Our Team Members

Meet our awesome family

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 practitioners.


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 and her Junior Acro Dance Teachers Association certification.

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, professional 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 Exeter Living 2021 Arts Award. 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,

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

Miss Harley

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

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!)

Miss Emily

(The Loud One!) Cheer Pom

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


(The old one!) Barre Manager

Kelly is a professional singer, singing teacher & community musician. Kelly has been a professional singer for 10 years, and loves to inspire confidence within all of her students. Some of Kellys credits include Cunard, P&O, Atlantica Hotels, Hoburn, Microsoft and Parkdean Resorts as a performer / session vocalist. Kelly also works for the NHS as a music instructor, and is Associate Lecturer in Voice at Oxford Brookes University. For more details on Kelly and learning to sing with her, please visit www.exetersinginglessons.com

Kelly Young (The Singing One)

Singing and vocal coach

Helena started dancing at the age of 2 at the Gladys Dare Theatre
School in Surbiton, Surrey and when she was 11 trained at The Arnould
School of Dance and Drama. When she was 18, she spent 3 years at the
the then Laban Centre for Movement and Dance at Goldsmith’s College,
New Cross training with Laverne Meyer, Founder of the Northern Ballet,
Merce Cunningham and Robert North amongst others.
Her professional career took off immediately in Italy working with
Norberto Rosofsky aka Pepi Nelson, Primo Ballerina from the Teatro
Nacional de Buenos Aires. Pepi and Helena became partners and they
toured Italy choreographing a number of large shows together. After a
few years Helena too began to choreograph, design and make costumes.
Not only did Helena tour Italy but she also performed on Italian TV and
choreographed videos for up and coming young Italian singers with MTV,
Milan. She retired at the age of 40 to settle down, have a family and
change her career path and she moved to Exeter with her husband and
young son. Helena is a qualified Teacher and has Early Years Professional
Status. She runs a small pre-school in Exmouth where she has been for
the past 14 years. In March 2021 she was awarded the Nationally coveted
Children’s Champion Award for her commitment and dedication to the
Early Years sector.

Miss Helena

(The organised One!) Musical Theatre teacher, Safeguard officer

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!

Anthony Thomas

(The Logical One) Accounts and Business Director

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 Mary

(Our Surrogate Granny) Classical Ballet teacher, substitute teacher

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.

Patricia Howe

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

Dominique started out training in contemporary dance at secondary school, even though she has been putting on dance shows for her family long before this! Dominique began formal ballet training when she was 16, gaining both grade 7 and 8 in RAD ballet as well as her A Level in dance at college. A hip injury postponed her dance career for several years at which point she trained to be a Registered Veterinary nurse; once Dominique fully recovered from hip surgeries she began taking dance classes again and completed the BBO level 4 diploma in dance teaching.

Dominique is passionate about creating a fun, safe environment for both adults and children within a dance class, so that everyone can feel confident and reach their individual goals. In her spare time she loves to take her dog for long walks, train at the gym and is currently learning to roller skate!

Miss Dominique (The Animal Lover!)

Creative ballet, Commercial & LilBeatz 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 Janine

(The Supportive One!) Tap beats and Pilates Instructor

DanSci prides itself in giving young stars opportunities to improve and fulfil their dance potential. Our program of assistant 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 Assistants are working towards completing their IDTS Assistant teacher certification through us with options to progress onto Developing Teacher certification.

Miss Amelie

(The Pip Squeek!) Assistant Teacher

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.

Stevie (The Dansci Studio Mascot!)

(The Cute One!)

Rhiannon has been teaching dance for over 5 years now, covering a range of ages, and genres. Her achievements to date include qualifying as a dance teacher through the IDTA, and as a stage 1-6 Acro teacher with Acrobatic Arts. Throughout her life Rhiannon has experienced a wide range of dance styles including; Tap, Freestyle, Ballet, Lyrical, and Musical Theatre. Additionally to this Rhiannon also gained a 2:1 in Dance and Psychology from Bath Spa University.

Rhiannon grew up dancing outside of mainstream school in Devon, but never with the desire to perform. Whilst at secondary school she began supporting her dance teachers in Saturday lessons, and then went on to teach part-time whilst studying at university. This has now turned into her full time job.

Rhiannon’s approach to teaching is a really relaxed and friendly. She hopes to encourage children to work hard, achieve everything they can, and leave the room smiling. In most classes, you’ll find Rhiannon demonstrating and joining in with the students as best as she can whilst supporting them to grow as dancers. At DanSci, Rhiannon will be feeding through the atmosphere of fun within her classes.”

Fun fact; I’m one of those left-handed people!

Miss Rhiannon (The Doing it for Herself One!)

LilBeatz Instructor