The Dance Mill, Halifax, Bradford
Dance Studios, Dance Classes


Dance School Halifax, Manchester, Leeds, Huddersfield, Bradford, Sheffield
Professional Dance College

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The Team (Key Staff)

Peter Coenen (Artistic Director)Peter Coenen (Artistic Director)
Having started dancing at the age of 10 at the Dorothy Stevens Ballet School (Halifax), Peter became a scholar with The Royal Academy of Dance (York) from the age of 11, being awarded Scholar of the Year for the entire country at the age of 13.

Peter was accepted to The Rambert School aged 16. Whilst at Rambert he worked with Christopher Bruce, Richard Alston, Robert Cohan and Anthony Van Laast amongst others. Upon leaving Rambert School with Distinction Peter performed with Ballet Rambert at Sadler's Wells and Bristol Old Vic performing Dancing Day choreographed by Christopher Bruce. Peter then joined Southern Ballet Company, Bournemouth as Principal performing both Classical and Contemporary works. His work included 'Focus On Dance' Bournemouth, an educational contemporary dance company working in Schools all over the South of England delivering workshops and performing for young people.

Further performance credits include:
The Champions Jazz Troupe (Performing in Europe and Middle East), Pop Videos including Sinitta, Bonnie Tyler, Kate Bush, working with West End Choreographers Stuart Arnold and Paul Henry. Also various Pantomimes and films.

Since retiring from performing Peter has been teaching in the Calderdale area of West Yorkshire for the last 20 years and was the Academy Director for the Calderdale College Dance Academy in Halifax. He is a Qualified Exercise to Music Instructor, Zumba Instructor and Mat based Pilates Instructor and has Level 4 Certificate in Teaching (F.E.). Peter has recently taught contemporary dance technique at the Louise Browne Yorkshire Ballet Scholarship Centre, which takes only the top ballet students from across the North of England.

Toni Diaper (Dance Mill Academy Principal) Toni Diaper (Dance Mill Academy Principal)

Toni started taking ballet lessons at the age of 6. These were quickly followed by modern and tap classes as her interest in the subject took off. Her other passion at that age was gymnastics, 2 things which complemented each other perfectly.

At 16 Toni entered full time dance teacher training at the Dorothy Stevens School of Dance in Lightcliffe, Halifax, studying ballet, modern and tap and by the time she left full time training had acquired teaching qualifications in all three disciplines.

Toni has worked in Ireland and Germany as well as England teaching dance in a variety of settings. She has worked in dance schools teaching from age 2 up to adults in recreational dance. She has also taught vocational dance students from age 16 in ballet, modern and tap.

Toni has been trained extensively in National Curriculum Dance through Leeds City Council and also through Kirklees Council and has used this training to run schemes of work in many primary school settings for both councils from day workshops to a whole term scheme of work linking to other areas being covered in the curriculum. She also has close links with the Halifax Sports Acro gymnastics club doing choreography for their competition squad.

Currently Toni has qualifications with the International Dance Teachers Association (IDTA) in ballet, modern jazz and tap, the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance (ISTD) in ballet, modern and tap and the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) in ballet. She gained her Certificate of Education (FE) from Leeds Uni. She is also working towards her Freestyle Associate with the IDTA to be able to enter children for exams and competitions in freestyle, rock and roll and street dance.

Toni firmly believes in ongoing professional development and regularly attends seminars to remain up to date on current practices and is an active member of the Yorkshire teachers Group, and continues to take professional examinations.

Kelly Fortune

Kelly Started dancing at the age of 3 at a local dance school in Devon. By the age of 7 Kelly's competitive dancing career where she had much success gaining many accolades, including representing the south east at regional and national level, gaining a place in the top 6 in the senior ballet class. Kelly has had many opportunities perusing her love of performing, including professional pantomimes, West End Performances and taking lead roles in youth ballet companies.

By the age of 18 Kelly's love and passion for dance lead her to the University of Surrey where she went onto achieve a 2:1 dance degree. After taking a gap year Kelly realised her passion was teaching, this lead her to follow her dream and do a course in community dance teaching, at the prestigious Trinity Laban Contemporary School in London, this provided her with many opportunities including guest choreographing for the all-inclusive Chicken Shed Theatre Company. Whilst taking a gap year Kelly worked for Disneyland Paris in their parade and shows department, performing to thousands of people on a daily basis and taking part in exclusive special events for the company.

On return to the UK Kelly took her teaching exams with the IDTA gaining her associate level in Ballet and Modern. Since achieving her qualifications Kelly has worked on a freelance basis around schools in the local area. Kelly is continuing to improve upon her qualifications and has since become a qualified Progressive Ballet Technique (PBT) and Acrobatic Arts teacher (Module 1).

Josh Simpson

Josh Simpson started his training at the age of 15 with Suga Brown. He then started his full time training at Calderdale College and Northern School of contemporary dance. Josh graduated from Cambridge performing arts@ Bodywork dance studios.

His dance credits include an upcoming film, Molly Moon and the incredible hypnotist directed by Chris Rowley, Performing and choreographing a West End show, What Ever Happened to LALA Shockette and TV commercials. Josh has danced for artists such as Sub Focus, Hannah Wants, DJ EX, Hot Since 82, Bicep, David Rodigan, The Heatwave and many moreJosh has recently started his own commercial company ZeClub and taken over as head choreographer for Vivid Dance Theatre youth company. Josh has been choreographing for 9 years and is looking forward to his future at The Dance Mill.

Lucy Witton

Lucy was born and raised in Solihull, West Midlands and has danced in performances, cabarets and pantomimes since the age of 6. She has completed training in Modern Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Freestyle, Aerial, Latin & Ballroom. After finishing secondary education, at 16 Lucy studied a 3-year Musical Theatre course at a private stage school, Pattison College & Theatre Arts. She not only gained her I.D.T.A Advanced 2 levels but also her Associates in Ballet, Tap, Modern Jazz & Freestyle.

Straight out of college, Lucy went on to work a summer season for Bourne Leisure in the UK before beginning her journey working overseas for the award-winning global production company Jean Ann Ryan Productions. She rehearsed in Miami, completed 6 years of cruise ship contracts covering 6 continents and gaining a lifetime of experience. In addition to executing top quality choreography, she achieved aerial Lyra and Spanish Web training which she performed for 4 years. Then deciding to give up her sea legs and desperately wanting to teach, Lucy has moved to York with her fiance and is very excited to pass on her knowledge and experience and help others gain confidence, technique, performance quality and to exceed all their expectations.

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