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“Ava Barron Thomas is ...”

Ava has had an ambition since childhood to have her own dance studio, this she has achieved at DanSci. Forging a business which allows her to spend quality time with her three young children and follow her own passions.

During my training in Classical Ballet at the Northern Ballet School, Manchester I danced professionally with the Manchester City Ballet and Jazz Galore Companies. Following graduation I took contracts with Opera International Company, Dolly Dollies and ATA Productions. Television and film credits include a number of roles in independent British films as well as dancing in several BBC programmes including the Christmas special 'A Question of Pop'. Winner of the L'Oreal 10th anniversary 'Hair Idol' competition, I enjoyed a short stint modelling for Toni and Guy, Jiggy Clothing, More magazine, Boots and London School of Fashion. Retiring from professional dance due to injury, I completed the Focus Training and Assessment Certificate in Sports Injuries and graduated from Laban, London with an MSc in Dance Science.

I spent a period of time while my eldest son

was still young developing my career in dance science and medicine working on projects such as 'NRG' with Hampshire Dance, workshops with SinCru and Loop Dance. Before lecturing at Exeter and Falmouth Universities after relocating to be near family in Devon. I was also lucky enough to have had several articles published by Dance UK, London Youth Dance and Equity in association with the British Fashion Council during this time.

However, it was watching the strength of my middle daughter as she battled meningitis and septicaemia at the Royal Devon & Exeter hospital that gave me the courage to re-evaluate my career options. Although, I still relished my work at Dance UK as their Healthier Dancer Agony Aunt, it was obvious I should focus on my passions; children and dance.

There are many fabulous dance schools in Exeter but none that offer non-competitive fun sessions for pre-school kids. After thorough research, the award winning babyballet Song and Dance Academy was the obvious choice. The programme has undergone extensive research on young children’s development and learning abilities. After running the Exeter Franchise for just a couple of years it became apparent that Exeter was lacking suitable dance space. Even though our clientele where an average of three years old, the Dance Scientist in me was screaming out for a venue with professional facilities and environment. An article ‘Utilising Available Space’ I had published by London Youth Dance which is now included in the Dance UK factsheet series; highlighted how even at this tender age my dancers should have access to a safe sprung dance floor, security, appropriate ventilation & heating, pure quality sound system and of course every dancers’ first dreams of the dance studio large mirrors!

It is a testimony to babyballet Exeter’s success that in such a short period so many local business

offered to help convert an old retail unit found by my amazing, supportive husband, a local businessman himself. Also, that our own bank saw the potential to aid with the financing of the project. Creating DanSci Dance Studio has not only helped realise a childhood dream of my own, create a professional dance specific venue much needed in the city, local jobs, the opportunity for young and old to experience the benefits of dance in many different style but more importantly the business can currently turn a profit while working hours fitted around a family with three small children. The different directions DanSci Dance Studio can grow is countless and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

I am super lucky to enjoy every day I go to work and my daughter who is fully recovered and her siblings love attending their classes too!

The place to have fun, learn to dance, and keep fit. Our classes are for all ages to enjoy. There's something for everyone! DanSci is a specialist environment nurturing local talent and providing opportunities for everyone.


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