About SJ Academy of Dance
SJ Academy of Dance was established in Hedge End in 1992 and became a partnership in 2012. The talented and dedicated team of teachers is led by School Principals Sally O’Rourke and Hannah Gell.
We have branches in Hedge End, Chilworth and Chandlers Ford providing the highest quality dance tuition to girls and boys in the Southampton, Eastleigh, Winchester and Romsey areas. RAD and ISTD qualified teachers work alongside Sally and Hannah to operate a friendly and successful school where enjoyment, talent, potential and a love of dance is nurtured and inspired. Each child is carefully taught to their own individual needs whether dance is a hobby or a vocation, and all have the opportunity to study for exams, where they consistently achieve excellent results in all genres.
Students perform in our spectacular school shows held at a professional theatre, providing fun, entertainment and a uniquely memorable dance experience.
We are proud of our record of preparing students for a professional dancing career.
Students with aspirations to dance professionally may be invited into our Associate program and are offered the opportunity to compete in dance festivals and competitions around the country, including the Janet Cram Awards and Marjorie Davis Tap Awards laid on by the ISTD. Associate students compete locally, regionally and nationally and have celebrated national success in All England Dance Festivals. Many students following their vocation to dance go on to take Diploma and Degree courses in the performing arts at colleges around the country; as well as an excellent standard of training and performance, we provide support, advice and guidance to auditioning students. Successful SJAD alumni have gone on to study at Laine Theatre Arts; Bird College of Dance; Arts Educational College; Performers; Urdang Academy; Wilkes Academy; Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts; Scottish Conservatoire; Ballet West; The Place; London Studio; Tring and Royal Ballet School. Some students have gone straight in to professional contracts from their study at SJ Academy of Dance, and many successfully audition for pantomimes and musical theatre roles in local theatres and the West End while still training at
SJ Academy of Dance.
We strive to provide the best possible dancing experience for all our students in every lesson.
Sally O'Rourke is a graduate of the Royal Ballet School teacher's course, and is fully qualified in teaching classical and modern dance. After graduating from RBS in 1986 Sally danced professionally in Europe before working as a freelance teacher in London, then founded Sally Johnson Academy of Dance in 1992, now SJ Academy of Dance.
Hannah Gell is a graduate of the Hammond School and is fully qualified in teaching
classical and modern dance. On graduation Hannah went on to dance professionally
around the world before returning to the UK to pursue her teaching in various places
around the UK before settling on the South Coast.