About Us

Betty Townsend grew up in South London and was passionate about dancing, both teaching and performing.

As a small girl she would round up other local children and teach them to dance in her garden. When she became a teenager she got her first job to pay for lessons, starting with ballroom dance, where she met her husband Ken. She taught herself dressmaking so that she could make her own costumes for performances and auditions. She achieved her dream and went on to work as a professional dancer in London.
In 1953, Betty qualified as an Associate Member of the National Association of Teachers of Dancing (NATD) opened dance schools and theatrical agencies in both London and Kent. In the hey-day of the British holiday camps, Betty, with husband Ken and daughter Kim, relocated to Ashford, and then onto St Mary’s Bay where, alongside her dance school in Ashford, Betty and husband Ken became Red Coats; Betty as Head of Entertainment, and Ken as the drummer in house band ‘Music Unlimited’ at Maddison’s Holiday Camp, Jefferson Lane, St Mary’s Bay. Betty opened the school in St Mary’s Bay 30 years ago alongside her daughter Kim, who was trained by Betty and qualified with the NATD in the early 1990s. Together, they used the school to help the local community, by helping to raise funds to assist the building of the St Mary’s Bay New Village Hall.


Townsend Dance
Since Kim took over the school she has entered hundreds of local children into dance shows, fetes and local pantomimes. For several years she was choreographer for the annual Dymchurch Players Pantomine and Kim has worked hard to maintain the 98% pass rate for NATD examination sessions for her pupils, a record held by the school for the past 60 years.
Betty past away in 2001 but her influence lives on. Presently Kim is Principle and her daughters Charlotte and Brooke run the school together as they continue to train and study to make the school the best it can be for their pupils.
Charlotte Judge is a qualified NATD Associate Teacher. She also studied at Canterbury College (BTEC First Dip. Performing Arts, and BTEC National Dip. Dance); Page Mason School of Dance, Broadstairs (ISTD syllabus Tap, Ballet, Modern, Flamenco, Freestyle, Ballroom. Charlotte also holds a qualification in low intensity chair based exercise, first aid, and an NVQ2 in health and social care (beneficial when working in residential homes). She is currently working towards her DDI and DDE in ISTD (Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing) Modern and Classical Ballet, alongside her sister Brooke.
Brooke is an NATD Student Teacher, currently taking her final exams to become an Associate of the NATD, alongside training in ISDT Classical Ballet, Modern, Tap, Flamenco and Ballroom. She studied at Canterbury College (BTEC National Dip. Performing Arts); University of Kent (Higher National Dip. Dance). She has performed in many shows including a tour of the major UK arenas, and in her spare time as a Supporting Artist in TV, film and commercials
Background

As well as many years experience both teaching and performing, our teachers are also CRB checked, fully insured with health and safety and first aid training. The also take part in the NATD’s continual professional development scheme.

NATD logoThe National Association of Teachers of Dancing, formed in 1912, is an examining body who offer a range of professional examinations. Each branch has a syllabus of graded examinations and medal tests which eventually lead to professional standards and qualifications. Each branch is controlled, under the jurisdiction of the Council.
NATD dance exams are recognises by OFFQUAL (The Office of Qualification and Examination Regulation). If you are over 14 and have a unique learner number, your NATD dance examinations will be added to your Personal Learning Record.
The NATD is proud of its Continual Professional Development scheme for all members, demonstrating their commitment to high standards of teaching and skill delivery together with an increasing depth of knowledge.