Ioanna was born in Thessaloniki, Greece and started her ballet training with the RAD syllabus at the age of 6, where she succeeded in the Academy’s exams. She also undertook her 4-years degree in Software and Telecommunications Engineering, along with her continuous pre-vocational ballet and contemporary dance training. Upon completion, at the age of 23, she started her BA in Dance Teaching and Choreography at the A. Kafantari Professional Dance School of Higher Education in Thessaloniki. During the second year of her studies, she started teaching ballet and contemporary dance to ages from 3 to 63, performed ballet and contemporary dance works of Greek choreographers in Greece and Bulgaria. After graduating, she carried on performing and choreographing, but most importantly she focused on the further development of her teaching. She carried on planning and teaching classes inclusive for people of different level of attentiveness and dance skill level. In 2016, she moved to London as she got accepted from the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in order to undertake her MA in Choreography as a Leverhulme Arts Scholarships recipient. Ioanna teaches ballet and contemporary dance classes and choreography workshops in Thessaloniki and London, whilst choreographing her own pieces. She is very results-oriented in her teaching, yet her classes support the physical, intellectual, and social development of the practitioner. She aims for a strong dissemination of each technique whilst promoting artistic and creative instincts. Ioanna covers some of our ballet classes on a regular basis and is part of the Friday Fun General Level Ballet rota which launched in September 2018. She is also currently training to work for our dance charity Move into Wellbeing®. She also has her DBS and PLI current and active.
Founder and Director of Ballet4life
Donna was born in Rochester, NY and received her extensive comprehensive training under full scholarship with an internationally renowned staff at the prestigious Enid Botsford School. Her formative training continued in New York at the David Howard Dance Center and the Melissa Hayden School of Dance under full scholarships. After a long and successful career as a professional ballet dancer and a contemporary dancer in Europe and the US, Donna went on to develop an impressive portfolio of work as a guest teacher, choreographer, rehearsal director and private mentor.
Over the last three decades, she has been a frequent guest teacher at leading American and European dance schools, festivals and companies. She also taught at the Millenium Performings Arts school for three years in London and at other dance institutions in London. Her choreography has been commissioned and performed internationally and is used in films and advertising.
After the birth of her son, she founded what was to become Ballet4life®. Her vision was to create an inspiring organisation that would pioneer top quality dance education for adults on a vocational level. Her first ballet class for adults in London was offered in January 2004 to eager adult learners in a studio at Rambert Dance Company's former location in Chiswick. Sixteen years later, Ballet4life® is a well-established and thriving institution and has taught dance to thousands of Londoners.
Donna also created the Dance for Early Stage Dementia Programme with Clarissa Rocha for Arts4Dementia
Driven by decades of personal research, Donna created and founded Move Into Wellbeing® in 2014. MIW attained charitable status in 2017, Registered Charity 1172264. She has directed and managed this since its inception. Donna is forever grateful to every person who supported her vision and assisted in her endeavours to make this all happen and to all involved in her inspirational organisation. MIW offers unique dance, movement and exercise classes to people living with Parkinson's and other mobility restrictions. This charity is a living legacy to her father Gerard E Schoenherr and brings joy and relief to many. At the Hounslow Business Award 2018, MIW was Commended in the Best Charity category, it won the 2019 Atul Pathak Community Award.
She received the honour of being a Highly Commended Entrepreneur of the year in the Hounslow Business Award 2017 and Ballet4life® was nominated for the Inspirational Work in Education One Dance UK award 2018 and 2019. Donna was also nominated in #ODUKAwards 2019, 2020 for the Inspirational Community Dance Practitioner Award. Ballet4life has been shortlisted for the People's Choice Award at the One Dance Uk 2019, 2020 Awards. She and her husband have resided in West London for 25 years and she is a proud mum to their teenage son. Donna is also an accomplished photographer, artist and former model. Her unique art pieces are held in private collections around the globe.
Lead Ballet and Contemporary Teacher and Administartive Assistant
Beatrice was born in Milan and began her ballet studies in Italy at the Studio Danza Arabesque and graduated in 2006 as a ballet teacher in the Vaganova method with the Russian Ballet Association. She then carried on with her ballet studies on a more intensive level and gained a Diploma as a teacher in 2011 with AIDA Ballet Teachers Association in collaboration with Teatro alla Scala, Milan. In 2010 she added the study of Contemporary Dance Technique to her specialisations and attended a full-time course at Trinity Laban in London. In 2014 she completed the Postgraduate Course in Advanced Dance Studies at The Place where she also performed for different choreographers. Alongside performance projects, she has been teaching ballet and contemporary dance in Italy and London for eight years and was a Dance Lecturer at Lewisham Southwark College. In 2018 she created with her colleague Orley Quick BOTH, a company which offers adults dance classes in East London. She enjoys working with people from different dance backgrounds and with different skill levels. In addition to dance, Beatrice also studied Heritage Preservation. She has established herself as a demanding, concise, popular, and well-loved teacher and maintains a high level of professionalism needed to lead our Complete Beginner Ballet Courses among our other courses and drop-in classes. Her Saturday morning Intermediate/Advanced Drop-In Ballet class is very popular and full of enthusiastic "Ballet4lifers" from professional dancers to 60+ vocational class-goers. Ballet4life sponsored Beatrice in the past on her studies with David Leventhal and the Dance for PD® course which was held in Leicester, England with "People Dancing." She is the Course Leader for our Registered Charity 1172264 Move into Wellbeing® for people with Parkinson's and other mobility challenges which launched in January 2015. She successfully finished her MA dissertation on this subject in Spring 2016. Beatrice has a full DBS check, PLI, and is a qualified First Aider. She currently teaches for our online programme 2020 on Zoom.
Brian began ballet classes at the age of seven in Johannesburg, South Africa and at seventeen he joined The Royal Ballet School in London. He went on to study the Cecchetti ballet system to the Advanced exam. Between 1964 to 1979 he was a member of The Royal Ballet and was a soloist with the Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet.
In 1979 – 1980 he took the Professional Teachers Training Course at The Royal Academy London and from 1980 – 2010 was a professor for Classical Ballet at the esteemed Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen, Germany. He choreographed for the school performances during his tenure there.
Whilst living and working in Germany, he taught for the renowned Wuppertal Tanztheater under Pina Bausch and also for Deutsche Oper am Rein, Dusseldorf as well as in Bonn and Dortmund. He has also been a guest teacher with schools and ballet companies in Taiwan, Japan, Venezuela, France, England, South Africa and North America. Brian choreographed for Dance For All in Cape Town, South Africa.
Since 2010 he has been back living in London and teaching and involved in creative projects such as singing and also dancing in The Elder’s Project at Sadler’s Wells.
Brian taught for Ballet4life in 2012 and we are delighted to welcome him back! We know you will enjoy his lively, passionate, skilled, demanding yet joyful, classes.
Ballet and Contemporary Jazz Teacher
Johanna started dancing at the age of three and continued training in her native Finland until 2007 when she moved to London to make her dancing dreams true at London Studio Centre. After graduating in 2010 Jo worked as a freelance dancer and dance teacher in the UK, US and Australia for a number of years until leaping to the other side of performing arts, running the London leg of UK's biggest physical education and performing arts company Premier Education Group. After nearly five years on the business side of the arts and introducing the world to her little dance trooper daughter Luna, Jo is now looking forward to getting back in to hands-on teaching and sharing her passion for dance with students at Ballet4Life. Jo is a classically trained contemporary dancer, highly influenced by US jazz dance heritage with years of experience in teaching students of all ages and levels. Jo considers herself highly privileged for being able to train with some of the greatest names and institutions in the industry, from The Ailey School and David Howard in NYC to Australian Dance Theatre to name a few. Jo holds an up to date enhanced DBS and PLI.
We are so pleased to welcome Jo to our Ballet4life Team and we know you will enjoy her classes! She currently teaches for our online programme 2020 on Zoom.
Serena has Advanced Ballet (Highly Commended) and holds her CDE and DDE teaching diplomas. She is qualified in ISTD, RAD and IDTA. She has over 25 years experience in teaching ballet to young people of ages 4 to 21 and now also enjoys covering at Ballet4life. She has staged and choreographed ballets such as Alice in Wonderland, Coppelia, Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker, adapting each for children and young adults, at venues such as Epsom Theatre, Kings College and the Rutherford Theatre. These have raised money for Anthony Nolan Trust, Born Too Soon Campaign and Shooting Star Children’s Hospice.
Serena has an enhanced DBS check and PLI and currently teaches for our online programme 2020 on Zoom.
Sonia Bartlett-Cos is originally from Spain and has been residing in West London with her composer husband and two children who study Theatre Arts. She is very passionate about dance and music. Sonia feels that dancing is a way of life and she recognises that dancing is her medicine for keeping the body and mind healthy. At the age of five her mum took her to her first Ballet class and by eight she was practising Rhythmic Gymnastics in the Vizcaya Team; continuing Ballet as part of her Gymnastics training. She also trained in Jazz and Flamenco Dance whilst she lived in Spain. Her passion for dance has driven her to practise all sorts of dance techniques from Flamenco to Ballet, to Jazz and Contemporary, and from Salsa to Belly Dancing.
She worked as a freelance Dance Teacher with Ana Ortiz Music at holidays workshops for children. Sonia was also trained as Belly Dance Instructor with Mia Serra at Danceworks studios in London. Sonia has attended many different styles of Dance classes at Danceworks studios, The Attic Studios, and The Ballet4life studios.
In addition to her love of dance, after having children, she became a freelance photographer and worked in fashion. Ten years ago, Sonia discovered Ballet4life and became a devotee and regular attendee. She has been continuing to improve her dance technique, dance knowledge, and dance experiences and she has a great time with all the Ballet4life teachers and friends/fellow dancers at the classes whilst doing so.
Sonia danced one of the lead roles in Donna Schoenherr’s dance work “Apollo and the muses” which was performed in West London with live music by The Nonesuch Orchestra in June 2019. She has been a Ballet4Life Cover Teacher, and an Assistant taking part in Dance Workshops with local Primary School children as well as teaching baby/pre-primary ballet. She has an enhanced DBS check and full PLI.
Chihiro is a London based Bodyworker, Yoga teacher, and Soft Tissue/Massage/Reiki Therapist, originally from Japan. She came to London for music and stage photography in 2002. She eventually discovered yoga and holistic healing practices. Yoga recalled her roots of eastern traditions of philosophy, as well as body strength, awareness and knowledge gained through her teenage years as an athlete. After a year of daily Yoga practice, she moved to another studio with many different styles of Yoga and connected with Dharma Yoga. Its freedom and philosophy struck her heart and led her to the teacher training with one of the most beloved yoga masters, Sri Dharma Mittra in New York City and became a certified Dharma Yoga Teacher. Dharma Yoga is a graceful yet challenging form of yoga based on a system of classical Hatha-Raja yoga with flow. It is a devotional practice that empathises good health, a clear mind and a kind heart. She has been teaching this and finds great joy in bringing people joy with her hands-on approach, helping to find the connections with their body and mind. She is passionate about spreading the healing power of bodywork and infinite possibilities everyone has within. She started ballet in the late summer of 2017 as a complete beginner of any form of dance and very much fascinated the fact that ballet and yoga complement each other beautifully. She currently teaches a Yoga session as part of our online dance programme 2020 on Zoom.