Teachers

Serena Cundari ARAD, Dip. PDTD - Director and Principal Teacher

Serena trained at The National Theatre Ballet School in Melbourne, Australia under the direction of Gailene Stock CBE. 

Her 13 year career as a ballet dancer started with The Australian Ballet Company in 1985 under the direction of Maina Gielgud where she had the honour of working with some of the 20th century's Ballet Greats including Erik Bruhn in La Sylphide, Sir Robert Helpmann in Checkmate and Irina Baronova in Les Sylphides with the opportunity to dance soloist roles in a number of ballets including Don Quixote, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Les Sylphides and Aureole.

Moving to Europe, she danced for companies in Italy, Germany and the UK, performing the principal roles in Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, The Nutcracker, Giselle and A Midsummer Night's Dream throughout Europe, Britain and the USA.

She was Ballet Mistress for Vienna Festival Ballet between 1992 and 1994 teaching daily class, rehearsing and staging ballets for the company. In 1993 she was commissioned to choreograph and stage Coppelia also playing a key role in designing the sets, costumes and props.

In between tours Serena was a guest teacher at The Urdang Academy for upper school musical theatre and ballet students.

She danced for the Royal Opera at Covent Garden and in Edinburgh and for English National Opera at The London Coliseum.  Operas included Don Carlos, Ruzalka, Don Quixote, Carmen, Rigoletto.

On retiring from the stage in 1998, Serena retrained in technical theatre and toured England and Ireland as a lighting technician for both dance and theatre companies including Ballet Ireland and National Character Dance Company (formerly Romanska).

She then moved into corporate life, working in different sectors and industries as a Personal Assistant, Manager and Consultant Analyst. Freelance consultancy work has included projects for the Department of Health, Sadler's Wells and The Place.

Returning to the Dance-world saw her gain a place at the Royal Academy of Dance's Professional Dancer's Teaching Diploma Course from which she qualified with Distinction in 2008.

Serena founded Ballet for You in March 2009 which has grown to 260+ adult students each term, from beginners to ex-professionals.

She has developed her own adult syllabus for Adult Beginners (3 levels), Improvers (2 levels) and Advanced (2 levels) and has also developed her own Ballet Floor-barre.  Ballet for You also provides Pointe for 3 levels of skill, Variations, Repertoire Men's class and Pas de Deux. 

Holiday Intensive Programmes are offered, covering excerpts from real ballets as well as new choreography.  These feed into the performances which are professionally presented every 2 years in London theatres.

Louise Blair

Louise started her training at the Edinburgh Dance Centre, where she studied B.B.O Ballet, Tap & Jazz.  She then went on to The Urdang Academy where she gained certificates in ISTD Modern and the National Diploma in Professional Dance & Musical Theatre.

Louise was a Scottish Ballet junior associate and was a member of The Scottish Youth Ballet.

Performing experience includes: Performing alongside dancers from English National Ballet, various Edinburgh Fringe (Musical Theatre), Pantomimes, Pineapple Dance Troupe, numerous commercial, film & TV work and performing in original contemporary pieces by Noel Wallace.

Louise is Director of SoleStar Arts Children's Theatre Company, where she choreographs, directs and teaches children and young adults in Haringey. She also teaches Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Street Dance, Contemporary and Musical Theatre in various primary, secondary and SEN schools and at Brunel University.

Alongside teaching, Louise provides teacher training courses and development for dance education.

Louise has been teaching at Ballet for You since April 2016.

Sarai Scott Neale

Sarai Graduated from Stella Mann Performing Arts College in 2006, after studying a National Diploma in Professional Musical Theatre. She majored in classical dance after successfully being awarded a DADA scholarship.

Following graduation Sarai performed professionally as a contemporary/classical dancer in various stage productions including dancing as a member of ‘The Tuca Dance Company’ on multiple occasions between 2007 – 2011.

She has also featured in music videos and short films as a contemporary / classical dancer including, ‘Time to Wander’ by Gypsy and The Cat, Sony Music Productions, a short film for ‘The Illusionists’ by Rosie Thomas, Publisher Harper Collins, various artists signed to Sony Music Label and for the winner of the  ‘Artist of the Year 2018’  Fender Award, Hattie Briggs, an up and coming folk/pop artist.

Other performances include ‘Couture Catwalk’ performances for ‘Mahogany Hair’ at Salon International Exhibitions (Excel Centre, London), where Sarai performed as a dancer in 2012 and 2013.

Sarai has also danced with ‘Ballet For You’ performing classical ballet repertoire. 

Over the past few years Sarai has decided to re-focus her career and has trained to become a qualified ballet teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance. 

She teaches children at FirstDance Steps School of Dance under Kit Dickinson AISTD, ARAD, Dip. PDTD and has been teaching adult ballet at Ballet for You since April 2016.

 

Sheila Styles

Sheila first trained with Doris Dorbon before becoming a Royal Academy of Dance, then Royal Ballet School Scholar. She graduated from RBS into the Royal Ballet Touring Company (now BRB) aged 17. During extensive touring she danced corps de ballet, choryphee and solo roles of the Royal Ballet repertoire, including the works of Ashton, de Valois, MacMillan, Tudor, Cranko, Nureyev, Wright, Balanchine, Massine, Fokine, Nijinsky, Petipa, and Bintley. She left the company to perform solo and to study mime and contemporary dance (with Hilde Holger and Laurie Booth), after which Sheila took up a contract with the National Ballet of Poland (Teatr Wielki).

Sheila retuned to the UK for further extensive touring and principal contracts with various Independent companies, including London City Ballet. A return to Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet enabled the inauguration of Dance Advance, with Graham Lustig. The group embarked on Arts Council touring, with Jennifer Jackson, Susan Crow, Michael Batchelor, Stephen Sherriff, and Russell Maliphant. More independent touring followed, finally as a member of the Indian Dance Society......journeys having taken her from Bromley to Chennai and everything else in between. 

Teaching has been a constant part of a commitment to dance and Sheila is now researching into improvements to the wholistic well-being of the dancer. She also holds qualifications in Complementary Therapies, working mainly in mental health, and is a Bereavement Volunteer for Cruse. Most outstanding achievements are her two children, Ciara and Byron.

Sheila taught for Ballet for You throughout 2014 and 2015 and we are delighted for her return in the 2019 Autumn Term.

Credits

Ballet for You wishes to thank:

- past teachers Sheila Styles and Tasha Bertram who come back from time to time (to everyone's delight!)
- Junction 44 for creating the Ballet for You logo (registered Trademark certification since 2016)
- Photographers Adam Tiernan Thomas, Linda Rich & Miriam Strong
- E. Richards for video editing and website initiation
- L. Delfitto for marketing advice and assistance