Dance academy

Edinburgh Dance Academy launches into East Lothian with new franchise

This will complement existing offerings from the Edinburgh Dance Academy (EDA) – whose alumni include Ellie Fergusson, winner of the 2019 BBC program The Greatest Dancer – offering traditional and contemporary lessons to over 500 pupils from its headquarters at Corstorphine and other studios across the Scottish capital.

It says its new program of undergraduate classes, including pre-school dance, Royal Academy of Dance certified pre-primary ballet, jazz, tap, business and contemporary, will be held at Haddington’s Bridge Center from mid-September.

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The new franchise will be led by Millie Thomas, who joined EDA in 2018 after training at the Northern Ballet Academy and then the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in London. Helping to guide her is East Lothian resident Julie Mitchell, founder of EDA and principal and artistic director of the school.

EDA claims that since its launch in 1996 it has been named world champion at the Dance World Cup and the highest ranked dance school in the UK and Ireland by dance production company VAD Productions, while that old students went on to dance with the Royal Ballet, English National Ballet and Scottish Ballet, for example.

Ms Mitchell applauded the new Haddington branch, adding: ‘Since the school’s inception 26 years ago, we have worked with thousands of young people helping them discover the joy of dancing and maximize their potential, no only in dance but also in confidence, in oneself -expression, physical fitness and support for others. Now we can’t wait to bring it all to East Lothian.

Ms Thomas, Head of New EDA East Lothian Franchise, said: “It is exciting to lead this new branch of our school in Haddington. I look forward to working with young children across East Lothian, introducing them to dance and developing their skills to the highest possible level for their individual abilities and aspirations. We can achieve this in a happy, structured, inclusive and supportive way.

Millie Thomas, manager of the new EDA East Lothian franchise, with pupils from the school, at her branch in Haddington. Photo: contribution.