Anthony Van Laast M.B.E. (Patron)
Anthony was born in Sussex, UK. He received dance training at the London School of Contemporary Dance, and both performed and choreographed with the Company.
Among his prominent stage works as a choreographer are the musicals Sister Act (2011 on Broadway and 2009 West End), Bombay Dreams (2004), Mamma Mia! (2001), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1993), Annie Get Your Gun (1986, West End),and Song & Dance (1982, West End).
His television and film work includes the concert Sarah Brightman: Symphony in Vienna (2008) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
"Stewart Arnold is one of the finest Lyrical Jazz teachers in the country. I fully support the vision and ethos of Old School Danceworks".
Peter Coenen (Founder)
Having started dancing at the age of 10 at the Dorothy Stevens Ballet School (Halifax), Peter became a scholar with The Royal Academy of Dance (York) from the age of 11, being awarded Scholar of the Year for the entire country at the age of 13.
Peter was accepted to The Rambert School aged 16. Whilst at Rambert he worked with Christopher Bruce, Richard Alston, Robert Cohan and Anthony Van Laast amongst others. Upon leaving Rambert School with Distinction Peter performed with Ballet Rambert at Sadler's Wells and Bristol Old Vic performing Dancing Day choreographed by Christopher Bruce. Peter then joined Southern Ballet Company, Bournemouth as Principal performing both Classical and Contemporary works. His work included 'Focus On Dance' Bournemouth, an educational contemporary dance company working in Schools all over the South of England delivering workshops and performing for young people.
Further performance credits include:
The Champions Jazz Troupe (Performing in Europe and Middle East), Pop Videos including Sinitta, Bonnie Tyler, Kate Bush, working with West End Choreographers Stuart Arnold and Paul Henry. Also various Pantomimes and films.
Since retiring from performing Peter has been teaching in the Calderdale area of West Yorkshire for the last 20 years and was the Academy Director for the Calderdale College Dance Academy in Halifax. He is a Qualified Exercise to Music Instructor, Zumba Instructor and Mat based Pilates Instructor and has Level 4 Certificate in Teaching (F.E.). Peter has recently taught contemporary dance technique at the Louise Browne Yorkshire Ballet Scholarship Centre, which takes only the top ballet students from across the North of England.
Stewart Avon Arnold (Co-Founder)
Stewart is one of the pioneers of Lyrical Contemporary Jazz in the UK, developing the genre from as early as 1979 to the present day, trained at the London School of Contemporary Dance, his dancing heritage originates with the Martha Graham technique, with the likes of Bob Cohen, William Luther and Jane Dudley as his teacher/mentors that have been his springboard from which he has developed his unique style and genre, consequently becoming one of our most acclaimed and sought after International Dancer Teacher and Choreographer. For many years Stewart has been constantly involved in a variety of top West End shows, including Wayne Sleeps 'Song and Dance' as a soloist dancer. He was guest choreographer for Wayne Sleeps dance company 'Dash', joint- choreographer on 'The Wiz' at the Hammersmith Lyric Theatre, and featured as a soloist dancer in Johnny Depp's film 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'. Choreographing Pop promo’s for artists such as David Grant, Elton John and working exclusively with Kate Bush over the last 20 years as a dancer and a choreographic consultant have also been fitted in to an already busy schedule. He also had his own dance series on Channel 4, along with Claude-Paul Henry, called 'Streets Ahead', and toured Europe along with Anthony Van Laast and Claude-Paul with their own Dance Company called 'Souls in Motion' and took his own concept musical 'Dancing and Singing the Blues' on the same European circuit directing as well as choreographing the show.
As a teacher Stewart was one of the founder/pioneer teachers at the famous Pineapple Studio in London where he taught for over 20 years with people attending his classes from all over Europe. He taught master- classes and workshops all over Europe, including Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Portugal as well as Japan and the UK for schools and academies such as 'Mudra'(Maurice Bejart), Ballet Academy-Sweden, Elmhurst Royal Ballet School, Royal Academy of Dance, Arts Education (Tring/London), Bodyworks Studios (Cambridge) where he taught Louis Spence of Pineapple fame, Northern School of Contemporary Dance (also teaching Mel B of the Spice Girls), Urdang Academy, London Studio Centre, Birds College, Central School of Ballet, Performers College and Masters College of Performing Arts.
As a Director Stewart co-founded, directed and danced in Jazz Theatre Gothenburg in Sweden, Aspects of Dance (Hackney Empire - London), Dancing and Singing the Blues (European Tour), Hard Rock Jazz Café (Theatre Talia-Gothenburg, Sweden).
As an artist Stewart is a unique innovator, whose work is a combination of old and new school, along with a spiritual and artistic richness which makes his work relevant, different and essential not only to the industry but also a great basis for anyone who works with him to start or enhance their creative and technical development as performers in their own right.
Old School Dance Works is a school with a philosophy of merging the old with the new - the old school values of the past combining a golden vision for the future - setting out to produce an all round dance performer that has the ability to think and self motivate on the highest professional level with the desire to become not just a dancer but an Artist of the highest calibre, not only evolving and adapting in this ever changing world, but able to maintain a solid foundation based on a strong dance tradition that has been handed down from all the great performers of the past.
"A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step"
Stewart Avon Arnold
Toni Diaper (Director of Education)
Toni started taking ballet lessons at the age of 6. These were quickly followed by modern and tap classes as her interest in the subject took off. Her other passion at that age was gymnastics, 2 things which complemented each other perfectly.
At 16 Toni entered full time dance teacher training at the Dorothy Stevens School of Dance in Lightcliffe, Halifax, studying ballet, modern and tap and by the time she left full time training had acquired teaching qualifications in all three disciplines.
Toni has worked in Ireland and Germany as well as England teaching dance in a variety of settings. She has worked in dance schools teaching from age 2 up to adults in recreational dance. She has also taught vocational dance students from age 16 in ballet, modern and tap.
Toni has been trained extensively in National Curriculum Dance through Leeds City Council and also through Kirklees Council and has used this training to run schemes of work in many primary school settings for both councils from day workshops to a whole term scheme of work linking to other areas being covered in the curriculum. She also has close links with the Halifax Sports Acro gymnastics club doing choreography for their competition squad.
Currently Toni has qualifications with the International Dance Teachers Association (IDTA) in ballet, modern jazz and tap, the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance (ISTD) in ballet, modern and tap and the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) in ballet. She gained her Certificate of Education (FE) from Leeds Uni. She is also working towards her Freestyle Associate with the IDTA to be able to enter children for exams and competitions in freestyle, rock and roll and street dance.
Toni firmly believes in ongoing professional development and regularly attends seminars to remain up to date on current practices and is an active member of the Yorkshire teachers Group, and continues to take professional examinations.
International Creative Director, Choreographer and President of iD-Dance Examination Board and scout for the UK's biggest TV show Britain's Got Talent.
In the last year, Ryan has choreographed the hit TV show, Dance Mums, with Jennifer Ellison, worked with Abby Lee Miller, and has choreographed campaigns for Puma Clothing, Red Bull Racing and just finished choreographing a new movie 'Denise' for release late 2017.
Entrusted by government’s worldwide, Ryan has been employed by the Vietnamese Government to introduce Musical Theatre to their country. In 2015 Ryan was asked by the UK Government to represent Great Britain as Creative Director and Choreographer for National Day at MilanExpo.
Ryan has worked with many of the worlds leading creatives such as; Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, Arlene Philips, Matthew Bourne, Joel Schumacher, Adam Garcia, Idina Menzel, Nigel Lythgoe, Peter Darling, Louis Walsh, Michael Flatley to name a few, and has performed in Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, the original London cast of Wicked, Grease the Musical, Cabaret, Kismet, Phantom of the Opera the Movie, and was a finalist on So You Think You Can Dance series 2
Ryan was Creative Director for a celebrity Glee group with contestants from X-Factor that were the support act for Peter Andre and Lulu, performing all over the UK to crowds of over 10,000 people.
Ryan runs iD-Dance Youth Company at Pineapple Dance Studios and teaches at Studio 68.
iD-Dance is launching worldwide this year with a new Street syllabus and their Contemporary syllabus and currently has over 100 members.
Keep up to date with Ryan’s latest dance videos on Instagram @realryanjenkins and his Youtube Channel 'ID DANCE'
Be sure to send him a Tweet with his famous hashtag #WERKIT - @realryanjenkins.
For more information, please visit his website www.ryanjenkins.co.uk
Don't just say it! Dance it!
Fiona was born in Solihull where she started dancing, later she moved to Southampton and attended the Parkewood School of Dance. After this Fiona spent a year at the West Street Studios before completing her training at Central School of Ballet. She graduated from the school in 1996 and joined Northern Ballet.
She has danced many roles with Northern Ballet including Mrs Fezziwig, Nephew's Wife, Belle and Mrs Cratchitt in A Christmas Carol, Bathilde in Giselle, Maud in A Simple Man and Red Couple in Jardi Tancat.
In 1998 she created the role of Michaela in Carmen and also danced the title role of Carmen. She has performed the roles of Miss Haversham in Great Expectations, Mina and Lucy in Dracula and Lucille in Jekyll & Hyde.
Julius Ebreo is an international choreographer, dancer, performing artist and teacher. He lived in the Philippines and Hong Kong before moving to the UK. His love for the performing arts started at a very young age but pursued and decided to concentrate and excel in academics and later finish a management degree in the best university in his country. The University of the Philippines gave him initial training in jazz, cheerleading, hiphop, folk dance, theatre arts and voice. He started his formal training in dance at the age 21. He got a scholarship from Julie Alagde who patiently trained, honed and prepared him to get a full dance scholarship at Steps Dance Studio for Jazz and Contemporary. After leaving the dance school, Julius became a company member of the premier jazz company in his country, The Hotlegs. After almost a year with them, he became one of the youngest choreographers of the company and became one of the most sought after choreographer in Manila.
He was a reputable choreographer and coach for many secondary schools and university dance troupes and cheerleading teams. His choreographies won national championships and prestigious dance competitions. He has done choreographies for Nokia, Johnson and Johnson, Coca Cola, P&G, ASAP (ABS-CBN), SOP (GMA), Accenture, Canon, SGV&Company and International Bank. He then did Hong Kong Disney's Lion King. He moved to The UK in 2007 and did We Will Rock You, Equus, Romeo and Juliet, Peter Pan, Ramayana, Children in Need and recently finished filming for The Muppets. And also did music videos for Katie Melua, Plan B, Ministry of Sound, Lush and Sonny J. He provided choreographies for Elektra for the London Fashion Week, Supperclub, Confex, Specsavers at the V&A Museum and Masked Ball sponsored by Boris Johnson; Cartoon Opera Company, Pearls of the East, Avon Casting and the Professionals Fashion Show Ball. Most recent work includes teaching and choreographing for established dance schools and studios around the UK. He is the director of an up and coming artist and entertainment agency BE Artisan.