Katie Ventress - Principle Dance Teacher ISTD DDE



I'm Katie Ventress, a professional dancer and ISTD DDE trained ballet, tap and modern dance teacher.


I grew up in Driffield, East Yorkshire and started ballet when I was 6. Throughout my childhood my parents found it hard to stop me from dancing and singing round the house so after A-Levels I went to the world famous Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts (featured in CBBC's School for Stars) in London to complete a Diploma in Musical Theatre.


I have since trained as a dance teacher at Anthony Clifford Studios in Essex, gaining a Diploma in Dance Education in Ballet and Modern, and a Diploma in Dance Instruction in Tap. I taught the 'Early Stages' classes for Stagecoach in Barnet, Hertfordshire for 10 years, where I coached children aged 4-7 in drama, singing and dance, as well as running my own ballet school in London for 5 years. I have run dance clubs in several York schools including Bootham Junior School, Clifton with Rawcliffe, Hempland and Poppleton Road Primary Schools.


Since opening its studio doors in 2015, Katie Ventress School of Dance has gone from strength to strength. There are now over 300 students enrolled across our 3 sites at The Raylor Centre, Millthorpe School and Tang Hall Community Centre.

We are very proud of our 100% pass rate of ISTD exams and we are currently preparing for our second Dance show with all profits being donated to charity.

Past students have gone on to and are currently studying at Central School of Ballet and London Studio Centre and The Northern Ballet CAT programme.

My classes are safe, imaginative, creative and most of all FUN!


I look forward to many more years of success in York with the Katie Ventress School of Dance!


Miss Katie x

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Mollie Pulleyn - ISTD DDE Modern, Tap and Ballet


Mollie started dancing at the Rebecca Davies School of Dance in York at the age of three and has loved dance ever since. She took all her ISTD examinations during her time at the school, and loved everything the syllabus taught.  Mollie started assisting classes in 2010 and this initial experience helped  realise her dream of being a teacher. She started her teaching qualifications in 2013 at Elite Studios in Wakefield and has since had the opportunity to have her own classes at the Rebecca Davies School of Dance. Mollie has been involved with several community theatre projects around York including Huntington Secondary School and is involved in their annual school musical each year. Mollie is  excited to be  joining the Katie Ventress School of Dance.

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Laura Smith - ISTD Modern, Tap and Ballet

Laura trained at much respected Performers College in Essex, qualifying with a level 6 diploma in musical theatre. She has a passion for teaching and is fully qualified to teach the ISTD syllabus.

Laura's passion for dance and musical theatre started at the very early age of 4 when she began to attend her local dance school. Her passion for dance grew stronger when she progressed to become a vocational dancer at Abbots Bromley school for girls. She went on to appear in many shows including a pantomime at Stafford gatehouse & English youth ballet appearing at both Stoke on Trent and Wolverhampton (where she achieved a commendation for her pointe work), She also appeared in the Musical “The Producers” at the Regent theatre in Stoke on Trent.

Before becoming employed as a professional dancer with Warner Leisure hotels, Laura appeared in a number of music videos, pantomimes, TV adverts, fashion shows and also on TV with the Eastenders cast for Children in Need.

Laura currently works for a number of Clients including Schools, Nurseries and pre Schools where her infectious teaching of Dance & Musical Theatre encourages children of various ages to take an interest and progress their abilities. She is eager to share her passion for dance and musical theatre with everyone who she teaches.

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Christie Barnes - Contemporary Dance

Christie studied a BTEC National Diploma in Musical Theatre at York College and gained a triple Distinction. She then went on to complete her Dance Degree at York St John University graduating with First class honours. 

Christie is currently a performer, Trustee, Vulnerable Adults Protection Officer and Movement Director with Out Of Character Theatre Company. She has also been a part of many community productions including providing movement direction for the recent Wagon Plays in York. Christie has worked with Del Dance Theatre producing work for young audiences in the North of England and is due to work on further projects with this company in the near future. In addition, Christie also teaches Creative Movement and Theatre at York St John University, as well leading weekly movement sessions as therapeutic rehabilitation for patients in hospital including Clifton house and Peppermill Court. 

Christie has recently performed with a newly established Powerhouse Ballet Company at Manchester Dance house. She attends regular technique classes and has completed her RAD Intermediate Classical Ballet examination as well as her Grade 8 Ballet examination with Distinction. Christie is regularly performing, whether it's in small venues, on the stage at York Theatre Royal or at the Edinburgh Fringe festival. She is always seeking ways to improve and gain experience in theatre and dance.

Rachel Morris - ISTD Modern, Ballet and Tap

Rachel is a qualified Ballet, Modern and Tap teacher and run her own Theatre school on a Saturday in Ryedale.


We are thrilled to welcome Rachel back to Katie Ventress School of Dance to teach our Monday classes at Tang Hall Community Centre. Rachel covered for Miss Katie when she was on Maternity leave in 2019.          

Rachel Lynch  - DPD

Rachel started dancing at a young age and became so passionate about it she wanted to pursue it as a career. She successfully auditioned for SLP college in Leeds and graduated in 2019 with a Trinity Diploma in Professional Dance. Rachel has worked professionally as a dancer, performer, and supporting artist for stage shows, TV projects, and at live events. She has previous experience teaching at several Theatre schools and has led workshops for professional dancers and young children at SK Dance Fusion in York.

Rachel will be taking our Grade 1 modern and Level 1 ballet classes on Saturdays at the Raylor Centre (Pilates studio) and looks forward to joining the team at the Katie Ventress School of Dance and can't wait to get to know everyone!

Stacey Young - ISTD DDE Ballet, Tap and Modern

Stacey has danced from a young age in her hometown of Wakefield, taking part in shows and pantomimes whilst working through the ISTD examinations. She gained her Advanced 2 in both Tap and Modern and Intermediate in Ballet. She has also participated in theatre shows with the York Stage Musicals company and has entered the Northern Janet Cram Awards. In 2015, she joined the Ellite Studios Performing Arts College and trained for 3 years to gain her Diploma in Dance Instruction and Diploma in Dance Education, in Tap, Modern, and Imperial Ballet. Stacey has already gained 4 years of experience in teaching ISTD examination classes to her students as well as free dance classes to people of all ages. She wishes to complete her ISTD Licentiate and Fellowship examinations in Tap and Modern to further her teaching and is keen to share her interest in dance with all her students. Stacey is looking forward to joining our dance school and is excited to meet everyone!

Stacey will teach Monday classes at Tang Hall Community Centre from Jan-July 2022 covering Miss Rachel's maternity leave.

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