Teaching Staff

Jenny Brennan, LISTD, RADTC (distinction)

Jenny_BrennanJenny was born in Leeds and was a Yorkshire Scholar with Louise Browne before continuing her training at Northern Ballet School, Manchester. Jenny graduated with the RAD TC (Distinction) and ISTD Modern Licentiate, Ballet Associate and Tap teaching qualifications.

After teaching freelance at many schools in Manchester and Leeds including Northern Ballet School, Jenny set up her own dance school in 2001 and it was officially opened in 2002. Children have excelled in all exams and festivals with many pupils going on to top vocational schools.

The Jenny Brennan School of Dance welcomes children and their parents through its doors and aims to provide a very high standard of teaching in a friendly, caring and safe environment. This enables every child to reach its full potential learning and having fun together.

Jenny also teaches dance in primary schools and choreographs shows for her own dance school and for local charity performances in the community.

Jenny choreographed "The Slipper and The Rose" for Congleton Youth Theatre and in 2008, "West Side Story" for the Birmingham Conservatoire at the Crescent Theatre. She has won several awards for her choreography including Outstanding Dance at the Janet Cram Awards.

Jenny joined Elmhurst School for Dance on its move to Birmingham in 2004.


Hayley Coates, ISTD modern and tap, RAD ballet, BA Drama

Hayley_CoatesHayley trained with Jenny for 11 years gaining the graded, Intermediate and Advanced 1 dance examinations with the RAD and ISTD.

After completing her A-levels Hayley studied drama at De Montfort University graduating in July 2011 with a 2:1. During her degree course, Hayley worked alongside the Curve Theatre in Leicester delivering Drama workshops to the Curve Young Company as well as local schools and colleges. Alongside studying for her degree, Hayley also went to North Liverpool Dance Academy to study for her ISTD DDI and DDE dance teaching examinations.

Hayley has been working for Jenny since 2008. In addition to this she currently works at the Moorlands Sixth Form Centre in Cheadle where she teaches the Dance Performance Module as part of the BTec Performing Arts Programme.


Gareth Ridge

Gareth started his training at Coventry School of Performing Arts where he graduated with a BA hons in contemporary dance. On leaving, Gareth went on to work with many dance companies on commissioned pieces including Brazen Dance, David Mckenna Dance and Motion House Dance theatre in connection with the award-winning practitioner Caroline Bridges.

In 2009 Gareth also worked on a dance film in commemoration of the closing of Coventry Hospital, which was filmed, and shot by dance film4.

More recently Gareth has begun teaching at many dance schools in and around Stoke-on-Trent, specialising in contemporary dance and technique as well as teaching musical theatre incorporating dance, acting and singing. Gareth works to inspire children and young adults to further the development in careers of this nature. Gareth has a great passion for performance and pushes the boundaries of contemporary dance as well as musical theatre.

In January 2012, Gareth was short listed to the final 100 of the BBC's search for "The Voice" and was honored to sing with George Michael's personal vocal coach. This year Gareth also made it to the final 60 in ITV's search for Jesus in the arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, which is due to air in June. Gareth was given the opportunity to work along side Jason Donovan, Mel C and Andrew Lloyd Webber himself. Gareth was put onto the shows reserve list and is in further talks with ITV.

In October 2012, Gareth will be taking to the stage in a new production of "Whistle Down The Wind" playing the lead role of "the man". Gareth has a great passion for performance and pushes the boundaries of contemporary dance as well as musical theatre.


Naomi Thornhill, RAD ballet and contemporary, BA Dance

Naomi_ThornhillNaomi started dancing at 3 years old and was a Royal ballet Junior associate. At 11 Naomi was accepted into Elmhurst School for Dance for (in association with Birmingham Royal Ballet). After 5 years there, Naomi continued her vocational training at Rambert School for Ballet and Contemporary graduating with a BA (hons) in Ballet and Contemporary Dance.

Throughout her training Naomi gained extensive experience in performance and choreography and has been fortunate enough to work with some of the most recognised teachers and choreographers in the profession and with teachers from world-renowned dance companies.

On graduating from Rambert, Naomi joined The London Ballet Company performing at abstract venues throughout the city to open up dance to different audiences. She has also been a model for L'Oreal touring the UK.

Naomi is now part of the Royal Academy of Dance Certificate in Teaching programme.