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, the school grew and flourished. After Pauline Howard retired, the school was taken over by Amanda Fyles and then her sister, Julia Canneaux, who was Principal from 1987 until 2022. During her 35 years as Principal, Julia renamed the school Turning Pointe School of Dance, and opened branches of the school in Lewes, Plumpton and Barcombe. Stella Mann graduate Lianne Carter, who was formerly Assistant Principal and has been teaching for the school since 2005, became Principal in September 2022, with Royal Academy of Dance graduate Nisa Carter as Vice Principal.

Our school now covers a number of locations across Sussex, with classes in Haywards Heath, Wivelsfield, Lindfield, Plumpton, Barcombe and Lewes, but with students also coming from Burgess Hill, Cuckfield, Hurstpierpoint, Hassocks, Brighton and Hove. In terms of dance styles, we offer Ballet, Pointe, Modern, Tap, Musical Theatre and Contemporary, with specialist pre-school and adult classes. We accept children from aged 18 months, and also offer beginner ballet lessons for teenagers and lessons for adult beginners.

Each term pupils are prepared for RAD Ballet exams and ISTD Modern, Contemporary and Tap exams. Children are also invited to take part in holiday dance workshops to explore a wider range of dance styles alongside their regular lessons. Extension classes and a Performance Company are opportunities offered to gifted and dedicated students to help them prepare for auditions, competitions and events and gain valuable extra tuition.

We have built a reputation for producing spectacular bi-annual productions, and were excited to be back in a theatre this spring for Razzmatazz- a journey through musical theatre.

Many of our pupils have gone on to further training at prestigious dance colleges and conservatoires, including the Royal Ballet School, Tring Park School, Urdang Academy, London Studio Centre, London School of Contemporary Dance (The Place), Trinity Laban, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, and Legat School of Dance. It has been a particular pleasure to welcome back past pupils as teachers within the school.

We look forward to welcoming you and your children into our Turning Pointe dance family.

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