Laura Prince, Founder of LP Dance In Education
My journey in dance began at the age of three, when I attended the Gillian Quinn School of Theatre Dance in Whitley Bay until I was sixteen. I studied RAD Ballet, IDTA Stage and Tap and ISTD Modern Theatre Dance.
Following A levels I went onto gain a 2:1 degree in Secondary Education in Physical Education and Dance with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in 2000 from IM Marsh PE College (Liverpool John Moores University).
My first teaching post was at John Spence Sports College in North Tyneside as a PE Teacher with specialism for dance, which opened the door to many opportunities for me.
During my second year of teaching I was released to support primary teachers at local feeder primary schools in the delivery of dance and gymnastics and I also began delivering Dance CPD for the Local Education Authority (LEA).
By my third year of teaching I was second in department responsible for the setting up and delivery of GCSE Dance, KS 3 & 4 Dance, the Dance Leaders Award (John Spence was a pilot school for the Dance Leaders Award) and KS 2 and 3 Transition.
In 2003 my dance advisory work in the feeder primary schools was selected by Dance Network as a ‘best practice’ case study looking at raising standards in primary schools for Key Stage 2 and 3 transition.
In 2004 I co-wrote the Dance Schemes of work for North Tyneside LEA.
In 2005 I was awarded Advanced Skills Status (AST) for dance, a national recognition of the UK’s most outstanding teachers.
On achieving Advanced Skills Status I was seconded to North Tyneside LEA for two days a week as an AST and co-ordinator for Dance. Within this role I was responsible for delivering Advisory work and CPD to primary, secondary and special schools across North Tyneside and neighbouring LEAs, to students on the Northumbria University PE SCITT and the North Tyneside Early Years SCITT courses as well as at various conferences.
I was also responsible for the organisation and coordination of dance festivals, professional dance residencies, gifted and talented provision and youth dance groups. I personally choreographed for local youth dance and gifted and talented dance groups, which performed at both local and national level.
From 2006 – 2007 I served on the Executive committee for the National Dance Teachers Association. This was an amazing opportunity, working alongside the UK’s most inspirational educational dance practitioners and helping to shape the future of dance in schools at government level.
In September 2011 I returned to work part time at John Spence Community High School after my first maternity and continued a one day secondment as an AST. In 2013, whilst on my second maternity, the government announced that all funding (nationally) for Advanced Skills Teachers was being discontinued from August 2013 and that PE & Sport pupil premium funding for all Primary Schools was starting from September 2013.
This was the prompt I needed to take the step into the world of business. It was a way of being able to continue to offer a high quality service to schools and teachers, yet have the flexibility to work around my young family.
In September 2013 I launched my Dance in Education consultancy business ‘LP Dance in Education’, which offers:
- Advisory work for Early Years Practitioners, Primary and Secondary School Teachers
- Continued Professional Development (CPD) Courses
- Dance Schemes of work and dance resources available for purchase
- An Early Years Creative Educational Dance Programme 0 – 5 years
- Creative Educational Dance Dance Programme Key Stage 1-4 (Curriculum & Extra Curricular)
- Choreography workshops and dance residencies
- Creative Themed Dance Sessions for schools, festivals, events and birthday parties.
Making the decision to become self employed was not an easy task, but thankfully, due to my reputation in the educational community, my experience, expertise and qualifications, alongside the amazing opportunities I had during my time at both John Spence Community High School and my secondment to North Tyneside LEA, I have never looked back.
I love spending time with my husband Ray and our two beautiful daughters, Ava and Freya. We can be often found in the great outdoors exploring the local beaches and fabulous countryside on our doorstep.
I attend a weekly Pilates class and am a member of a local singing and drumming group and a mindfulness group. I also volunteer as the Dance co-ordinator for ‘Under the Dome’, a charitable organisation committed to supporting and encouraging creative, artistic and cultural activities in my hometown of Whitley Bay.