SUSAN HANDY, Fellow and Senior Examiner of the I.S.T.D. DDE. Holder of the Enrico Cecchetti Diploma - PRINCIPAL

Susan Handy began dancing at the age of two and a half, training with Betty Vacani, Nesta Brooking and at The Royal Ballet School. She danced in the BBC Children’s television series 'Steps into Ballet' with Dame Peggy van Praagh where she created the role of ‘The Child’ in Sir Kenneth MacMillian’s first ballet for television, ‘Punch and the Child’. Her professional career began as a member of the corps de ballet in the BBCs film of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ with Dame Margot Fonteyn.  Sue then worked with the Old Vic Theatre Company under Sir Peter Wright before joining Walter Gore’s London Ballet Company.  Here she graduated to the rank of soloist dancing roles such as ‘Queen of the Spirits’ in Giselle and ‘Snow Queen’ in the Nutcracker.

After having her children Sue was appointed the first Director of Movement at Eton College, teaching Creative Movement as well as choreographing many of the school’s productions at the College’s Farrer Theatre.  It was here in 1974 where Sue was asked to start a ballet class for the children of the Masters at Eton College. The very first class took place in the dining room of one of the boys’ boarding houses. This class then moved to Upper School at Eton College as the numbers increased and eventually, Sue left the college to set up her first studio at The Baldwin Institute in Eton.  The school now has over six hundred pupils with branches in Eton, Windsor, Old Windsor, Datchet, Eton Wick, Ickenham, Pyrford, Woking, Richmond and the Hurlingham Club in Putney.  The school also provides dance classes for many schools in the area.

Apart from teaching, Sue trains young ballet teachers for their qualifying exams and works extensively with the Cecchetti Classical Ballet Society.
As Chairman of the Cecchetti Group for ten years, Sue set up the Cecchetti Associates Scheme and the Barbara Geoghegan Award; a competition for students studying dance at vocational schools. Sue was awarded The Cecchetti Council of America’s Margaret Marsh Scholarship to study in America.
She has choreographed on many occasions for the Cecchetti Scholars at Annual Congress and at Sadlers Wells, taught at the annual Cecchetti Society Teachers’ Summer School and also at the Cecchetti Centre.

Over the years Sue has choreographed many productions for the Windsor & Eton Operatic Society, and pupils of the school take part in many local and national events including the annual Rose Show at Windsor Castle, The Royal Tournament, The Royal Horticultural Show and The Lord Mayors Show amongst others.  Every other year Sue and her fabulous team produce a full scale production at Eton College’s Farrer Theatre where the pupils of the school have the chance to perform on stage and gain the experience of a professional theatrical environment.

Many pupils from the school have gone on to dance professionally and also come back to teach in the school.

Susan Handy is a Fellow and Senior Examiner of the Imperial Society of Dancing, holder of the Enrico Cecchetti Diploma and an adjudicator for dance and choreographic competitions.  Sue trains teachers at The Linda Sweetzer Training College.

MELANIE BULL, L.I.S.T.D. Holder of the Enrico Cecchetti Diploma – Classical Ballet

Melanie started dancing at the age of 8 at Kate Simmons Dance School in Warrington. She stayed with the school throughout her training until the age of 18. Whilst in training, Melanie received Honours in all of her grade and major examinations as well as in her teaching qualifications both in Ballet and Modern Jazz.
During her 3 years as a full time student at the school, Melanie gained her Enrico Cecchetti Diploma. She was also the winner of the Barbara Geohagen Award and runner up in the Cecchetti Fewster Scholarship. Once Melanie graduated she started dancing professionally with English National Ballet, performing in The Sleeping Beauty at the Royal Albert Hall had the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Irish National Youth Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker in Dublin then to dance at Disneyland Resort in Paris after which she returned to the UK to pursue a teaching career. Melanie has been teaching for the Susan Handy School of Dance since 2006 during which time she gained her Licentiate teaching qualification in the Cecchetti method.  She has also been instrumental in setting up the Elite dance group and is often asked to teach the Central and Welsh Cecchetti Associates.  In 2013 she was awarded the Margaret Marsh Scholarship to attend the Cecchetti Council of America's Summer School, Michigan USA.


HELEN IMISON, BA (Hons) L.I.S.T.D. - Modern, Tap and GCSE Dance

Helen Imison gained a Performing Arts degree with BA (Hons) at London Metropolitan University and at the Kingston Teacher Training College she gained her Foundation in Dance Instruction and her Diploma in Dance Education at the Linda Sweetzer Teacher Training College.
She joined the staff at Susan Handy Dance in January 2013 where she has taken over the senior part of the school for Modern, Tap and GCSE Dance.
Her forte is choreography and productions and also takes part in amateur dramatics and festivals.


Rachael trained at The Runnymede School of Dancing from the age of 5, studying ISTD tap, ballet and jazz. She gained her Associate status in tap dance in 2004 passing with Honours. She has since passed her Diploma in Dance Instruction (DDI) and Diploma in Dance Education (DDE).
Rachael has performed in many shows and still enjoys performing with local drama groups.
Rachael gained a BSc (Hons) in Health Studies from Brunel University in 2006 and enjoys teaching tap to all ages.

SARAH DU-FEU, BA (Hons) DDE - Classical Ballet

A pupil since the age of 3 at the Susan Handy School of Dance, Sarah gained Honours in all her ballet exams up to and including Advanced 1. Progressing through the Cecchetti Junior and Senior Associates, she became a Cecchetti Scholar. During this time she won the Junior and Senior Scholars' Cups and also won the Middle and Senior Mabel Ryan awards. Sarah was awarded the ISTD Millennium Cup for Cecchetti Classical ballet in 2001, and in the same year was accepted as a Senior Associate at the Royal Ballet School.
At age 16, Sarah won a scholarship to the English National Ballet School, where she completed the two-year professional dance course. On graduating from ENB, she went to the Rambert School, where she gained her BA (Hons) degree in Ballet and Contemporary Dance. Sarah performed professionally with the English National Ballet Company in Derek Deane's production of Swan Lake at the Royal Albert Hall.
In 2009 Sarah moved to Paris to dance as a Showgirl for a year. On her return, Sarah danced in various films including 'The Young Victoria' and 'Bel Ami' with Robert Pattinson, and appeared in a number of TV commercials.
Embarking on a teaching career, Sarah has gained her ISTD Diploma in Dance Instruction in Cecchetti Classical Ballet and proud to pass with 100% her Diploma in Dance Education.

NATALIE DODD, BA (Hons) - Creative Dance

Born in Surrey, Natalie began dancing at the age of five at Susan Robinson’s School of Ballet and progressed onto vocational training at the age of sixteen at Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, graduating in 2013 with a First Class BA Honours Degree. In 2016, she completed a Postgraduate Diploma through the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and used this to gain a Masters Degree, achieving a Distinction in both qualifications.
She has performed works by choreographers such as Kerry Nicholls, Mark Baldwin and Kenneth MacMillan. She has worked with the English National Opera, The Royal Shakespeare Company (in her second year of training) and artists such as Alexandra Green Dance and Douglas Thorpe. Natalie joined the Mark Bruce Company as an Apprentice Dancer for its 2015-2016 season and tour of ‘The Odyssey’, throughout the South West of England. Most recently, she performed at The Royal Albert Hall as part of BBC Proms which was aired online and on television.
Alongside performing, Natalie has taught in establishments including London Studio Centre, Exeter College, The Place, Northern School of Contemporary Dance and Rambert School Saturday classes. In addition, she assists Dance for Parkinson’s classes in Kentish Town, London. Natalie has taught in an extensive number of children’s dance schools and adult classes around Surrey, specialising in Contemporary Dance and Ballet but also branching out to genres such as Tap and Jazz.

LEVI KNOCK - Musical Theatre and Classical Ballet

Levi started her training at Arden Holford School of Ballet and was also accepted as an associate of London Junior and Senior Ballet. She has been awarded scholarships for Arts Educational School Tring Park and Laines theatre arts. Whilst still in training Levi performed with National Youth Ballet for a number of years, English Youth Ballet and Surrey Youth Ballet where she was awarded a talent scholarship and came second in the choreography competition.  
After her training at Arts Educational school she successfully auditioned for Laines Theatre Arts where she went straight to third year and studied Musical Theatre. Levi has performed in Royal Albert Hall, Sadlers Wells, Her Majesties theatre, Theatre Royal Dury Lane and many more. Her love is teaching and has choreographed many dance pieces including South Hill Park Theatre Annie, Alice in Wonderland and Camberley Theatre. She continues her teacher training in Modern and Ballet at Linda Sweet Teacher Training College. 

JENNIFER BRISTOW, DDI - Classical Ballet and Street Dance

Jenni started dancing at the age of three at the Susan Handy School of Dancing, where she studied Cecchetti Ballet, Modern, Tap and Contemporary until she was 16. Jenni then earned her first professional job at 16 in a dance commercial for 'Train to gain.'

At 17 she went on to train at the Northern Ballet School, completing a three year course, and gaining a National Diploma in Professional Dance, as well as her Diploma in Dance Instruction in ISTD ballet. Here she performed in many productions with the Northern Ballet School, and their jazz company, 'Jazzgalore.' After graduating, Jenni went to work with MSC cruises as a dancer where she performed two West End style shows a night. 
Jenni then went on to finish her teaching qualifications in Cecchetti Ballet, and Modern Theatre at the Linda Sweetzer teachers training college. She also teaches Tap, Contemporary, Jazz and Street Dance. Jenni has taken a break from performing to pursue her teaching career and teaches at numerous dance schools, as well as being a busy mum to her daughter Esmée.


Piedad is a professional dance teacher, performer and choreographer trained in both ballet and contemporary techniques at Murcia's Conservatorio Profesional de Danza y Arte Dramático.
The focus of her teaching practice is upon fundamental highly energetic floor work exercises.  Encouraging the exploration of an individual sense of efficiency, weighted momentum and anatomical articulation.
Professional engagements include working with Saorin en Danza, Abundance, SQxdanza, Jesus Robisco, Gerrard Marin's GMD, Watkinsdance, Estela Merlos, New Movement Collective, Gobbledegook, Protein and Hand Made Dance and working on collaborations with many artists such as Mbulelo Ndabeni, Kira Zhi, Sophie Walker, Francesca Banchelli and awarded video artist Ashley Panton and Stephen Ofori.  After touring her own work across Spain, Brussels, Holland and the UK we welcome Piedad to the Susan Handy School.

JANE LIDGATE - Head of Finance/Senior Administrator

Jane Lidgate is the Head of Finance and Senior Administrator dealing with our branches in the Eton, Windsor and surrounding areas.

She joined the school after the birth of her daughter Holly. She previously worked for Black and Decker as a Marketing Manager but has also held positions in PR and conference organisation.

LIZ PENNESS - School Administrator

Liz Penness is the office administrator for our Woking branch and its surrounding areas.  
She worked at British Forces Television for a number of years and brings a wealth of experience to the school.

The Pianists

We are very privileged to have live piano accompaniment for the majority of our ballet classes; by Nick Corkery  Zara Gevorgyan  Francis Marshall  Rob Thomas  Ann Watson and Helen Williams.

Costume Designers

Mrs Man and Mrs Pigo run our costume department.

Contact Details

Susan Handy School of Dance Office
20 Eton Road, Datchet, Berkshire SL3 9AY
01753 542672

Email:  Eton/Windsor/Datchet
Holyport College

Tuesday - Wednesday – Thursday
09:30 to 2.30pm
Jane Lidgate - Finance Director/Senior Administrator - 07515 270432
Liz Penness - Administrator for Woking - 07592 874958