Incredible Local Dance School Exam Success

Living Magazines Abi Fullard L Lottie Casserley R Jayne Marie Dance School

Seven students from The Jayne Marie Dancing School, est. 1983, have passed their vocational ISTD Intermediate ballet exams with Merits and Distinctions, and four have passed their vocational ISTD Intermediate modern exams, all with Distinctions: an amazing achievement for a part-time dance school.

Abi Fullard, 17, from Berkhamsted, and Lottie Casserley, just 14, from Boxmoor, were both awarded Distinctions in their ballet exam, while Aimee Chapman, 18, and Phoebe Causer, 17, from Hemel, Annabel Hopwood and Lola Cronin, both 17, from Berkhamsted, and Tabitha Pennant-Jones, 16, from Amersham, achieved Merits. Abi, Phoebe, Tabitha and Aimee all received Distinctions in their modern exam.

All seven students now have a minimum of 14 UCAS points to go towards university and college applications.

‘I am really proud of our students’ hard work and dedication,’ said Jayne Marie Dancing School (JMDS) principal Miss Jayne Wilson. ‘It’s rare that a dance school has seven candidates taking this vocational exam, and when you consider the fact that we had months of Zoom lessons due to the pandemic it’s an even more impressive feat.’

‘I was so happy and relieved to find I’d passed, let alone got a Distinction!’ said Lottie Casserley, who in 2019 played Bielke in Trevor Nunn’s acclaimed West End production of Fiddler on the Roof. ‘Even more so because we had been dancing so much on Zoom and not in class, plus I’m still quite young. But I think all the students and teachers have pulled each other through the last 18 months and this is the result of our hard work. I’m so happy!’

‘I was so happy when Miss Jayne called to tell me I had got Distinctions in both modern and ballet,’ said Abi Fullard. ‘It’s great to know that all the hard work through lockdown paid off. I’m about to apply to performing arts colleges to study for a BA in Musical Theatre, so these results have given me a real confidence boost.’

JMDS is the only dance school in Hemel and Berkhamsted that teaches up to ISTD Advanced 2 level in ballet, tap and modern. It also has a family cap on fees, much reducing the likelihood of families being priced out of the school as their children progress or their family gets bigger.

‘We are about to start working towards our full-length production of The Nutcracker,’ said Miss Wilson. ‘Audiences always comment on the incredibly high standard of JMDS shows. We expect a lot from our students because we know what they are capable of. I’m always excited to see what the next year will bring.’

Registration into JMDS for September is now open to girls and boys aged 3-18 in all disciplines.

Photo: Abi Fullard, 17, and Lottie Casserley, 14, who both achieved Distinction in their ballet exams. Credit: