Haberdashers' Monmouth School of Dance: Dance for Life

Vision Statement:

To provide a nationally acclaimed ‘Centre of Dance in Education’ with a holistic approach based on the intrinsic values of movement and dance pivotal to Rudolf Laban’s creative process, combining physical and psychological well-being: connecting mind to body.

Mission Statement:

We don’t just teach dance – we educate through dance.  We like to set trends, not follow them and our ethos centres around the enjoyment and intrinsic benefits of dance which enhance both physical, and psychological well-being.   Our Model is unique, creative and Innovative.  With a 25-Year history, it continuously evolves to suit the ever-changing needs of our students and community.  We employ a nurturing and supportive ‘Dance for All’ ethos: all-inclusive but with opportunities for excellence.  Our Dance in Education develops the individual and promotes skills for life: self-esteem, confidence, creativity, co-operation, communication, collaboration, discipline, focus, and determination.  This artistic insight and literacy of dance contributes to success in all aspects of life.

We are a dynamic Department whose core principles of teaching and training come from Rudolf Laban’s systematic analysis of movement.  Laban’s theories have had a strong influence across many fields including: education, theatre, industry and therapy.  We adopt his holistic and multidisciplinary approach and align with the Monmouth Schools’ focus on developing well-being.  Consequently, the innate benefits of dance and Laban’s notion of ‘Wholeness’ could not be more current.

Curriculum Dance has a strong position within the Physical Education Programme as one of the core disciplines which focusses on developing body management.  It allows all students access to Dance & Movement and provides an alternative to the more traditional sports and team games. Whilst we offer technical training, examinations and qualifications, choreographic process and sharing a love of movement is always at the core.  Students are fully involved in the creative processes and encouraged to devise their own work and lead choreography.  We promote diversity of styles, individuality and an open approach – providing performance platforms at every opportunity.  Our performance projects frequently involve cross-curricular elements, so students also broaden their knowledge through the medium of dance.

The schools’ affiliation with a network of former students has created a long-lasting legacy for those who participated in our dance programme.  Countless ex-students still dance for pleasure, fitness and well-being; while a number have gone on to make dance their profession, or frequently return to support school productions.  This is directly attributable to our passion, strength of community and high-quality tuition and our ‘Dance for Life’ philosophy.

Ms Rhyan Parry
Head of Dance

Dance Qualifications and Certificates
Laban Guild

Laban Guild Certificate; Foundation Course in Community Dance

International Dance Teachers Association (IDTA)

The International Dance Teachers’ Association is one of the world’s largest dance examination boards, covering the full spectrum of dance examinations on a global scale. The Association celebrated its centenary in 2003 and is one of only 20 awarding organisations of graded standards that meets all the requirements of the Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator (Ofqual).

Performance Awards:

Girls of all ages and abilities have the opportunities to take performance awards in our breadth of modern genres and creative styles in addition to the traditional graded examinations in ballet, tap and modern jazz.

Graded qualifications:

Ballet, Tap, Modern Jazz, Theatre Craft, Ballroom, Latin, Classical Sequence and Freestyle

The following IDTA graded and vocational graded qualifications are recognised by Ofqual and also appear on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF). IDTA vocational graded examinations at  Level 3 in the QCF framework also attract the same UCAS Tariff points as other organisations.

Grade QCF QCF Award/ QCF credits
  Level Certificate/Diploma
1 1 Award 7
2 1 Award 7
3 1 Award 7
4 2 Award 10
5 2 Award 10
6 (ballet only) 3 Certificate 13

Vocational graded qualifications:

Ballet, Tap, Modern Jazz, Theatre Craft

Grade QCF
QCF Award/
QCF credits
Intermediate 3 Certificate 28
Advanced 1 4 Certificate 33
Advanced 2 4 Diploma 38
Dance Curriculum

Years 7 and 8

All girls experience a six to eight week block of educational dance during their Wednesday afternoon lessons in the Michaelmas and Lent terms.

We adopt the traditional Laban approach to dance teaching – with a very modern bias – and aim to give the girls as much enjoyment as possible by encouraging them to contribute stimuli and themes, choreography ideas and music.

Pupils learn basic body control, performance technique and methods of creative choreography development.  This sets the foundation for the girls’ dance work as they progress through school.

Years 9 to 13

From Year 9 girls can specialise in a dance route within their PE curriculum options.  It is a very popular, successful and rewarding activity for all ages and abilities.

They may choose to study the Laban Guild Foundation Course in one double period per week in the Michaelmas and Lent terms.  They can then opt to continue in the Summer term, completing a full year in dance and gaining an IDTA Performance Award.

All our dance courses encourage self-expression, fitness, fun and creative development and we follow the concept of ‘Dance for All’ – which makes Monmouth School for Girls a unique, renowned and hugely successful centre of dance excellence.

Dance Styles

Ballet, Tap and Modern Jazz lessons

All classes in these three disciplines are booked per term at a cost of £7 per hour, £4.70 per 40 minutes, and £3.50 per half hour.  Please note that a full term’s notice in writing is required if you wish to cancel these lessons.

These are in addition to many other dance classes offered throughout the week; the timetable for which will be updated regularly on the website. Should you wish to obtain further information prior to booking lessons, or about any aspect of dance, please do not hesitate to contact Ms Parry by email,

Dance Staff
Ms R Parry – Director of Dance

BA (Hons) Sports Studies (Bedford).  PGCE Physical Education (Bedford).

Ms Parry’s background is in gymnastics and she has represented Wales in artistic gymnastics, and Wales and the South West of England in Rhythmic Gymnastics.  She was also British Colleges champion in Sport Acrobatics.

Since joining Monmouth School for Girls as Head of Physical Education and Dance in 1996, Ms Parry has developed specialisms in dance and modern fitness disciplines.  She is a Reebok City Jam instructor, a Community Dance Leader with the Laban Guild, she holds ISTD Advanced Level II Tap, and is an Associate Teacher (Freestyle and Modern Jazz) with the International Dance Teachers Association (IDTA ).  Since June 2007, when Ms Parry gained for Monmouth School for Girls Approved Open College Network (NOCN –  now Agored Cymru) Centre Status, she has become Centre Internal Verifier and External Verifier for Performing Arts Courses in Wales.

Ms. Parry’s expertise and experience in dance has helped to give the school a unique, vibrant and nationally-renowned dance community.  Dance is open to girls of all ages and abilities at Monmouth School for Girls and large numbers of girls use the discipline for self-expression, fitness and enjoyment.

Ms Z Pritchard

RAD Teaching Cert. AISTD

Ms Pritchard currently teaches ballet and tap lessons in Monmouth School Girls’ Prep and Monmouth School for Girls.

Ms Pritchard trained at the Bristol School of Dancing and Associated Arts where she studied Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Tap and National Dance. She graduated with teaching qualifications from the Royal Academy of Dancing and the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing.  Currently, she is studying for a degree in Dance Education with Surrey University.

Ms Pritchard began her professional career as a dancer and has completed contracts across Europe. Since then she has taught dance in many forms, owning her own ballet school for four years before going freelance to fit in with her family commitments. This included working in dance schools, nurseries, schools and community projects which earned her an Enterprise Award for the South West with the Prince’s Trust.