About Us

The Dance School Ltd. offers classes in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, Modern and Contemporary dance to students from ages 4 to 18. We currently have two, newly renovated, air conditioned dance studios. Our main studio is located in the Prospect Reef Dance Center across from the entrance to Dolphin Discovery. The second is located west of Road Town at the Sensus Gym in Manuel Reef Marina, Sea Cows Bay.

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Tortola, British Virgin Islands
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Our Instructors:

Sandy Lyons:

“Miss” Sandy has been teaching dance for over 30 years.  A member of the Royal Academy of Dance, she founded the Conservatory of Dance Arts, in Florida, and taught throughout the Middle and Eastern United States.  Sandy moved to the BVI in 1987 and began teaching ballet, tap and jazz at a local gym.  She incorporated The BVI Dance School, Ltd. and she has been teaching the children of Tortola the joys of dancing ever since.  “Miss” Sandy is also the founder and director of the BVI Children’s Dancefest, which is held annually, in June.

Sarah Penny:

Born and raised in Tortola, Sarah then spent 5 years studying a wide array of dance styles abroad. She has lived and studied in the BVI, USVI, California and Spain, and has traveled extensively. Her college degrees in International Relations and Theatre Arts are fundamental to the work she now does in the BVI community. Sarah is a full time instructor with the BVI Dance School. She teaches ages 4 to adult. Her instruction includes Salsa, Swing, Cha Cha, Tango, Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop and Modern among others. Her passion for dance drives her dedication to furthering dance in the BVI community. Sarah is also the artistic director for the CADA Players theatre group and a major proponent of the performing arts in the BVI. Now in her fifth year as a Teacher with the BVI Dance School, Sarah instructs children, teens and adults in the joy of movement and last year initiated a Teen Dance Team which performs at many public events. Whether spoken in English or Spanish, one of Sarah’s favorite phrases at the end of her busy day is “Life is short, dance often”.

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.

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.

Heather Forde-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.

Dennis George:

Originally from the Dominican Republic, Dennis has lived in the BVI for most of his artistic life. This year begins his 5th year dancing with the BVI Dance School and his second year as a teacher for the school. He is a founding member and the driving force behind the prominent dance group JAD (Just Appreciate Dance). Dennis has also served as the ESHS Drama Society President and is an accomplished musician in addition to his obvious dance talents. Ultimately Dennis hopes to pursue a career in Dance Film direction and is currently pursuing his higher education pursuits at HLSCC.

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