Dance Instructors

Sandra Lyons

Sandra Lyons

With her formal training in both Cecchetti and Royal Academy of Dance styles, “Miss” Sandy’s life has revolved around the ballet.  Born in West Palm Beach most of her training was with mentor “Miss” Chela Jacobo in Stuart, Florida. After getting a taste of professional training at the Ballet Etudes Repertory Company in Norwalk, Connecticut Sandy began teaching and found her career.   In her travels, she taught dance throughout the Middle and Eastern United States before moving to the BVI in 1987. Realizing the need for artistic outlets, especially for the children of the community, Mrs. Lyons founded the BVI Dance School. Together with a staff of qualified and remarkable teachers,   Mrs. Lyons has watched the BVI Dance School grow from just a handful of students to the successful and recognized school that it has become.

“Miss” Sandy later founded the BVI Children’s DanceFest which is a favorite of the Community drawing large crowds annually to this live performance.  With the success and popularity of the DanceFest, “Miss” Sandy, along with several community members, realized the opportunity to help foster, enhance and support the performing art of dance by founding the BVI DanceFest Committee and Fund.  This organization provides scholarships and financial aid to local dancers and groups as well as supports events that contribute to dance education of the people of the BVI.

Sylvanna Charles

Sylvanna Charles

has been dancing since the age of four under the direction of Ms. Sandy Lyons at the BVI Dance School where she is now an instructor. Sylvanna is also employed at the Elmore Stoutt High School where she teaches both English and Theatre Arts.  A graduate of the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College, Class of 2014, Sylvanna ultimately plans to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Performing In her leisure time, she enjoys dancing, singing, acting, reading, modeling and, of course, pageantry.

Jo-Ann Downing

Jo-Ann Downing

Born in Nairobi, Kenya “Miss” Jo-Ann’s first dance teacher, Russian born Madam Zerchovich was her mentor from the age of 4 along with Eileen Keegan, whom she met in Durban, South Africa when her family left East Africa in 1966. Miss Keegan taught Ms Downing the Love of Dance. Trained and qualified as an Advanced Cecchetti Method teacher, she joined The National Arts Performing Council in 1996 (Durban) where she danced professionally for several years before going on to perform in Europe. Jo-Ann then moved into Contemporary Dance, Flamenco, Hip Hop and Jazz and joined a touring Dance Group before opening her own Ballet School in Durban. “Miss” Jo-Ann has now lived on Tortola for the last 17 years and has been an Advanced Class teacher, with the BVI Dance School, for much of this time.

Sarah Holt Jones

Sarah Holt Jones

Born Durban, South Africa 1984, Sarah started dancing at the age of 5. She was trained by her mother, Jo-Ann Downing and had the opportunity to perform in many shows during her primary and high school years. After gaining a degree in Hotel School, Sarah realized that she had not satisfied her passion for dance and so she returned to Tortola, 6 years ago, whereby she has continued her dance career. She is now a dance teacher, training with Sandy Lyons at the BVI Dance School, becoming one of many alumni students to return to the BVI to teach there.

Amanda Georges

Amanda Georges

Originally  from Trinidad and Tobago, Amanda began dancing at age four at the Caribbean School of Dance in Trinidad. There, she studied extensively in ballet,  jazz, modern.  She continued her love of dance, earning degrees in Accounting and Dance from the University of South Florida in Tampa. There, she worked with several wonderful instructors, who danced in companies such as Alvin Ailey Dance Company, The Anna Sokolow Company, David Dorfman Dance, American Ballet Theatre and many others. She continued her studies in New York City, California, Miami, Bolivia, Brazil and Costa Rica. Amanda has worked with many choreographers such as Maria Colaco, John Malashock, Jeanne Travers, Jen Salk, and John Parks. She has trained with Jana Hicks, the Moving Current Dance Company, Shapiro and Smith Dance Company and Ana Prada.

These days Amanda shares her love of dance as owner of Frangipani where she teaches Aerial Arts and dance. She also teaches with the BVI Dance School, Firebird Performing Arts and choreographs for the CADA Players group in the BVI.

Diandra Jones

Diandra Jones

Diandra Jones began her dance career as a world-ranked competitive Irish Step dancer, toured North America and Europe with Chicago’s Trinity Irish Dance Company for five years under the artistic direction of Emmy-award winning Mark Howard, performed on Broadway, television, and in Hollywood film; then trained for seven years under various cultural dance masters from around the world at Chicago’s Old Town of Folk Music, the largest collective folk institute in the USA, where she was also an instructor.  With a B.A. in Education, an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Arts, and a certified Yoga and Pilates instructor, Diandra has taught children and adults at universities, performance arts institutes; public, private and international schools; community centres and refugee centres throughout the USA, Europe, Argentina, Ghana, and the Virgin Islands.  A resident of Ghana, West Africa for three years, Diandra studied and performed West African dance with Sankofa Center of African Dance and Culture and piloted the first African-based program for the international non-profit Arts organisation “The Giving Planet.”  She has founded dance programs at Chicago International Charter School and the VI Montessori International Academy on St. Thomas.  Now an instructor for the BVI Dance School, Cedar School, Sensus and Killi Killi, Diandra feels blessed to be welcomed into the BVI’s flourishing Arts community.

Heather Butcher

Heather Butcher

Heather Butcher has been involved in dance for over thirty years.  “Miss” Heather is a native of Barbados and has trained there, as well as in Jamaica and the USA.  She has conducted several workshops across the Caribbean and has traveled extensively with the Barbados Dance Theatre Company.  Ms. Butcher relocated to the BVI in 1993 and has been sharing her experience and knowledge with the BVI Heritage Dancers, The St. Georges School and Liturgical Dancers, as well as teaching with the BVI Dance School.

Sara Smith

Sara Smith

Born with a passion for dance, Sara Smith started her training in Dance in Arkansas at the age of two. After traveling to the BVI by sail boat in 2007, Sara began training in other styles of dance including hip hop and jazz with our very own BVI Dance School. Since then, Sara has been adding more and more styles of dance to her life including Dancehall, Afro- Caribbean and Soca. She has also been involved in various projects including  local performances, music videos, dance crews such as JAD, Geek Squad and Tune House, “The CADA Players” productions, dance choreography projects and of course the annual  BVI Children’s  Dance Fest. When not in training with the BVI Dance School and CADA Players, she seeks intensive summer training in the USA with venues such as the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Last summer she attended the Hip Hop Summer Intensive in NYC with the Joffrey Ballet School, and teacher training with The Dance Teacher Summit and The Broadway Dance Center Teacher Workshop. Sara is on her way to becoming a professional dancer, for it has been a dream of hers for a very long time. At this time she is an advanced dancer and teacher with the BVI Dance School and attends HLSCC for courses that will contribute towards her dance degree.

Andrea Atkinson

Andrea Atkinson

Andrea is a highly trained ballerina, yogi, artist and adventurer.  Having been chosen into the Alberta Ballet School of Dance Professional Division at a young age, she furthered her dance studies and performance skills with the International School of Ballet and Jeunesse Classique Ballet Company.  While studying for her BFA at the Alberta College of Art & Design she was creatively inspiring, her thirst for movement, and adventure led her to Goa India where she studied Ashtanga Yoga.  She has spent the last 6 years teaching yoga in which she developed her own syllabus & style, ballet & choreography, barre and fusion style classes.

For more information in joining our exciting programs, apply today.
Apply Now