About Amanda Alder Dance Academy Ltd...

Amanda Alder Dance Academy runs over 60 classes a week with around 600 students attending.

We also provide teachers to take classes at Chandlings Manor School, Willow Brook Leisure Centre in Didcot, Sprouts Play Barn at Millets Farm Centre and Stockham School.



Our team...

Amanda Isard

Director and Teacher


Amanda started dancing at the age of 3 in Abingdon with Sally Weichardt. At the age of 12 she began assisting in classes after school. Then after completing her GCSE's she went on to The North London Dance Studio to study for her ISTD teaching qualifications and performance diploma.

On completion of her teaching qualifications in 2001 Amanda began her teaching with Celia Benson in Oxford, starting up Tap and Modern classes and taking over some of the Ballet classes, she also went 'home' to the Sally Weichardt Academy to teach Modern and Ballet. 

After numerous years of teaching for others, including Stagecoach Theatre Arts and 'Body Jam' at the White Horse Leisure Centre, she decided she wanted to go alone and in 2006 'Amanda Alder Dance Academy' was born.

In 2008 Celia Benson hung up her dancing shoes and Amanda took over the Celia Benson School of Dance.

Today Amanda Alder Dance Academy Ltd runs over 60 classes per week with around 550 children attending class.



Lorna Candlish



Lorna started dancing at the age of 4 with the Celia Benson School of Dance, doing ballet. Later on she took up some new styles of dance with Amanda Alder Dance Academy, starting tap and jazz classes - Lorna has a real love for tap, it's one of her favourite styles! Knowing she has always wanted to teach, she then went to The Janet Marshall Dance Studios in Cheltenham to complete her ISTD teacher training qualifications. She now teaches ballet, tap, modern and street dance for Amanda Alder Dance Academy and would love to eventually have her own dance school! 




Laura Milnes



Laura began dancing at the age of 3 at Step in Time School of Dance doing ballet, tap and modern. She then did most of her ballet & tap training at Sally Weichardt Dance Academy up until the age of 16. She was introduced to Amanda and began street dance at Amanda Alder Dance Academy at the age of 13 and over the years began more classes with the academy and became part of the A Crew. Laura has always loved dancing and performing, and especially has a passion for musical theatre. She has A Levels in both Dance & Performing Arts and is currently doing her ISTD teacher training at the Janet Marshall Dance Studios in Cheltenham. Laura is teaching ballet, tap, modern & street dance with AADA and hopes in the future to become a fully qualified ISTD teacher in ballet, tap & modern and also would love to go on to teach musical theatre & performing arts.



Grace Hickman



Grace started dancing with Sally Weichardt Academy of Dance at the age of 3 studying tap and ballet. She later took up Modern with Amanda Alder Dance Academy and became part of the A Crew which gave her many opportunities to perform. At 14 she started assisting with ballet classes and her passion for teaching has grown since then. Grace studied for her Level 4 ATCL Diploma in Musical Theatre at Read Dance and Theatre College graduating with Distinction. Whilst at Read, Grace trained in many different styles of dance, singing and acting, and had the opportunity to represent the college in the graduate showcase as well as performing at Move It 2015. She is now following her love for teaching and is studying to become a qualified ISTD Teacher at Janet Marshall Dance Studios. 



Lisa Thornton

Cover Teacher and Class Assistant Saturday Classes


Lisa started dancing with Ceila Benson at the age of 4 and has been involved with the school ever since! She has been assisiting with the Saturday classes for a very long time. She is just wonderful with the children and you will often see her helping at exams and shows.

She works full time as a Pre School Manager and has just finished studying for a foundation degree in Early Years.



Daniel Hemming

Pianist - Monday Risinghurst and Saturday Headington classes


Daniel played in class for Celia Benson for numerous years before continuing with Amanda Alder Dance Academy.

He is a fantastic pianist who can also be found backstage moving the props and scenery during shows!



We are also very lucky to have Miss Zoe assisiting with the Monday Risinghurst classes, Miss Neela, Miss Hannah and Miss Olivia at the Wootton classes and Miss Jordan at the Abingdon classes.


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