Welcome to the Dance Arena Family
A leading RAD ballet and multi-genre performing arts school, for all ages, based in Brighouse ,West Yorkshire.
This central location in Calderdale gives easy access from Halifax, Elland, Huddersfield and Bradford among many other places.
Discover our unique setting, where discipline and dedication sits side by side with free-flowing creativity, music, and artistic expression. Our classes are fun and inclusive that nurture both confidence and technique. We are passionate about our teaching and strive to inspire our students to be the very best they can.
So, whether you are looking for an escape in your free time or aspire to be a professional dancer, immerse yourself at Dance Arena and discover the dancer in you.
“Dance from the heart and let the world disappear”.
After a glittering professional dance career spanning over a decade, Principal and founder Gail Marsden left her international touring days behind to focus on choreography work in the UK. Following huge successes for high profile TV shows and theatre, Gail was later drawn back to her hometown in Halifax to put her talents to good use.
Far from hanging up her pointe shoes, Gail worked as a freelance dance teacher and opened the doors to her own ballet and stage school in 2000. Combining both professional and educational training, Gail’s ‘Dance Arena’ quickly gained momentum and became one of the most respected dance schools in West Yorkshire.
Fast forward 20 years, and Dance Arena continues to evolve to provide the highest standards in teaching for all dance styles we offer. In our latest commitment to excellence, Dance Arena has moved home to specially adapted studios in the heart of Brighouse. Designed specifically for ballet and performing arts teaching, these superb facilities further enhance the experience of all our dancers.
We teach classes across the following disciplines: RAD Ballet, ISTD Modern Dance, ISTD Tap, Musical theatre classes, Pre-school Melody Movement, Adult tap and Adult Silver Swans. Students can also enjoy their own little taste of stardom in our theatre performances – that always promise an electric celebratory showcase of Dance Arena talent!
So… if you or your child are ready to make new friends and leap into the world of Dance Arena, please feel free to Contact Us for a free trial and discuss any requirements.
Teachers & Staff
B.Phil. (Hons), LRAD, ARAD, RTS, AISTD Modern Dip, AISTD Tap, AISTD National
Principal and Teacher
I grew up in Halifax, training at Madam Ibbotson's and then at Dorothy Stevens until gaining a place at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dance in London. While there I specialised in Classical Ballet and gained Advanced 2 and my LRAD. I also had the opportunity to dance lead roles in several RAD ballet productions. Over the next ten years I danced professionally both in the UK and abroad. Commercially, I have danced on many high profile TV shows and prestigious cruise lines, where I gained a wealth of musical theatre knowledge. Further accomplishments include forming and performing with my own dance group Dance Arena throughout the United Kingdom, Scandinavia and the Mediterranean.
I have also choreographed and danced in the popular Great Legends of Rock which included artistes from TV's Stars in their Eyes. Although I still maintain my connections with the professional dance world, I have since concentrated totally on the teaching side. I have worked in a freelance teaching capacity until opening my own school. I have been invited to adjudicate several regional dance competitions. I pride myself in knowing that I have consistently maintained a 100% pass rate in all student and student teacher examinations. I am now a life member of the Royal Academy of Dance and also act as a member of the CBTS program.
Emma Jane Louise Moss
BSC (Hons), CBTS RAD, RTS
I first started dancing through the Calderdale Schools Creative Dance program at the age of five but discovered my passion for ballet after a trip to the Grand Theatre and Opera House, Leeds to see The Sleeping Beauty. The astonishing beauty of the stage left such an impression that I was inspired to learn myself.
At the age of eight I started training with Miss Dorothy Emma Stevens, a highly skilled teacher and respected examiner with the Royal Academy of Dance and gained vocational examinations in RAD ballet, ISTD Tap and ISTD Modern Theatre Dance. During this time I also had the opportunity to perform in professional pantomime which gave me experience of the work involved in professional productions and the highly competitive world of dance.
On completion of my dance studies with Miss Stevens I pursued a paramedical degree in Radiography at the university of Bradford. This course of study provided me with an extensive knowledge in anatomy and physiology, and it is this additional knowledge that I bring to my dance teaching, enhancing the students understanding of dance kinesiology and safe dance practice.
In 2018 I qualified as a registered teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance, graduating from the certificate in Ballet teaching Studies program.
CBTS RAD RTS
Rebecca started ballet at the age of 12. She came to Dance Arena with a friend to join in the Modern dance class, but soon showed a keen interest in ballet. After 6 months of ballet training Rebecca was accepted on to the Royal Winnepeg Ballet School Aspirant Program. When she returned from Canada Rebecca continued her lessons at Dance Arena. She has also spent time in Australia furthering her dance training, where once again on returning to the UK she came back to Dance Arena to pursue a career in dance.
She is now at Advanced standard in R.A.D. ballet, and I.S.T.D. Modern. In 2014 Rebecca completed her R.A.D. teacher training programme. She is now a qualified RAD Ballet teacher.
We have now moved into our very own dedicated Studios at 4 West Park Street in Brighouse. The building has a lovely waiting area, changing room and several studios which are ideal for our needs. We are really exited and can't wait to show you our new facilities.
Entrance to the studios is by a door with a magnetic lock and press to exit system. Once the Covid-19 regulations are relaxed further each student or parent will be given an individual RFID access tag, this will unlock the front door during the school operating hours.
The large reception area is currently quite sparse as the furniture and reception desk are not in place. This is to allow for free movement during the Covid-19 outbreak.
The kitchen are has been installed for parents to make hot drinks while they wait (Once Covid restrictions allow parents to be onsite).
A nice size changing room for students with shower for use once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.
This is the largest studio in the building and is located upstairs. It has dual aspect windows that can be opened to allow plenty of ventilation. Harlequin dance floor has been fitted for student safety.
This studio is also located upstairs and is only slightly smaller than studio 1. Just like studio 1 it has dual aspect windows that can be opened for ventilation. It also has full length mirrors along one wall. This studio has a Harlequin cascade dance floor fitted.
Pre-School studio / Warm up room
This studio is downstairs and like the two main studios has a Harlequin dance floor fitted. This will be used for our smaller pre-school and melody Bear classes. It will also be used as a warm up room for the senior students when Covid-19 regulations allow.
In line with government advice Dance Arena will welcome students back in September.
We have carried out a risk assessment and worked hard to ensure safety measures are in place to help control the spread of the virus.
- Reduced studio capacity to increase space between visitors based on World Health Organisation guidelines and adhere to 2 metre distancing
- Increased sanitising of surfaces in communal areas such as floors, door handles, toilet, sink areas.
- Sanitising of all studio floors regularly and providing disinfectant wipes
- Increased ventilation with dual aspect windows that will be open.
- Staggered Entry for large groups
- Multiple handsfree sanitiser stations installed.
- Toilets will be cleaned between each class.
- Studios will be cleaned between classes.
- Building will be deep cleaned at the beginning and end of the day.
- Students must be ready dressed for class with hair groomed in the
- No parents will be allowed in the building until we have
confirmation from government advice that it is ok for this to happen.
- Arrive at your allocated time and not before. Early arrivals will
be required to wait outside, but please make sure you only turn up just before
the start and end of the class for drop off and pick up.
- Parents must avoid congregating in groups outside and must adhere to social distancing rule
- When arriving at the studios please queue outside and you will be let in by myself or a chaperone. Please use hand sanitizer in the doorway.
- Students will be ushered to the 2 metre tape boundaries where they will pick up a plastic box for outdoor wear and shoes. All necessary dance shoes must be taken up to the studios, but no dance bags.
- Studios have been marked out following the social distancing
guidelines of 2 metre spaces. Hand sanitizer is also available inside the
- After classes the students will observe the 2-metre distancing on
their way out. They will pick up their belongings from the box and meet parents
outside the door.
- The boxes will then be sterilised for the next class by the
chaperones / Senior Students
- Older students may have an agreed pick point with your parents.
- Teaching staff will be wearing visors while coaching. Students do
not need to wear masks in class.
- Use hand sanitiser upon arrival, and regularly throughout your
time with us. Ideally bring your own to reduce contact with our
- Chaperones must wear face masks when entering the building, and
when in common areas at all times.
- Do not touch mirrors and limit your touch to other surfaces.
- Wipe down any equipment you use before and after, such as ballet
barre using antibacterial wipes provided.
- Dispose of wipes safely in the bins provided
- No food or drink (except water in own bottle)
to 2 metres distance.
If you feel unwell at all please stay at home.
This is unchartered territory. We are all learning as we go. Our pledge is to work with you to talk through all the issues and concerns to provide a safe working environment for all our people. Information is constantly being updated and new guidance issued and we will continually monitor the situation to keep everyone safe.
Your cooperation is appreciated during these unprecedented times.
60 Pye Nest road
4 West Park Street,
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