Winner – congratulations Hong!

Hong Zhu

Originally from Shanghai, Hong graduated from the BA (Hons) Ballet Education and LRAD programmes in 2017 with Distinction. Since living in London, she has worked for many dance schools including ENBS Junior and Magpie Dance, where she taught students with disabilities. She established Rainbow Ballet Studio in London in 2015 and co-founded Angel Palace dance school in Beijing in 2017. To share ballet knowledge, Hong established the Ballet Education forum at Zhihu (Chinese Quora) in 2015 to consistently communicate that ballet is for everyone regardless of gender, age, body shape, etc. She translated Carlos Acosta’s No Way Home into simplified Chinese in 2018 which will be published this year.

Hong believes that being a dance teacher is a beautiful and rewarding journey on which she can teach while learning. She guides her students to be creative, stay focused, love, and be human beings, with her motto ever present in her mind: “to teach sometimes, to care often, and to love always.”

Kathryn Gordon

Kathryn is Principal of KD Dance Academy based in Northern Ireland. Having graduated with a BA (Hons) in Ballet Education in 2017 from the Royal Academy of Dance, she opened her school to give others in her community the opportunity to experience the wonderful syllabus the RAD has to offer. Three years on, the school has approximately 100 students, a 100% exam pass rate and has continued to prosper during these unprecedented times by offering online classes.

Kathryn has taken many CPD courses which have extended her knowledge and teaching capabilities and continues to work closely with other RAD Registered Teachers through her work at Whitehouse Ballet School, Belfast.

Teaching in local schools, with musical theatre companies, and volunteering in local organisations, she strives to be a positive role model for all of her students and ensure that dance becomes an important part of her community.

Charlotte Porter

A native of the Yorkshire Dales, Charlotte founded her school in 2017 and due to high demand, the school has grown to over 300 students, all from rural areas. In January 2019 the school was proud to open its own premises.

A graduate of the Diploma in Dance Teaching Studies, Charlotte is passionate about leading an inclusive school that provides industry related opportunities. Beyond regular learning she has developed lessons for children under three and ‘seated and social’ classes for the aging and disabled people in her community. Local primary schools without appropriate space for physical activity are regularly welcomed into her studio to participate in creative dance lessons. To compliment RAD syllabi and encourage support of traditional dances, Charlotte includes Morris and Yorkshire Long Sword into her classes.

Determined to be an inspiring role model, Charlotte has been nationally recognised as Rural Young Person of the Year 2019/20 by the Rural Business Awards for her dedication to providing rural arts opportunities.

Kirsty Tremayne

As a Principal and freelance teacher of vocational and non-vocational dance students, Kirsty teaches a range of ages and abilities and enjoys the diversity this brings. Her ultimate aim is to inspire her students to become strong dancers both technically and artistically.

A graduate of the Professional Dancer’s Teaching Diploma, Kirsty constantly strives to enhance her teaching skills and her liaison with other dance and industry professionals, combined with her experience as an ex-professional dancer enables her to do so. She continuously expands her knowledge and skill set by gaining further qualifications such as PBT and choreographing for video shoots on location. For Kirsty, seeing students achieve their goals, whether it’s mastering a step, receiving positive exam results, gaining associate or vocational school places or the joy on the face of a young girl who she teaches ballet in hospital, is immensely satisfying and rewarding.