Teachers at The Hitchin School of Dance
Our teachers are all very experienced and ISTD qualified, and we are proud that so many of our students return to us after University years, having started with us at the age of 3 or 4, continuing their classes year after year. Indeed some of our students have continued their training at top ballet schools and performing arts colleges, eventually going on to careers in teaching and even as professional dancers.
Tap & Modern Teacher
Katie started dancing at the age of four at Dance Steps Academy in Letchworth. She trained in Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance (I.S.T.D.) tap, ballet and modern passing her exams with flying colours and performing in several of the school’s shows.
She then went on to train at The Dance College in Royston, under the watchful eye of Penny Meekings. She gained her FDI and CDE qualifications in Modern, Tap and National dance, as well as completing her own exams to advanced 2 standard.
Katie has always been involved in acting and theatre and co-runs Big Spirit Theatre Company, where young people are trained in acting and movement. She choreographs shows for the company both in Hitchin and at the Edinburgh festival, as well as directing several shows and musicals. Her students are often accepted into the country’s top drama schools and go on to have successful careers.
As well as working for the Hitchin School of dance, Katie also teaches at NBDA School of dance in Welwyn and occasionally at the school she trained at in Letchworth. She also teaches contempory jazz at her old college, working with teachers in training, as well as teaching students on the dance course at Hitchin College. She also teaches physical theatre and movement to the drama students at Hitchin College.
Katie thoroughly enjoys working with all of her students and is very pleased to be working at the Hitchin School of Dance. She hopes she can inspire her students as much as her teachers have inspired her.
Lorrayne Spindler LISTD
School Principal & Ballet Teacher
Lorrayne started dancing at the age of seven with Mollie Gilbert at the Granville School of Dance, Hitchin, where she trained in Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance (ISTD) passing all her grade exams with Honours. Whilst at the school she performed in a number of school shows, and in her twenties performed in many musical productions with Hitchin Thespians
She then went on to train with Kathryn Turner and Penny Meekings from The College, Royston (ISTD modern and tap examiner) gaining her ISTD Majors and Associate teaching qualifications in ballet, tap and modern.
Lorrayne started her teaching career at the Kathryn Turner School of Dance, where she taught ballet, tap and modern for ten years at Kathryn’s dance schools in Stotfold and Royston.
She then freelanced for three years teaching in Bishop’s Stortford, Ashwell and Baldock, before returning to the Granville School of Dance, Hitchin in 1997 to teach for Mollie Gilbert. During this period Lorrayne also taught ballet for eight years at the Herts Theatre School (a musical theatre college in Hitchin).
Additional teaching qualifications include: ISTD Associate Diplomas in 2004, ISTD Diploma in Anatomy and Physiology relating to Dance (2008) and ISTD Licenciate in ballet (2011)
Lorrayne took over as principal of the Granville School of Dance in January 2009, changing the school’s name to the Hitchin School of Dance in 2011 and hopes to continue the excellent reputation the school has always had for providing a high standard of training.
Tap & Modern Teacher
Gabrielle has been learning Ballet, Tap, Modern and Jazz at Hitchin School of Dance since the age of six, being taught firstly by Mollie Gilbert then by Lorrayne Spindler and Katie Milward. As well as dancing in the past three shows, she has achieved mainly distinctions in her I.S.T.D exams. She achieved Advanced 1 Ballet, Advanced 2 Modern and Advanced 2 Tap, alongside training for her teaching qualifications in which she gained DDI in Ballet, and DDE in Tap and Modern.
Gabrielle has always wanted to become a teacher and went to university to study Geography. However, she missed her dancing too much and Lorrayne and Katie recommended she attend ‘The Dance College’ in Royston, where Gabrielle trained under Penny Meekings (F.I.S.T.D)
Gabrielle teaches pupils from the age of three up to adults. She is thoroughly enjoying working with the students in Tap and Modern and loves the enthusiasm the students show in their lessons at Hitchin School of Dance.