4 November 2021 14:00 - 15:00 GMT

Adapting your dance business in order to thrive

Online (Zoom) | Booking required

Join Gia Gray, RAD’s Head of Dance School, as she speaks to a panel of dance school owners about their experiences of adapting their dance businesses in order to thrive. The panel will share their insights on a range of ideas including tips for expanding your class programme, efficient business administration and reaching new students.

Panel: Penny Parks, Michelle Whyte, and Elizabeth M. Ferenc.

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Key Information

Time Duration Fee
14:00 - 15:00 GMT 1 hr Members: free.
Non-members: £6.


Chair of the Panel

Gia Gray LLB, BA (Hons), Cert HE, RAD (RTS)
Head of Dance School, Royal Academy of Dance, London, UK

Gia is a seasoned business professional with senior-level experience in private, public, and charitable sectors. As a Canadian qualified Barrister & Solicitor Gia had a successful 10-year career in corporate law in Canada. Following on from her legal career, Gia then transitioned into her true passion: dance and the arts. In 2013, she was awarded her Cert HE, Dance Education offered jointly by the RAD and the University of Surrey. During her time in the arts, Gia has taught RAD syllabus full time, managed the operations of a dance agency, and for the past several years, has been the Head of the Dance School at the Royal Academy of Dance’s headquarters in London, where she is responsible for the management of the day-to-day operations of the dance school.


Penny Parks
School Principal and founder of Penny Parks School of Dancing

Penny Parks is the school principal and founder of Penny Parks School of Dancing. Penny trained on a scholarship at Bush Davies School under Miss Noreen Bush and then danced professionally for several years before travelling abroad with her husband. While away she taught in places such as Singapore and India, learning a lot about dance in different parts of the world. On returning to the UK she opened her ballet school 45 years ago. Penny has always raised money to help charities and is thrilled to have started her own, many years ago now, which helps children all over the world in times of trauma and crisis. This includes taking her students abroad to work for the charity in places such as Sri Lanka, South Africa and India giving them a fantastic life experience. Penny is a Trustee, Chair of the Regional Ambassadors for the UK and Ireland, and a member of the Artistic Sub-Committee for the Royal Academy of Dance. 

Elizabeth M. Ferenc MA, BA(Hons), LRAD, ARAD
Artistic Director and President of Balletomane Inc.

Elizabeth began her career in dance at the Alberta Ballet School. In 2004, Elizabeth completed a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) with Distinction in the Art of Teaching Ballet in the Faculty of Education, at the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD), University of Durham. During her tenure at the RAD, Elizabeth also received her Associate Status (ARAD) with Distinction, as well as the Licentiate Award (LRAD). In 2005, Elizabeth graduated from the University of Roehampton, London, England, with a Masters of Arts in Ballet Studies with Distinction. For the past twelve years, Elizabeth has owned Balletomane Inc. a successful dance studio in Oakville, Ontario, Canada and has had many students go on to dance professionally, as well as graduate as educated audience members with a passion for dance.

Michelle Whyte
Co-Principal at Danscentre, Aberdeen

Michelle has been Co-Principal at Danscentre in Aberdeen since 2008. She teaches Ballet, Modern, Contemporary and SQA Dance and became an RAD CPD Tutor in 2013, delivering sessions on the new Grade 4 and 5 and Syllabus Strategies courses. She has also been a Visiting Assessor for Higher Dance for the Scottish Qualifications Authority and was part of the team involved in gaining recognition of RAD examinations within the Scottish Qualifications Framework.