PREVIOUS STUDENT TESTIMONIALS
I started dancing with Contrast from the very first audition in 2010 and continued with company for 6 years. The company made a massive impact on my dancing and my confidence. Learning different styles such as Jazz, Contemporary, Hip Hop and Commercial, among many other styles, helped me become a more versatile dancer and prepared me for my future within dance.
Both Claire and Hayley have been the most amazing dance teachers I have ever had the opportunity to work with, I have never felt more confident dancing then I have since dancing in their company, both teachers strive to push their dancers to the best of their abilities and more. I have had amazing opportunities to dance for many different charity events, flash mobs and I have been able to dance in some amazing venues such as The Mayflower and The London 02.
I’m currently studying my first year of dance at The University of Chichester, without the knowledge and training I gained from Claire and Hayley I would not be where I am now and I am incredibly grateful for everything they have done for me.
I was a member of Contrast Dance Company for just over 3 years between 2012 and 2015. The company provided me with a huge amount of knowledge including choreography, technique and creativity. Dancing with Contrast provided me with many performance opportunities!
These ranged from flash mobs for numerous charities in front of small crowds, to performing on stage at The Mayflower Theatre in Southampton in front of 2,000+ people alongside well known singers! Claire and Hayley were excellent motivators and always want the best for their dancers, and will push you to your greatest potential. I found this especially helpful when preparing for college and conservatoire auditions. The classes vary in style, including contemporary, lyrical, jazz, street, commercial etc.
When I joined Contrast, I had never experienced commercial dance before. However, I gained a passion for the style and now teach a class to students at my University every week for Dance Society! I am currently in my second year at the University of Chichester studying Dance. Without Contrast and Claire and Hayley’s support, I would most definitely not be doing what I am doing today. I highly recommend this company to anybody who wishes to pursue a career in this area!
Lisa Chen Wilson
I’ve been part of the company for the last two years and I’ve learnt so much thanks to Claire and Hayley, which I will take with me as I pursue dance further at Wilkes Academy of Performing Arts. The opportunities and support from Contrast have been amazing and I’m really grateful for everything they’ve done for me.
Contrast dance company provided me with various skills and experiences through the medium of dance and collaboration. With acute focus on the body and fusing two different styles of dance together i was instantly immersed into this warm company and really enjoyed all aspects of it. Since leaving contrast i went on to study Theatre at The Brit school in London, where i completed a two year course and am now a working actor. Many thanks to Hayley and Claire who were always very caring and supportive.
I absolutely loved my 3 years with Contrast! The variety of styles that were taught were challenging at times but expanded my knowledge and understanding as a dancer to help me focus and pursue a career in performing. I loved that every class we would be working towards a performance because to me performing gives you a buzz that is inexplainable. With Contrast I was able to perform at venues I didnt even think was possible.
Places like St.Marys Stadium and the 02 arena was such an amazing experience that i will forever be grateful for. Contrast is like one big happy family, Claire and Hayley strive for success and push each individual to their full potential! I am now continuing my Dance and Musical Theatre training at Bird College on a 4 year intense programme. The training consists of Ballet everyday aswell as Jazz, tap, contemporary, musical theatre, body conditioning, singing and many more!! I thank the teachers at contrast for all they taught me as I wouldnt be where I am today without their help and motivation.
I am currently studying at Northern School of Contemporary Dance and will be gaining a Batchelor of Performing Arts Honours degree in 2016. My main focuses are Ballet and Contemporary however I do still really enjoy commercial, jazz and tap classes whenever I have free time!
Contrast Dance Company is amazing as you get to learn a wide variety of styles week by week from the very experienced and fantastic teachers, Claire Buck and Hayley Warman Johnston. Contrast really helped me to develop in styles I am not so familiar with such as Street and Hip Hop. This gave me the confidence to perform in competitions and also in front of Kimberley Wyatt, Ashley Banjo and Adam Garcia at a Got to Dance audition. Got to Dance was just one of the amazing opportunities that I had with Contrast, others included performing at the Indigo2 and in a wedding!
We also had the chance to lead and teach each other throughout the sessions and this really helped me to gain experience in my passion to become a dance teacher after graduating.
I absolutely loved being part of the Contrast family, the classes are hard work, fun and professional; I would highly recommend auditioning!
Dance Teacher, King Edward VI School
Hayley has been a valuable addition to our Dance Department at King Edward VI School and has provided our Dancers with a fantastic Tap Dance Club this past year. Hayley delivers relevant, fun and exciting classes which are enjoyed by all.
PE Teacher, Mountbatten School
Hayley ran Street Dance classes for our students at Mountbatten School for a number of years. The classes have always been outstanding quality and the enthusiasm and energy Hayley brings to her teaching has always inspired the students. She built excellent relationships with her classes and they were always challenged and motivated by her varied and exciting choreography! Hayley and her students staged performances for parents and charity events, which were always great quality and great fun. Hayley ran CPD sessions with our teachers on Dance choreography and ran a number of workshop events too. Working with Hayley and her team enabled us to add variety and value to our extra-curricular programme and I would thoroughly recommend them to any school!!
Head of Music, Thornden School
I have known Hayley for over 10 years and have always been so impressed by her relentless enthusiasm and ability to make her classes so fun and accessible for all. From being able to motivate and engage students in a secondary school setting to the results she gets out of the most talented dancers on the south coast is outstanding. Her range of skills and ability to never accept anything but the highest standards for all her students, makes her a really inspirational teacher. By being part of her adult groups, I have not only re-found my love of dancing again but have found the perfect way to de-stress in a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere which Hayley creates. Our ‘dance therapy’ sessions are the highlight of my week!
Nursling Primary School
Lauren has been coming into our School for a few years teaching dance to K.S 1 and K.S.2 children in our school club. I watch her teach the children and I know it bring her lots of happiness and fulfilment. She has helped the children grow in ability and confidence through Dance. Lauren also gives the children a great deal of encouragement and inspiration and their enthusiasm for dance continues to grow. Lauren is a great role model for young children who wish to dance. In terms of technique, discipline and enjoyment the balance is exceptional.
(Teacher, Bursledon House)
Southampton Children’s Hospital School
Lauren has taught Street Dance to the children at Southampton Children’s Hospital School for several years. She is extremely skilled, both in her dance teaching, and in engaging and motivating the children, who have wide-ranging complex medical needs. The lessons are fun, suitably challenging and enable the children to be creative and enjoy themselves. They learn great dance skills, and learn to work together, and support each other. It is the highlight of the children’s week and Lauren makes every child feel valued and successful.
Miss STJ Barnett
(Creative Arts Administrator & Dance Co-ordinator)
King Edward VI School (Southampton)
“Lauren has taught King Edward VI School for 2 years now and has provided our Dancers with an excellent Street Dance Club. Lauren is an enthusiastic and keen teacher and her Dancers always enjoy her sessions.”
Mountbatten School (Romsey)
“Claire, from Contrast Dance is an outstanding teacher of GCSE Dance. She is a true professional, who is devoted to helping young people reach their potential. She inspires students to work hard and she is excellent at developing their technical and expressive skills. Claire has choreographed pieces to stretch the gifted and talented students yet enable all students to make outstanding progress in her lessons. She encourages independent learning whilst developing the student’s choreography skills. Through carefully planned lessons, she ensures students are thoroughly prepared for their external examinations.”
“Contrast Dance have been delivering fantastic Street Dance classes at Mountbatten School for a number of years. Their classes are fun, exciting and engaging from the first minute to the last. The instructors choreograph dynamic and exciting dances, which cater for students of all abilities. The students thoroughly enjoy the classes and make excellent progress. Contrast Dance teachers have also delivered lessons in the PE curriculum including; dance, yoga, Zumba and aerobics. Their sessions motivated and inspired participation at Key Stage 4 and provided an exciting alternative to the traditional curriculum.”
(P.E and Dance Teacher)
Hounsdown School (Ashurst)
“I had Claire Buck from Contrast Dance in to choreograph and teach my students their Group composition for their GCSE Dance exam. It was a breath of fresh air when first speaking with Claire that she had a full understanding of the AQA syllabus due to teaching it as a freelancer in other local secondary schools. I felt confident that she understood the criteria and requirements in order for all students to be stretched in order to reach top catchment grades. When Claire came in to teach my group she was awesome, technically she was inspiring and the composition was beyond expectations. Her manner with the students was on par with a qualified teacher as she was not only highly motivating and shared the passion to Dance, but her organisation, session structure, pace and discipline was amazing. I would highly recommend her without a shadow of a doubt; she would be a credit to any establishment. I went on to book Claire to lead Aerobics and Zumba within Core PE which once again she was energetic and up to date with her routines. The students built strong relationships with Claire and raved about the sessions during and after. I will certainly be booking Claire in the future.”