About Us

The Louise Ryrie School of Dance & Drama was founded in Crawley in 1997 by Louise Ryrie.

‘I was nineteen when I opened the school with 33 pupils! After a few years of hiring local church halls and community centres, we were lucky enough to move the whole blossoming school to our own ‘home’ at St Elizabeths. I discovered a love of teaching and of filling my students with self-confidence to achieve – I can’t ever imagine not doing this!’

We currently train 300 pupils. Our team of dedicated teachers prepare pupils for exams, auditions & performances – or they can dance ‘just for fun‘. All ages and abilities are welcome, from babies of 6 months, to adults! Everybody is encouraged to train in Ballet and Pilates. Ballet provides the basic technique and foundation of all dance, while Pilates develops a body-awareness, plus strength and flexibility second to none.

Our Studio is based within St Elizabeths Church, in Northgate, Crawley, where pupils benefit from our professional dance floor, full-length mirrors, Ballet Barres & security entrance. Emphasis is placed on creating a happy, friendly environment in which everyone feels able to enjoy learning to dance. We are often complimented on the ‘family feel’ to our school and we take pride in helping each student reach their potential. We offer a Scholarship Placement each year to aid a talented pupil in his or her training.

Four of our teachers have grown up through the school and qualified as teachers. This is very inspirational for younger pupils to see where their dance training could take them. Other students have continued their dance and drama education at University or Dance Colleges, as well as students going on to perform in dance companies such as MAP dance.  Very importantly to us, they come back and visit so we can celebrate their successes and again so they can provide inspiration and advice for younger students hoping to make Dance their career.

As a school, we have performed at Her Majesty’s Theatre, London, Sadlers Wells Theatre and The Royal Albert Hall. We also enjoy participating in Crawley Community Arts Events at the Hawth Theatre, as well as producing our own whole-school show every two years. We were extremely proud, as always, when our pupils successfully auditioned for The English Youth Ballet, for various Musical Theatre Productions and Pantomimes. We also recently won the Dance Challenge 2011 in Horsham, leading to the finals in Chelsea, London. We always look forward to welcoming new pupils………