Teachers and Graduates



Hayley Pitts

PRINCIPAL – Hayley Pitts

Hayley comes from Reading, Berkshire and trained locally until the age of sixteen. Having had the opportunity to work professionally at a young age she then went on to complete three years training at Laine Theatre Arts and achieved her Diploma in Musical Theatre. Since then she has attained her Diploma in Dance Instruction (DDI) teaching qualification in Modern and Tap with the ISTD and has benefitted from training with Barbara Evans, Graham Henderson, Sarah Wilson, Katie Morea, Theresa Theodoulou and many others.

In 2011 Hayley became the owner and principal of JLD School of Dancing, teaching Modern, Tap, Musical Theatre and Commercial Jazz, and has recently sent students to top colleges including Laine Theatre Arts, Bird College and GSA. Some of Hayley’s younger students have gained entry to Elmhurst Ballet School, The Royal Ballet, and two have starred in Billy Elliot in the West End and on tour.Recently, Hayley has worked on a unique production of Cats for Cheam Preparatory School with special permission by Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber who attended the final performance. Since the production in March 2016, Lloyd Webber and the Really Useful Theatre Company have contacted Cheam and asked that they premiere the UK schools’ edition of School of Rock with Hayley as choreographer.


VICE PRINCIPAL – Chris-Louise Estrada

Chris-Louise trained at The Royal Academy of Dance where she gained her BA (Hons) in the Art and Teaching of Ballet and was also awarded the Licenciate of the Royal Academy of Dance, one of the highest accolades for excellence in teaching. Chris-Louise has also gained her Licenciate in Modern Theatre Dance and the Certificate in Dance Education for Tap with the ISTD. Chris-Louise has gained Advanced 2 in all three genres. Chris-Louise has gone on to teach and choreograph in various schools throughout Berkshire, Surrey and Hampshire. She tutors both the ISTD Diploma in Dance Instruction and Diploma in Dance Education courses.



JLD School of Dancing is here today because of two very special people. Jo Eustace and Lucy Durham-Matthews. They first met at Elmhurst where they became best friends and have been ever since. After completing their training and working professionally they both decided to embark on the project of starting a school together. Choosing Kingsclere as the place and JLD as the name they worked passionately for 21 years to create a dance school with not only some superb talent but also a lot of heart. Jo and Lucy teach the Ballet grades at JLD.

BALLET – Emma Payne

EPAYNE_CEmma graduated from the Ballet Rambert School in 1986. She then went on to have a long and successful career with several ballet and contemporary companies: Savidge Dance Theatre, Vienna Festival Ballet, London Ballet Theatre, Telos Tanz Theatre in Stuttgart, Ballet Creations of London and Capital Chamber Ballet. She danced the Principal roles in Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Coppelia and Giselle: danced Puck in A Midsummer’s Night Dream and created the role of Marcelline in Figaro. She has also danced with many Folk dance companies – Tziganka, English National Folk Ballet and Taras Cossacks.

Emma choreographed several pieces for her own company, Ballet for Heroes, including Getting There for Battersea Arts Centre, Tossing off the Crown for a rural touring project and several pieces for the Edinburgh Festival. For the Soundbeam Project in Bristol she was asked to experiment with their Soundbeam technology, creating Leonardo’s Lists and, in conjunction with Henry Daniels, Nu for Resolution at the Place.

In 2006 Emma joined the creative team of La Folia as choreographer, working with schools to create new musical and performance pieces. So far these include Brave New World, Enchanting Voices, Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Petrushka for the Chichester Festival Theatre: Baba Yaga, Midsummer Dreaming, Travelogue, Sounds that Hurt Not, The Ring Cycle (completed over four years) and The Tempest for Salisbury Arts Centre: and 100 Years On and Gandhi in Mind for the Anvil in Basingstoke.

She has taught ballet, contemporary and Folk dance since leaving college, both in schools  – notably Graham technique at the Royal Ballet Upper School and in workshops worldwide. She became an RAD ballet teacher in 2010 and has been teaching at JLD School of Dancing since January 2011.


DRAMA – Ashton Brooke-Thorne

Trained at Laine Theatre Arts. Ashton is still enjoying a career in television acting while teaching Musical Theatre and LAMDA drama classes for us on a Saturday.

Hannah B&W copy

TAP & JAZZ – Hannah Horton

Hannah joined Drama UK recognised, Pendleton Sixth Form College, Salford in 2006 and was appointed Head of Dance in 2012. A beacon Award winning college, Hannah delivered BTEC Extended Diplomas in Dance and Musical Theatre. Previously she received a BA (Hons) Degree in Dance from the University of Bedfordshire. Hannah embarked on a professional dance career which has taken her around the world including France, USA, and South Korea. She has danced for several international corporations including Disney, Costa Cruises, Princess and P&O. After Hannah moved to Manchester she was commissioned by the Arts Council of England to choreograph for “Big Dance”. In 2013 and 2014 Hannah trained in Sweden with US Tap Masters Jason Samuels Smith, Dormeshia Sumbry- Edwards and Chloe Arnold amongst others.

During her time at Pendleton Hannah choreographed many musical theatre and dance productions for the college and over 400 dancers in the largest ever student flash mob at the Trafford Centre. She has been instrumental in helping many young performers secure places in professional training establishments including LSCD, NSCD, London Studios Centre, Arts Ed, and GSA. Hannah’s former students are currently working in West End shows (including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda and Showboat), in UK touring productions (including Guys and Dolls and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), dancing with X Factor on ITV and in the Michael Clark Company.



After recently moving to Basingstoke from Manchester, Craig is currently teaching A-level dance at QMC. He trained at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and has extensive experience dancing with numerous Ballet/Contemporary companies.


We are lucky to have on our staff our pianist Paul Freeman and three school secretaries Claire Lundy, Mandy Blunden and Ellie Chapman. Ellie looks after our Basingstoke students on a Saturday and Mandy & Claire look after our Kingsclere studios during the evenings and all three are on hand to advise students and parents on a variety of issues.

Guest Teachers

Dance 2 Colour close

Shaun Mendum

Shaun graduated from Elmhurst in 2013 and has since performed extensively around the world. He has performed soloist roles with Ballet Cymru, including Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and choreographed for events extended out into Europe, notably the Tchaikovsky Gala in Estonia.



Taylor Yates Year 12 Royal Ballet Upper School (current)
Koko Bamford Year 12 Royal Ballet Upper School (current)
Ruben Mariner Year 8 White Lodge (current)
Harriet Gibson Year 8 White Lodge (current)
Imogen Strong Year 7 White Lodge (current)

Francesca Harvey Year 13 (current)
Izzy Wilson Year 9 (current)

Lara Middleton – Year 9 (current)

Paige Albery – Year 3 (current)

Amie Butler – Year 2 (current)

Nathan Lorainey-Dineen – Year 2 (current)

Jessica Chalmers – Amanda Thripp, MATILDA, West end
Matt Blaker – understudy Raoul, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, West end
Izzy Chalmers – Ballet Girl, BILLY ELLIOT, UK Tour
Jodie Steele – understudy Elphaba, WICKED, Tour
Russell Ducker – currently with Corella Ballet Company
Richard Smith – Birmingham Royal Ballet 2002
Samuel Rees currently performing with the Royal Danish Ballet company
Archie Sladen currently performing with Plzen Ballet Company

Contact JLD
24 Swan Street
RG20 5PJ
United Kingdom

Phone: 01635 299797
Email JLD
Join us on Facebook