About Us 

Helen Holmes - Principal 

Helen began her dance training at the age of three in hope that it may cure her clumsiness. Sadly that never happened but a passion and talent for dance quickly developed. She graduated from the Dorinda School of Theatre Dance to attend SLP College, Leeds at the age of 16, where she gained a diploma in performing arts. From SLP College, she continued her training at London College of Dance (Middlesex University) where she gained an upper class second degree in dance along with her Associate status dance teaching qualifications with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance (ISTD) in Classical Ballet, Modern Theatre, Tap and National Dance. After graduation, Helen flew to Paris to embark on a summer contract as a dancer at Disneyland Paris. 
After leaving Paris, Helen returned to the UK to follow her first passion of teaching. She began working in numerous dance schools and colleges across the region, including SLP College and Lynton Academy in Harrogate. In 2003 elev8dance was formed initially with just 11 students offering only 5 lessons a week. 11 years on and elev8dance is an award winning company with a team of highly trained staff and over 150 students. It was due to the increase in students and growth of the company, that Helen decided to ask her former vice principal to join her as a partner in the company. 
Helen has continued to take her training seriously and has recently completed the ISTD Level 6 Diploma in Dance Pedagogy as part of the advanced teacher training programmes. Specialising in modern theatre, Helen now holds Licentiate status with the ISTD. Helen also works as a Lecturer of Dance at Leeds Beckett University (formerly Leeds Metropolitan University) and enjoys the challenge of teaching dance at degree level. Helen is now the proud mum of Rowan, who is already starting his dancing career in Happy Feet. 

Jodie Hill-Pearson - Vice Principal 

Jodie trained at Starlight Academy and Stage 84, studying all aspects of performing arts. She excelled in dance and drama although it quickly became apparent to her teachers that she was a natural actress. At an early age Jodie was cast in many professional jobs including The Royal (ITV). 
At the age of 19 Jodie joined elev8dance initially as a teacher of the junior section of the school. Her ability to engage students with her enthusiastic and professional approach was quickly apparent and she extended her teaching within the school. She trained through elev8dance to gain her Qualified dance teaching qualifications with the International Dance Teachers Association (IDTA) and also completed her coaching qualification in cheerleading with the United Kingdom Cheerleading Association (UKCA). Whilst teaching at elev8 she continued with her acting career appearing in Five Days (BBC), TV commercials and the films Heretic and Bremner. 
Jodie also started working within high schools specialising in special educational needs and currently works as a learning mentor at a Leeds primary school. Jodie, who also enjoyed working with adults also gained her Zumba and Fitsteps qualifications to enhance the adult section of the school. Jodie is now the proud mum to Hollie, who is following in Jodies footsteps,taking her first dance class , happy feet. 

Nia Jackson - Vice Principal 

Nia was an accomplished gymnast who started dance at 14 years old to help with her gymnastic floor routines. The dance school she chose was elev8dance and she was one of the initial students on roll. It became apparent very quickly that dance was as natural to Nia as gymnastics was. Nia continued her training and also began teaching within the school. At 16 she attended Shipley College where she studied for her BTEC in Performing Arts. Before graduating from elev8dance at 18, Nia gained her teaching qualifications with the International Dance teachers Association (IDTA) and continued her dance training at Liverpool University gaining a first in the Ba Hons Degree in Dance. 
Nia returned to Leeds and began teaching once again at elev8dance. She took a short break to have her son, Evan, amazing us all with how quickly she was back teaching dance and fitness. Nia is extremely passionate about choreography creating many outstanding pieces of dance. These include two pieces created for the British Red Cross ‘Make your Move’ national competition, where in both 2013 and 2014 elev8dance were named the Junior Regional Winners. 
Elev8dance are thrilled to announce that Nia has accepted the role of vice principal and after keeping elev8dance running in the absence of the principals, she is keen to continue in a leadership role. 
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