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Lianne Carter LISTD, LLB Hons, PGCE


Lianne became Principal in September 2022, having taught for the school since 2005 and been Assistant Principal since 2010. As a child, Lianne was a pupil of Julia Canneaux and Pat Ellis, and it has been her lifelong ambition to own a dance school. Lianne teaches Modern, Tap, Adult Ballet, Contemporary and Musical Theatre classes at Turning Pointe and is Licentiate qualified in both Tap and Modern with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing. Lianne also teaches at the Legat School of Dance.

After completing A-levels in Dance and Performing Arts, Lianne successfully auditioned for a place at Stella Mann Professional College of Performing Arts, where she studied a wide range of dance and theatre styles. After leaving Stella Mann, Lianne started to teach dance at the same time as studying Law at the University of Sussex. Lianne taught both Law A-level and dance for various schools and colleges, before hanging up her 'law hat' to take over as Principal of Turning Pointe.

Dance teaching is Lianne's true vocation and she feels privileged to have taught so many wonderful pupils at Turning Pointe, many of whom have gone on to professional dance training. Lianne particularly enjoys choreographing and producing Turning Pointe shows because of the joy that performing onstage brings to the children at the dance school.

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Vice Principal

Nisa was born in Bedfordshire where she trained locally with Julia Hyde and Ann Hallett, before winning a Dance and Drama Award to study at the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD). While a student at the RAD, Nisa passed vocational exams in ballet, modern and national dance and was gained her Licentiate, the highest teaching award. Over the subsequent 18 years she has taught in a wide variety of settings, teaching dance to children and adults. Some past pupils have gone on to dance with the Royal Ballet School, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Northern Ballet and London Children’s Ballet, amongst others. Nisa is extremely passionate about the supportive, nurturing environment with which dance is taught at Turning Pointe School of Dance, and is delighted to be taking over the role of Vice Principal.

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Carmel Keller

School Office Manager

Carmel is a great asset to the school and comes to Turning Pointe with a wealth of knowledge. She first came to us as a parent within the school, so understands the exciting journey you are making into the dance world. Her son Matthew started his career with dance lessons at Turning Pointe and progressed to the Royal Ballet School, before performing professionally with the Norwegian National Ballet. Carmel is often your first point of call and provides support to staff, parents and pupils.

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Jess Eagle

Dance teacher

Miss Jess began dancing at the age of 5 in her hometown of Lincoln. She studied Ballet, Modern, Lyrical and Tap until leaving home for university. She attended the University of Roehampton, where she gained a Dance Studies degree. Whilst studying, Miss Jess worked closely with a few families in London as a Nanny. Upon graduating she found a passion for teaching; combining her two loves of dance and working with children! In 2015, Miss Jess moved to Haywards Heath but continued to teach for different dance schools in London. Miss Jess found Turning Pointe school of dance after a year of maternity leave in 2018. She adores teaching dance classes at Turning Pointe every week and relishes the community ethos of the school. Jess teaches our pre-school Ballet classes in Haywards Heath, RAD lower grades Ballet classes, and ISTD Modern and Tap.

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Abbie van den Herik

Dance teacher

Abbie started dance lessons at Turning Pointe at the age of 3 years old and was a pupil for 15 years. She achieved all RAD Ballet grades up to Intermediate and ISTD grades in Modern and Tap up to Advanced 1. Abbie moved abroad to study for her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Linguistics, Literature, and Political Science, during which time she was the Tap and Ballet teacher for the Dance committee and the choreographer for the Drama committee at her university. Upon the completion of her postgraduate studies, Abbie returned to England and came back to Turning Pointe as a teacher alongside her full-time job within Project Management.

Abbie currently teaches classes in Modern, Tap, Contemporary and Ballet at Turning Pointe. Choreography is one of Abbie’s passions and she loves helping her students develop their creativity in dance. Having trained with Turning Pointe, she is grateful for the opportunity she has to teach children and adults, and to play a part in their growth into strong and accomplished dancers. She is continuing to develop her skills through working toward her Advanced 1 Ballet and Advanced 2 Modern exams. She is also working towards her DDE Modern teaching qualification.

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Katie Large DDE

Dance teacher

Katie began dancing at the age of three years old at Turning Pointe, where she studied Ballet, Modern, Jazz and Tap up to the age of 21. During this time she took on principal roles in their school ballets of Cinderella and the Nutcracker, as well as performing in numerous pantomimes and shows. Katie has since also performed with local operatic societies including Crazy for You, 42nd Street and Footloose. Katie now focuses on her passion for dancing through offering dance classes to children and adults and sharing her knowledge. Katie has completed her ISTD DDE qualifications in Tap, Modern and Ballet, she is always looking for always to improve her knowledge and teaching skills. Katie has been teaching for the past 11 years and enjoys every aspect of it, especially when it comes to choreographing routines for dance shows and preparing students for exams. Katie currently teaches RAD Ballet grades and vocational levels, as well as Modern coaching.

Katie also holds a BA Hons degree in Travel Management and worked for many years in the travel industry before deciding to focus on dance teaching full-time.

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Katherine Bushell DDE

Dance teacher

Katherine started dancing at the age of 2½ at the Jane Pledger School of Dance in Croydon. She went on to obtain her Grade 8 RAD in Ballet, and also studied Modern dance at the Alexander School of Dancing as a teenager. After the birth of her two daughters and following her move to Haywards Heath, she rekindled her love of ballet at Drusilla Duffill Theatre School, there obtaining a merit in her Intermediate ISTD. She is currently studying at Dance2Advance, and with them achieved a merit in her Intermediate RAD ballet and is close to completing her Diploma in Dance Education. She continues to attend ballet classes at Advanced 1 standard. Katherine teaches RAD Pre-Primary, Primary and Grade 1 Ballet classes at Turning Pointe.

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Lucy Wise DDE

Dance teacher

Lucy attended the Drusilla Duffill Theatre School from the age of three, taking classes in Ballet, Modern and Jazz. After graduating Lucy went on to study BTEC and A Level dance, achieving distinction. Lucy was then intent on becoming a dance teacher and trained at Deborah Lamb Theatre School completing her Diploma in Dance Education. Now Lucy teaches for many franchises and schools around Sussex, in 2016 Lucy became a qualified Zumba instructor and enjoys holding weekly classes.

Lucy was thrilled to join us 2017 and enjoys teaching Ballet and Modern dance classes at Turning Pointe.

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Sarah Searle-Brown

Adult Ballet teacher

Sarah is a classically trained ballet dancer originally from the San Francisco Bay Area in California. She started her performing career working as a company member and teacher with Mobile Ballet and Ballet Southwest. Sarah was trained at Pacific Ballet Theatre, Western Ballet, and The Joffrey Ballet where she was also a Trainee. Sarah holds a BA in Theatre Arts and an MA in Performance. She has performed extensively throughout the USA in opera and theatre. Over the past 10 years Sarah has worked as a fitness, barre, and ballet teacher, as well as training private clients as a qualified PT and running coach. Sarah teaches our Adult Ballet classes in Haywards Heath.


Julia Canneaux


Julia was Principal of Turning Pointe from 1987 until August 2022 and will continue to be part of the Turning Pointe family. She was a scholar at the Royal Academy of Dance and later trained at the Royal Ballet Upper School and Bush Davies, East Grinstead. After qualifying as a teacher of Ballet, National and Modern Dance through the RAD, she worked as a freelance teacher before becoming Principal of the Pauline Howard School of Dance, which in 2008 she renamed Turning Pointe School of Dance. After successfully steering the school through the COVID-19 pandemic, Julia took the decision to retire and pursue her new hobby of pottery, as well as spending time in her garden and with her family.

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Gwendolen Nelson

Ballet and Stretch and Strengthening teacher

Gwendolen is a contemporary and ballet dancer, teacher, and Movement Director/Choreographer working in live performance, opera, film, and Sussex-based dance academies. Having trained in RAD and BBO ballet since the age of 4, Gwen went on to graduate with a First Class (BA) Honours Degree from DeMontfort University before continuing her training with world-renowned London company The BalletBoyz. After many years performing as a freelance dancer, Gwen moved into the world of film and TV, landing dancer roles in movies such as Summerland 2020, Last Night in Soho 2021, Last Letter from Your Lover 2021, and Doctor Strange 2 2022, and TV series Britannia 2 and Pennyworth. Gwen took the role of Choreographer for the 2023 movie The Boys in the Boat by Director George Clooney after working as Choreographer for Garsington Opera’s Youth Company in their 2020 and 2021 seasons and touring band Noble Jacks music videos.

Alongside her performance career, Gwen is an established ballet teacher, technique, and conditioning coach for all levels. With an eye for detail and a focus on artistry, she enjoys training and encouraging both dancers and non-dancers to learn, develop, and achieve.


Rebecca Hastings

Dance teacher

Rebecca grew up in East Sussex taking part in many shows and dance competitions. She then went on to train at Bird College in London graduating in 2019 with distinction in the Level 6 Diploma in Professional Musical Theatre. Professional performing credits include Somnium (Sadler’s Wells Theatre London), A West End Christmas and Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two (BBC). Rebecca found her love for teaching in 2019 when she began teaching at Pineapple Dance Studios in London, and she now teaches across East Sussex and beyond. She also works as a choreographer with recent projects including SYP's Bugsy Malone and The Wizard Of Oz, and various showcases and competitions. She is currently completing her Diploma in Dance Education in Tap with the ISTD. Rebecca is delighted to join the team at Turning Pointe and share her passion and knowledge with students of all ages.


Emily Wong

Dance teacher

Emily Wong is a dance teacher and performer from Hong Kong. She started learning ballet when she was young and after moving to England, she studied ISTD modern, jazz, contemporary dance and engages in movement improvisation.
She graduated from the Royal Academy of Dance in (BA) Ballet Education and attained her ARAD and LRAD. She then studied Dance Performance (MA) at the University of Chichester, touring with the postgraduate company in Europe.
She then started teaching in London before moving to Beijing where she regularly taught ballet, modern dance, creative dance, contact improvisation and somatic movement. She also performed with artists from different disciplines in art spaces, often improvised or devised by both herself and collaboratively.


Maddie De Sylva

Dance teacher

Maddie has danced with Turning Pointe since she was 3 years old, training in a range of dance styles, and participating in competitions and shows from Peter Pan onwards. She continues to dance with the school alongside her teaching. She has gained her ISTD Advanced 2 modern and tap qualitications, as well as her RAD Intermediate and Grade 8 ballet.
Currently, Maddie is working towards achieveing her DDE for modern, and hopes to gain her DDE for tap in the future. She is so grateful to be teaching at Turning Pointe, and hopes to give the same warmth and opportunity for growth that she has received as a student to those she teaches.

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Sophia Bolton

Dance and Acro teacher

Sophia has worked at multiple schools across Surrey and Sussex teaching Acro, Modern, Tap and Ballet. She's working towards her Dance Education Diploma in Tap, Modern and Ballet and holds Acrobatic Arts Module 1 and Module 2. She also holds progressing Ballet Technique Module 1 and Alixa Flexibilty Module 1 and is enjoying working towards her Advanced 1 and 2 Tap exams with the support of Miss Lianne. She enjoys supporting students to reach their full potential in a collaborative, supportive and creative environment. When not in the dance studio you'll find her out in Nature or working towards her Environmental Management Masters.