OUR DANCE HISTORY
Harwood Dance was established over 25 years ago! It started with Sara Harwood (Miss Sara) holding one adult tap class on a Friday night, and the group called themselves Leckhampton Tappers! One class soon became several including adult Jazz and Men’s Jazz. After a few years Miss Sara started children’s classes in Tap and Modern.
Over the years more genres of dance were added, one teacher became six and we evolved into ‘Harwood Dance’!
Five years ago we dipped our toes in the world of
competing and started taking part in dance festivals. We got off to an impressive start and since then we have walked away with numerous trophies, medals and championship qualifiers!
Harwood Dance’s centre of ethos is to ensure every student is recognised, encouraged and treated equally. We pride ourselves on nurturing the emotional, mental and physical development of all our dancers whether they attend one or six days a week. We are proud to prove that excellent ISTD exam results and countless medals at dance festivals can be achieved by training our students holistically.
SARA HARWOOD - FOUNDER
Sara started dancing at the age of two and a half with her first performance being a duet at Cheltenham Town Hall at the age of three years! When she was five years old, she was chosen to accompany the film star Jeanette Scott (daughter of actress Thora Hird) to her film premier at Cheltenham’s Regal Cinema. Sara trained in Ballet, Tap, Modern and Ballroom dance entering many dance and Ballroom competitions, and winning numerous medals and trophies. Her teachers have included Arlene Phillips and Peggy Spencer. Sara then danced professionally in cabaret, holiday entertainment and the dance group Body Language before starting to teach at Listers School of Dance.
After living in Cornwall for over eight years raising her family, Sara returned to Cheltenham and opened her own dancing school. In addition to running the school she also taught dance at Playhouse Theatre, Gloucester Academy of Music & Performing Arts, and Everyman Youth Theatre, whilst also choreographing numerous shows for Cheltenham Operatic and Dramatic Society, Leckhampton Players, and Cotswold Savoyards. Years later her daughter Zoe, having trained as a dance teacher, joined forces expanding the school to its present-day size, its emphasis being to provide dance classes in a happy and relaxed atmosphere whilst still achieving excellent results.
ZOE HARWOOD - FORMER PRINCIPAL
Zoe always had a love of music and started her dance training at three years old studying Imperial Classical Ballet, Modern Theatre and Tap. Her passion meant she attended dance classes almost every day of the week.
At nine years old Zoe was the stand-out student at her dance school and was chosen for the lead child’s role in a touring Russian Ballet company.
At 19 years old, Zoe studied in Cheltenham for her ISTD DDE qualifications and then went on to gain her Licentiate in Modern Theatre.
Zoe has choreographed many musicals for amateur dramatic groups in Gloucestershire including Little Shop of Horrors, Jekyll and Hyde and Beauty and the Beast. In 2016 she choreographed Guys and Dolls for local company ‘CODS’ which resulted in her winning the NODA Award for Choreographer of the year out of over 500 choreographers in the South West.
The following year she choreographed Legally Blonde and was short-listed to the final 6 for the same award!
In her spare time Zoe is an avid yogi and is a Mindset Coach for teens and young women.