What our students and parents think of Insteps

Former students

Ella Stanton-Warren

My name is Ella and I joined Insteps when I was 8. My favourite genre of dance is ballet because it has transferable skills which help with other genres and has given me strength, flexibility, and a sense of moving effortlessly.

I have so many great memories of my time at Insteps but really it is all the great laughs and making so many friends.

After leaving Insteps at 18 I trained at Chichester College and the University of Chichester where I obtained a Foundation Degree in Dance Teaching in the Private Sector and a BA (Hons) in Dance Performance. I also gained my ISTD DDE for Modern and Ballet. I now plan to do an MA in Dance Performance at the University of Chichester where I will tour nationally and abroad.

To date, my career highlights have been working with professional choreographers to create work for public performances. I have also been fortunate enough to be a Young Artist as part of the Birmingham International Dance Festival.

Thanks so much for all your support and playing such a big part in helping me achieve my dreams!

Jasmine Shen

I joined Insteps in 2001 when I was aged just 4.  Tap dance is my favourite genre. I started tap dancing with Miss Leianne years after starting ballet and modern and instantly took a liking to it. I remember thinking how cool it was to make different sounds and rhythms using just your feet.

Choosing a favourite memory from my time at insteps is a tricky one as there are so many memories I cherish. It’s very simple but when I got to hang out with my “Insteps gang” in-between lessons on a Saturday would be my favourite memory. we would laugh and catch up on what was going on in our lives. I’ll be forever grateful that we were able to have those moments as we have created such great friendships.

After leaving insteps at 18 I trained at Bird College Conservatoire for Dance and Musical Theatre in greater London from 2016-2019 and gained a Ba Honours Degree in Professional Dance and Musical Theatre.  

Upon graduation, I was cast in SIX The Musical as Catherine of Aragon and performed the musical onboard the Norwegian Cruise liner  “Breakaway”. During the pandemic, I was asked to be a part of the online musical “On Hostile Ground” which highlights the story of the cabinet meeting that created the brutal Hostile Environment Policy and of the people whose lives were devastated by it. Currently, I am part of Mamma Mia The Musical UK & International Tour cast playing Ali, which I am very excited to be a part of.

To date, my career highlight was when my Mum got to watch me perform on stage during my time in SIX The Musical. I felt so overwhelmed to be able to show my Mum that all of her time, effort and love that she had put into my childhood classes at Insteps and other creative activities out of school had all been worthwhile. Without my Mum, I would not be able to do what I love every single day.

Pippa Hughes

You are never too late to start dance and performing arts and I feel that I am a testament to that having started with Miss Leianne at 13.

 My favourite lessons at Insteps were Commercial Jazz, I love it because I always wanted to be a backing dancer and it always gives me so much energy and sparkle to be performing to the latest releases.

When I remember my time at Insteps I think about the family atmosphere, working on reception and helping to sew ribbons on shoes!! And the excitement of the shows every year!! And that buzz when you get a great exam result and how supportive everyone was. To be honest, every memory about Insteps is so lovely and cherished!!!  After Insteps I was offered a place at London Studio Centre and got a 2:1 in theatre dance.

 After graduation I moved to Mumbai for work and performed as a backing dancer for awards shows like Filmfare and Big Boss (musical version of big brother), I also did music videos and solo performances in musical films until I moved into taking lead roles as an actress after learning Hindi.

The highlight of my career to date was my first year dancing for Filmfare, during rehearsals when I looked at the enormous stage, pyrotechnics and lights.  The dress run was amazing and I remember right before performing I couldn’t believe that my childhood dream of backing dancing on telly had become a reality. It was the best feeling in the world to be doing what I’d always dreamt of!

And a very close second and practically on par was the day I got my first leading role in a Hindi Netflix show and I got through the door of my apartment and just screamed in excitement!!!

Dylan Davies

I joined Insteps when I was 10 years old and loved everything about it… every lesson, every show and every performance! Contemporary dance is my favourite genre as it has a complete sense of freedom, physically and emotion. When watching contemporary dance, I find you can never fully anticipate what you are about to see as the possibilities are endless.

My favourite memory (there are so many) of my time at Insteps was my first performance where we performed dressed as chickens. I was only little but this was a fun experience for me as it took away the mindset that ballet Is all serious and can be playful whilst maintaining a sense of form and style. In the dressing room preparing for the show with my peers, we had a real sense of togetherness and achievement.


I am currently at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance studying for a BA (hons) Degree in Contemporary Dance.  I hope to perform dance professionally upon completion.

The highlight of my dance career to date was at the International Dance Festival Birmingham in 2016. I was invited to join 2Faced Dance company to perform a remake of their show Cubes. This was amazing experience for me as this gave me a taste of the professional world at the age of 15.