Edinburgh Dance Academy leaping into East Lothian with new franchise

An Edinburgh-based dance school that says it has been ranked top among its peers in the UK and Ireland is launching a new franchise in Haddington, East Lothian.

This will complement the existing offering of Edinburgh Dance Academy (EDA) – whose former pupils include Ellie Fergusson, winner of the 2019 BBC programme The Greatest Dancer – providing traditional and contemporary classes for more than 500 pupils from its headquarters in Corstorphine and other studios across the Scottish capital.

It says its new programme of junior school classes, including preschool dance, Royal Academy of Dance-certified pre-primary ballet, jazz, tap, commercial, and contemporary, will be held at Haddington’s Bridge Centre from mid-September.

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

EDA says that since launching in 1996, it has been named World Champions at the Dance World Cup and the highest-ranked dance school in the UK and Ireland by dance production company VAD Productions, while alumni have gone on to dance with the Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, and Scottish Ballet, for example.

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Ms Mitchell cheered the new Haddington branch, adding: “Since setting up the school 26 years ago, we have worked with thousands of young people helping them discover the joy of dancing and maximising their potential, not only in dance but also in confidence, self-expression, fitness, and supporting others. We now look forward to bringing all of this to East Lothian.”

Ms Thomas, head of the new EDA East Lothian franchise, said: “It’s exciting to be leading 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.”

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Millie Thomas, head of the new EDA East Lothian franchise, with pupils of the school, at its branch in Haddington. Picture: contributed.

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