About Us

Turning Pointe School of Dance

In 1961 Pauline Howard opened her doors to Haywards Heath's future dancers and dance teachers as the Pauline Howard School of Dance. Joined later by her sister, Pat Ellis FISTD, the school grew and flourished. On her retirement in 1986, the Ballet branch of the school was taken over by Amanda Fyles and her sister Julia Canneaux who became Principal a year later. After getting married and having children Julia opened the Lewes branch in 1999 and, inspired by the pupils, began creating full-length ballets for the children to perform on Sussex stages.

In January 2008 Miss Canneaux's branch of the school became Turning Pointe School of Dance, offering classes in Lewes, Haywards Heath and Plumpton to study Ballet, Pointe, Modern, Tap, Jazz, Musical Theatre and Contemporary. Extension classes are also offered to gifted students at a reduced rate to help prepare for auditions and gain valuable extra tuition. In September 2011 Turning Pointe opened in Barcombe at surely the most beautiful village hall in Sussex! Classes are available for all ages in Ballet, Modern, and Musical Theatre as well as Adult Ballet and Pilates.

In 2020 we were presented with a new challenge, to continue teaching our wonderful pupils in their kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, living rooms and gardens during lockdown. A challenge we accepted and made the most of, even fitting in a 4th term during the Summer holidays. It gave us the opportunity to think outside the box and create an inspirational, imaginative film together - please do go to our videos page to watch 'Somewhere together', a film created by our pupils during lockdown.

Each term pupils are prepared for RAD Ballet exams and ISTD Modern and Tap exams. Pupils are invited to take part in creative Spring Workshops as well as Summer Schools to explore a wider range of dance styles alongside their regular classes. Many pupils have gone on to follow a career in performance or to teach dance - it has been a particular pleasure to welcome back past pupils as teachers within the school.