. She believes everyone should have opportunity to experience top quality dance classes regardless of their background or aspirations. It is really important to Ava that DanSci becomes the place to get correct, informative health information for dancers and practioners.


Ava, former Associate Lecturer at Exeter College is a registered babyballet teacher trainer, Certified as Progressing Ballet Technique & Flowetic instructors. She also holds her Dance Instructor certification through the International Dance Teaching Standards. As well as overseeing all aspects of DanSci Dance Studio she teaches the Creative Ballet Programme and heads up the Dance Science department. She is loving her new venture providing LilBeatz Hip Hop classes. Ava is proud to bring together so many qualified, proffesional dance teachers from across so many different styles under one roof. She may be the ‘Boss’ But she still sleeps with a teddy bear!


Winner of the Grow Exeter 100 Most Influential woman 2018 Winner of the Express & Echo Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 Award. Winner of the Mummazing Awards 2016: Mum Entrepreneur, Finalist of the Venus Awards: Business Mother of the year 2015, Dance Teachers Hub Finalist 2015:  Best New UK Dance School, Finalist of the Express & echo Business Awards: Best City Centre Business 2016,

Anthony Thomas

(The Logical One) Accounts and Business Director

Anthony may be the one that most often says no to our frivolous requests and demands but he is also the driving force behind DanSci Dance Studio. Going behind Miss Ava's back to put a deposit down on the premises, just so that she wouldn't chicken out on her dreams, he has remained the stable logical one throughout. Managing the set up, business needs and financial direction of the business; Anthony is an integral part of our family (Seriously as Miss Ava's husband but also the DanSci family!) Just don't ask him to dance-as that is not so pretty!

Miss Laura

(The bubbly one!) Retail & Merchandise Manager, Admin support

Laura is our go to gal for on trend dancer wear and accessories. Managing the stock for our new dance shop and kitting out the students with all their uniform needs. Shes also a dab hand at the back office admin and can let you know the most suitable classes at DanSci Dance Studio. 

Miss Sophie

(The picky one!) Admin and Business Manager

Miss Sophie joined the DanSci family when we moved to our new premises as our business apprentice. She is in charge of keeping all those pesky admin files and registers in order as well as promoting and marketing the classes, barre and shop. 

From Devon, Sophie attended Exeter college, she has no back ground in dance but that is perfect for keeping our teachers in line who are particularly poor at keeping their admin under control!

Miss Charley

(The Youngster!) babyballet, Acro & LilBeatz teacher, plus freestyle dance support

Charley started dance training when she was just 3 years old starting with Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Musical Theater. Charley was in shows such as 'Fame' and she played Oliver in 'Oliver Twist'.  When Charley was 10 she began training in Freestyle Disco Dance and soon began competing nationally as a group, soloist and with a partner. In 2015 at the World Championships held in Blackpool Winter Gardens Charley won the U16 freestyle pairs event and then went on to becoming U18 slow dance world champion in 2016. Another title Charley has won is the 2015 U16 European street pair winners. Charley has also performed at the Exeter Chiefs Stadium at various events supporting charity's. In 2017, Charley became a qualified gym instructor and in 2020 gained her Acrobatic Arts teacher qualification.

Miss Harley

(The Hungry One!) Acrobatics Arts, babyballet teacher, youth contemporary and commercial street.

Harley started her early dance training in styles such as Ballet, Tap, Jazz, and Street dance alongside competing as a gymnast.

She went on to gain an award winning First Class Honours Degree in Dance Theatre at Plymouth University as well as tour professionally with her own choreography. Harley returned to Exeter and joined the DanSci team in 2014. Sharing her love of contemporary with the youth dancers as well as becoming a qualified babyballet©️ instructor & nutritionist in 2015. In 2016, she qualified as an Acrobatics Arts©️ instructor with an impressive 100% pass rate.  Harley is the only registered teacher at this level of the demanding syllabus in Exeter. Later going on to pass module 2 and qualify with Alixa Flexibility. Harley teaches Contemporary, Acro, & Commercial classes. She has a special interest in the benefits of cross training for dancers. If she’s not in the studio she can usually be found in the gym!

Miss Carmen

Flowetics, Show Dance, Musical Theatre and Freestyle

Carmen qualified under the IDTA in freestyle, teaching Contemporary, Street and Hip-Hop. She recently returned from teaching Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre in Guangzhou, China.

Carmen has been performing and teaching internationally for 5 years, touring fantastic countries such as Italy, Argentina, Mexico, Panama, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil. Now she is back in the UK and working with us at DanSci. Carmen is sharing her love for teaching, her passion for dance and continues to encourage the children in her lessons. While working at DanSci Carmen is establishing herself as a choreographer and dancer for her own work and Company

Miss Emily

(The loud one!) Cheer Pom

Emily started creative dancing at age 2. She stayed at the same school and attended classes in contemporary, street, jazz and tap until she was 19 and off to university. (Under the guidance of one of Miss Ava's favourite mentors!) 

At university she joined the competitive cheer squad, competing in national competitions with them and training as a level 1/2 stunting coach.

Monday's youth Cheer Pom classes really are the most exciting way to start the week!

Miss Janine

(The suportive One!) Tap beats and Pilates Instructor

​Miss Janine has been the main facilitator of DanSci Dance Studio long before its inception! Training from the age of 4 in ballet, tap and National. Miss Janine has always favoured Tap and National Dance styles, due to their up beat lively nature. Her height often lead her to play the male in many productions! Miss Janine gave up her dance career turning to roles backstage in the television and music industries while raising a family and studying for her Bachelor of Arts in Geology. Life has taken her on many exciting adventures but she has now returned to Exeter qualifying as a Pilates Instructor and taking up teaching. We are super glad to have her expertise and experience here at the studio as she delights the children in stage based tap beat classes. 

Miss Mary

(Our surrogate granny) Classical Ballet teacher, subsitute teacher

Miss Mary has recently join the faculty though she has been bringing her Grand daughters to classes for many moons! As maternity cover, show adviser and general shoulder to cry on Mary has a wealth experience and expertise. She trained with Leo Kersley in Harlow and danced with the Harlow ballet. Joining the Royal ballet upper school at 17 and working with the opera ballet. Mary became a freelance dancer until an ankle injury stopped her from dancing professionally, turning her hand to teaching which she loves. We are grateful that Mary has now come out of retirement to help at DanSci Dance Studio when needed. She also prepares a wonderful spa treatment for the Twinkle babyballet bears! 

Miss Amelie

Assistant Teacher

DanSci prides itself in giving young stars opportinities to improve and fulfill their dance potential. Our program of assitant teachers allows are dedicated senior students opportunity to support staff and develop their skills in dance , choreography and teaching. Recognised by the Children's University and Dof E programs, students grow in confidence, developing their skills sets in responsibility, creativity and teamwork. Our Assitants are working towards completing their IDTS Assistant teacher certification through us with options to progress ontp Developing Teacher certification. 


(The old one!) Barre Manager

Born in Exeter in the last century, some say even earlier! Mark trained as an antique restorer at Exeter University for 5 years, then he went on to open his own antique restoration business which he sold to study coffee. He travelled the world to learn as much as possible about the world of coffee and smoothies.. only joking, he went on a  course down the road haha!

Mark does however always serve the best Smoothies and coffees with a great side of laughter! 

He is super proud that the Barre at DanSci has gained it's 5 Star hygiene rating, so do tell all your friends to come try the delights

Patricia Howe

I am a qualified  Massage therapist and Level 3 Personal Trainer all with an added holistic twist

Having been involved and competing in various sporting disciplines, including bodybuilding & kickboxing along with owning a gym in Exeter for 19 years, I decided it was time to add a more calming influence to the mix, soothing those over worked muscles, that I had pushed for so long, focusing more on flexibility not only for my self but for others. I decided to train in massage therapy enhancing my knowledge in Anatomy & Physiology and passing on that feel good feeling to others. I consider myself very lucky as I love what I do.

Stevie (The Dansci Studio Mascot!)

The cute one!

Stevie can often be found in the studio watching and helping to boost morale. Stevie loves to help out at the studio pointing out all the corrections needed to be a great dancer! You'll often find him napping somewhere in the studio but his snoring and farts give away his location... If you see Stevie be sure to offer his a stroke and cuddle.

(Guest Choreographer) Contemporary CLI Instructor

Allison Holker launched her professional career in a performance with Earth, Wind and Fire at the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2002 Olympic Games. She went on to star as a dancer in Disney's High School Musical and High School Musical 2. On the second season of Fox's hit TV show, So You Think You Can Dance, Allison advanced to the Top 8 and danced in that season's nationwide tour. She has toured with Clay Aiken and Demi Lovato and has danced as a back-up dancer on The X Factor. In 2014, Allison was selected to be one of the 13 professional dancers on the 19th season of Dancing with the Stars.

(Guest Choreographer) Contemporary CLI Instructor

Kathryn McCormick moved to Los Angeles at the age of 18, where she landed a role in the 2009 remake of Fame. She has performed on Dancing with the Stars and placed 3rd on the sixth season of So You Think You Can Dance. Kathryn was also invited back to SYTYCD to perform as one of the show's All Stars. She has danced in music videos for Christina Perri and Timbaland, and played a leading role in the movie Step Up Revolution.

(Guest Choreographer) Hip-Hop CLI Instructor

Misha Gabriel is a professional dancer, choreographer and actor.


Misha has garnered a near-cult following throughout his dance career. He began touring at the age of 16 before moving on to dance for superstars Janet Jackson, Beyonce, Pharell, Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, Kylie Minogue, John Legend, Chris Brown, Omarion, and Ne-Yo. He has danced at the Oscars, Grammys, VMAs, AMA’s, Billboard Music Awards, and on renowned television shows such as The Voice, The Today Show, Ellen, Good Morning America, and Oprah.


Slated to dance with Michael Jackson on the 2009 “This Is It” tour, Misha can be seen dancing for Michael in the documentary with the same title. He has also danced in movies including The Muppets Movie, Footloose, Jackass 2, Clerks 2, Center Stage 2, and Love & Mercy. His breakout role as an actor came in 2012 as one of lead characters in the popular Step Up: Revolution and Step Up: All In movies.


Misha has choreographed for some of the most well-known artists in the music industry including Justin Timberlake on his "20/20 Experience" tour. He has contributed choreography to The Pussy Cat Dolls "Domination" tour, Hilary Duff’s Dignity Tour, Cheryl Cole’s World Tour, and more. He has also choreographed on television shows such as So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing With The Stars, American Idol, X-Factor, Austin & Ally, Superstore, and the American Music Awards.

(Guest Choreographer) Jazz CLI Instructor

Nick Lazzarini was the Season One winner of Fox's hit show So You Think You Can Dance. He has since been featured in multiple films, including Step Up Revolution, and countless publications. Nick has performed at the Academy Awards, the Emmy Awards,the American Music Awards, and the TV Video Music Awards.  He has also danced with music sensations such as Adele, Kelly Clarkson, and Florence and the Machine at the. Nick teaches regularly at JUMP Dance Convention, and tours with Shaping Sound as a dancer and choreographer.

(Guest Choreographer) Contemporary CLI Instructor

Teddy Forance took his career to a professional level at the age of 17 by traveling throughout Greece as a dancer for international pop star Anna Vissi. In the years following, Teddy assisted the Celine Dion Taking Chances tour and performed as a lead dancer on Cirque du Soleil's Delirium. Teddy has worked on hit TV shows So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars, both as a featured performer and as a choreographer. He has also performed with award-winning artists Lady Gaga, Usher, and Florence and the Machine. Currently, he teaches around the world for JUMP Dance Convention. Teddy is also a founding member of the Los Angeles based dance company Shaping Sound.

(Guest Choreographer) Hip-Hop CLI Instructor

Stephen "tWitch" Boss launched his career as a semifinalist on MTV's The Wade Robson Project. A few years later, he was selected to be a Top 20 finalist on Fox's hit TV show, So You Think You Can Dance, where he went on to be that season's runner-up. In 2010, tWitch was selected as a So You Think You Can Dance All Star. tWitch has also starred as a dancer in Hairspray, Step Up 3D, and Stomp the Yard 2: Homecoming.

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At DanSci Dance Studio it is our passion to bring you the best instructors from the best back grounds. We do not follow traditional British Dance Syllabus although hugely important and valued we believe that tapping in to the international studio market allows us to offer our students a range of styles not necessarily found at traditional dance schools. Just Check out our classes pages to see the diverse range of styles. We offer top quality training with our core values and participants best interests at heart.

We are privileged to not only have an amazing team but every member of staff really are part of our DanSci Dance Studio Family It is important to us that our instructors are qualified in their chosen genres and hold DBS checks. Everyone at DanSci Dance Studio is fully insured and holds a first aid certificate. We have dedicated safe guarding personnel and actively encourage teacher CPD to support our faculty in becoming the best they can be. Of course we are also tapping into the latest dance science research to ensure we are always providing the highest level of care to our dancers not just the best facilities.

Teacher values
Don't just take our word for how magical DanSci Dance Studio is..Check out what some of our members have to say HERE
Join us
Interested in teaching for us? We're always on the lookout for passionate, energetic and experienced teachers to join our rock star faculty. If you're interested in teaching please email us your CV detailing your experience. We'd also love to hear from you in at least 250 words why you'd like to join our inspiring team of teachers. We look forward to hearing from you!
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