After gaining Dance and Performing Arts Diplomas at City College Manchester, I decided to take 2 years out and set up TDS Dance. It started as a way of expression, to help raise valuable funds for causes I felt strongly for.
After creating "Dance 4 Life 07 & 08" alongside numerous other performances, I then enrolled at Salford University to study a BA(Hons) in Physical and Dance Theatre whilst running TDS. In Summer 2010 I was accepted as a Senior Facilitator for Teaching and Managing Dance within Thomas Cook Entertainments Company and travelled around Europe teaching Commercial Dance. When I returned I carried on with my university degree and my Martial Arts training and graduated in both subjects in 2012 and became a 1st dan. I've been privileged to perform in many diverse Theatres and Performances ranging from Dance Theatre and Panto to backing dancing in the GMEX and Wembley Stadiums.
After graduating I decided to take my Fitness training to another level and become a certified Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer, it seemed the next logical step as Fitness and Kick Boxing have always been a huge part of my life. After qualifying I began teaching Fitness freelance in Gyms and local Community Centres. I also delivered Multi-Sports & Zumba Sessions in Primary Schools, High Schools & Colleges for the Governments Change 4 Life Program.
More recently I've completed my assessor training enabling me to Award Young Leaders with a passion for Dance and Sport a level 1-3 qualification. The course itself lasts for between 10-12weeks and demands a lot from the young participants. These qualifications, once passed, contain credits they can use towards college or university to further their education. I currently work in connection with ACN and Sport England to deliver Boxing Awards in schools and youth programs which offer a similar credit program.
Now I have a little girl of my own with boundless energy, Fitness, Health and Wellbeing has become even more important to me. I strive to create fun and energetic sessions that not only educate the children on Why they're doing exercise but that its actually quite enjoyable and something the whole family can do together!
When I first wrote this bio in March 2016 my last sentence was...
"My eventual aim is to own my studio and deliver Dance and Fitness sessions to the Community I started in", but now, after completing that goal, the only thing left is for me to welcome you into our home and you can try the sessions out for yourself :)
CENTER MANAGER & TEACHER
Hi, My names Talia and I've been a Student Dance Teacher at TDS for many years!
I started dancing with Mercedes when I was 6years old... Now I'm nearly 21 and in my last year at University studying for a Primary Education Degree at Manchester University.
I know being a part of TDS and the experiences Ive acquired over the years has really helped me to prepare for the tasks I face at University. Throughout my time at TDS Ive participated in every annual showcase until 2015, as well as participating in all the festivals and Community events we've taken part of! Some of my fondest memories of childhood have been spent with the people from TDS. I was also one of 12 children selected to take part in Mercedes fitness DVD for children, commissioned on behalf of Salford City Council in 2010.
I currently coach two Performance Classes and two Competition Teams. I'm so excited that I can now pass on the skills I've developed to the younger generation at TDS.
My role within TDS has developed over the years from being one of the first girls to attend the classes, to now being side by side with Mercedes delivering them. I also manage the social media adverts for TDS and delegate the backstage tasks on Show Nights.
Having completed my Level One Dance Leadership Training with Mercedes (commissioned by ACN) this has seen my ability as an independent Dance Teacher soar. Off the back of this course, and learning step by step how the classes are ran and how the showcases are prepared for.
I'm not sure whats more exciting, having my own class and passing on the skills Ive learnt, or being a part of their future memories and offering opportunities to them that led me to where I am today! I love being a part of the TDS Family and wouldn't change it for the world!
TDS DANCE TEACHERS
Natalie Thompson is a highly versatile professional performer specialising in Jazz/Modern dance, with high-level technique, training and RAD/ISTD performing qualifications in Ballet, Tap, Lyrical and Contemporary.
She also has professional experience in Irish dance, Belly Dance, Aerial work and Street Dance, due to the various international shows she has performed within.
After completing 3yrs at a professional Dance/Musical Theatre college she went on to perform within Circus’, Film, Cabaret clubs, Theatre and Hotels in Morocco, Italy, Hungary, Portugal, Egypt, Turkey and of course the UK.
Natalie began teaching at 16 to work off her Musical Theatre scholarship and has taught in nurseries, schools, charitable organisations, colleges, performing arts schools and many other groups, with past pupils going on to work professionally.
For Natalie, the most important aspect is that her pupils have fun within the energetic but thought-provoking classes, developing technically strong but individually unique performers.
Hey my names Saffron and Ive been dancing with TDS for six years now.
When I first started I was really shy and nervous but attending TDS has really helped to bring my confidence on. Everyone is really friendly and Mercedes makes sure that everyone is made to feel welcome no matter whether your a total beginner or just love to dance, like me!
I was part of Mercedes first Comp Team - Infusion - and we competed and performed throughout 2014. I'm now part of the Senior Competition Team "ProJeX". We attended our biggest competition in Dec 2016 and came first in the senior hiphop category! It was an amazing feeling!
Dancing with TDS has given me so many opportunities that I wouldn't have got elsewhere. I've recently danced for the Manchester Giants Basketball Team and we got to meet them afterwards which was ace! They also did the mannequin challenge with us so that was pretty cool!
I'm currently in my second year at University studying for a degree in Childhood Studies.
At the moment I coach two Performance Classes a week and have my own Competition Team!
Hey my name is Kayla!
I began my training in Dance and Drama at the age of 4 at Northern Kids Theatre Company and attended until I was 11. I had caught the dancing bug!
I carried on my studies throughout High School and then went onto Hyde Clarendon College where I completed with a Distinction and Double Merits.
Following this, I was taken on by my college tutor as an Assistant Teacher for her Dance School in Sale. I decided to take some time out when I found out I was having my little girl. When Scarlett was old enough I proceeded to find a Dance School and came across TDS. I wanted my little girl to share my passion. It was here where Mercedes asked me to become part of ProJeX the Senior Competition Team... I have since competed in several major dance competitions and have completed my level one Dance Leadership Award.
It has been amazing so far and the feeling you get teaching others your passion is just unreal.
From little acorns big trees grow.. and this is exactly what happens at TDS Dance. Our studio is a special place that feels like home as soon as you walk through the door.
My name is Jennie and I have been coaching gymnastics for 18 years. I am originally from London and moved to Manchester when I was 18 to attend University.
After gaining my degree in Sports Science I started work as an Assistant Gymnastics Development Officer in Salford. I spent 10 years in that position and then decided to become a freelance Gymnastics and Trampolining coach. I love coaching and am super passionate about sport and getting children involved in it.
I'm excited to be working with everyone at Active Me Studios and teach the children some new tricks!
Hello my name is Hayley. I have danced since I was three years of age. I went to the Russell Leite school and had the privilege of dancing with Ken Dodd as a Diddy man. I qualified as a U.K.A ballet teacher at the age of 15.
I then went on to Shena Simon Dance College and Leeds Contemporary Dance College.
Ballet is my passion. I love teaching all different abilities and watching their progression. I have worked with children since I was 16 in nurseries, mainstream schools, and special needs schools. My current position is in a high school as a behaviour manager.
I can't wait to work with our little Ballerina's here at TDS!
Hi, I'm Stacey and I'm a fully qualified and experienced dance teacher and choreographer. I started dancing age 5 and trained in Latin American, Jazz and Ballet. Dancing has always been my biggest passion and I currently hold my BA honours degree in Musical Theatre, a postgraduate certificate in physical theatre, Master of Arts in Dance and I qualified as a professional Dance Teacher with the IDTA in 2014.
I have worked as a dance teacher for 5 years and specialise in Musical Theatre, Jazz and Contemporary, teaching at dance schools, colleges and universities across the north.
Alongside teaching, I work as a choreographer and movement director across various platforms including Theatre, Live arts, Film, TV and events. Most recently i have worked as assistant choreographer for 'putting it together' at Hope Mill Theatre, Movement director and artist for 'In my Bones' - a documentary film and currently choreographer for 'The Queens nose' musical. I have also performed in work by choreographers Shelley Owen and James Wilton and Composer Richard Taylor.
I absolutely love teaching and i always aim to get the best out of everyone i teach. I've currently fallen in love with Pom dance as a coach for one of the competition teams and also teach Jazz and Contemporary.