At Brighton Ballet School we pride ourselves on delivering professionally taught classes of the highest quality throughout the school.  Our teachers are qualified professional teachers or ex-proressional dancers and possess enhanced DBS checks. 

Sonya Pettigrew

Principal of Brighton Ballet School

BA (Hons), Dip, BBO Dance Registered teacher.  Acrobatic Arts Registered teacher (Level 1 – 6) 


Professional Experience & Qualificaitons

Teaching :

Ballet, Tap Dance, Acrobatic Arts, Progressing Ballet Technique, Pointe-work Assessments


Sonya has a particular interest in training and preparing students for vocational careers.  She has been lucky enough to have several students graduate from top schools including Elmhurst School for Ballet, London Contemporary, Rambert and Leban. She has a passion for educating dancers of all ages in preparing and establishing good pointe work technique.  

Training and qualifications

Sonya has been dancing for 40 years starting at the tender age of 4 years old, with Tina Pilgrem at King Slocombe School of Dance in Cambridge.  She passed her exams in ballet with Distinction including Intermediate and Advanced level.  She returned to the dance world after a short break in 1999 and trained to teach under the guidance of Esther Juon, Dancelaines in Brighton.  She completed her studies with the BBO Dance shortly after and opened the school 12 years ago.  More Recently she has qualified and is Registered as a Level 1-6 Acrobatic Arts teacher.

Xanthe Wilson

BA (hons) Contemorary Dance

Professional Expeirence & Qualifications


Contemporary Dance, Ballet, Body Conditioning, Personal Trainer


Xanthe has a passion for Contemporary dance and for sharing that passion with her students.  

Training & Qualifications

Xanthe has danced all her life from a young age, passing exams in Ballet, tap and Modern.  She then gained a place at the esteemed Northern School of Contemporary Dance, gaining a first class honours degree in Contemporary Dance.  She continued her studies at the University of Chichester studying a Masters in Performance Dance.  Xanthe now works as a freelance dancer and choreographer, whilst sharing her passion for dance with others through teaching.  Brighton Ballet School is fortunate to have someone of her experience leading our Contemporary Dance classes.  

Gwen Nelson

BA (Hons) Contemporary Dance. 

Professional Expeirence & Qualifications


Ballet, Contemporary, PBT, Special Projects, Audition Coaching


Gwen has a vast experience as a professional dancer and is regularly offered roles internationally, dancing for Opera, Film and International Dance Companies. She likes to share this wealth of experience with her students, and through her teaching.

Training & Qualifications

Awaiting content

Zoe Epstein 


Professional Expeirence & Qualifications


Ballet, Special Projects, Vocational Coaching, Audition Preparation, Summer School Intensive Programme. 


Zoe is a graduate from The Royal Ballet School’s Vocational Teaching Course and Trinity Diploma of Dance Teaching and Learning with Distinction, having previously danced professionally for four years with The Romanian National Ballet under the directorship of Johan Kobborg, performing in ballets such as La Fille mal Gardee by Ashton, Macmillan’s Manon and Theme and Variations by Balanchine.

Training & Qualifications

As a young student Zoe trained at Brighton Ballet School completing her ballet exams up to Advanced 1 with very high Distinction, alongside training with The Royal Ballet School Associates.  She went on to further her studies at The Legat School of Dance and Elmhurst Ballet School.   Zoe has a wealth of knowledge and experience from her professional career that she is keen to pass on to her students.

She currently teaches at Central School of Ballet Junior Department and The Royal Ballet School Associates.  We are fortunate to have Zoe returns to us to teach special workshops and masterclasses throughout the year. 

Sheree Mercer 

Acrobatic Arts Registered Instructor (Level 1-6)  

Professional Expeirence & Qualifications


Ballet, Tap, Acrobatic Arts, Progressing Ballet Technique 


 Sheree has been teaching classes for Brighton Ballet School for over 8 years now!  She specalises in teaching our youngest children through to teenagers with unlimited patience, enthusiasm and encouragement.  

Training & Qualifications

Acrobatic Arts registered teacher (Levels 1 – 6).  BBO Dance Examinations from Grade 1 – Intermediate Foundation in Ballet.  

Teaching Assistants


Lola has been training with us for many years in Ballet, Contemporary and Tap.  She has a passion for working with our youngerst students and supports their deveopment and progress in our Primary – Grade 4 classes that take place on Saturdays mornings. 


Esther has been with Brighton Ballet School since she was 4 years old.  From an early age it was clear that Esther was a brilliant studnet, with enormous potential.  Throughout the past 12 years she has worked incredibly hard reciving top marks for her ballet and tap examinations.  She also takes Contemporary and Acro with the school.  Esther assists with our Saturday School Students who find her a fantastic addition to the teaching staff.    

Would you like to join our team?  

BBS is seeking qualified teachers!

We are always in need of support staff and qualified teachers in Ballet, Contemporary Tap Dance and Acro.  If you a high level of skill in these disciplines, combined with professional or teaching experience we would be keen to hear from you! 

Interested in training to teach?

We have had many students through our doors who have trained with us, and succcessfully passed with outstanding marks, the Level 5 Teaching Qualification, either with the BBO Dance or other recognised teaching bodies.  If you have an interst in gaining a teaching qualification in Ballet, Tap or Musical theatre we would be interested to hear from you.  Training takes place distantly with most organisations now, so the work can be easily fitted around your current job or education.  BBO dance has a variety of courses that are suitable for students aged 17 years +.  To find out more call or email us at the office.