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.