As a dance academy we are a little different and like to be flexible in our thinking. We do not always stick to the same rigid schedules and so far every year since Gifford Dance started we have offered our dancers new, challenging and varied experiences compared to the year before.
If an opportunity arises that we think dancers would enjoy, helping with confidence and learning, then we take it and try to open these adventures up to those they would most benefit.
We have taken dancers to perform at Disneyland Paris (and are going again in 2023), we regularly take part in a weekend away at Elite Dance Championships, we enter national competitions, where we have had exceptional results and have a Professional Programme for those wishing to take their training to the next level and so much more! We organise regular workshops with guests in the profession as well as trips to aid learning. In 2021 our dancers performed at the opening ceremony of the Grand Prix at Silverstone. In addition, we have shows giving all dancers the chance to dance in a theatre, performances at local fetes and our Summer school, as well as all the regular classes and competitions etc etc. Hopefully you get the idea! There is always a lot going on and dancers work as a team on their group routines where every individual counts and plays an important role. We also offer solo/duo and trio competitions too. Make sure you take a look at our competition page to appreciate just how fantastic our dancers are!
Each and every dancer that comes to us gets first class teaching from fully qualified coaches and you can see more about this below. You will also notice that our routines often include gymnastics and stand out as very different and creative.
We often refer to our ‘GDA family’ and this is how we see ourselves. Everyone connected with the academy becomes an honorary ‘Gifford’. Not only do the students make valuable and life long friendships through the dance school, but the parents often do as well. We hold regular events which are often fundraisers to support the dancers, allowing us to invest in equipment and costumes. In the past these have included the fabulous Christmas ball, coffee mornings, discos, a Disney event, bbqs, cake sales, movie nights and parties to name but a few, some of which now happen annually. We rely on the help of the parents/carers to make events like this happen and we never cease to be amazed at the generosity and support received. Everyone gets on so well, looking out for each other and GDA offers a friendly, welcoming environment for all. We even organise a parents/helpers dance routine occasionally which always generates a lot of excitement! We try to keep all our events very family orientated putting the dancers at the centre of all we chose to do. This is incredibly important to us.
GIFFORD DANCE ACADEMY
Rebecca and Lucie at Britain's Got Talent
Since a very early age, the 'Gifford Girls' have loved to dance and over the years, being encouraged to perform increased their confidence in many ways beyond the dance floor. The sisters have won countless medals, titles and trophies as partners and as well as being professional dancers, choreographers and teachers, both Rebecca and Lucie are accomplished acrobatic gymnasts. They have had the honour of being the regional champions at the highest grade and have reached national level on multiple occasions. However, although they love the lifts, tricks and tumbles, you will not find more qualified dance teachers than Rebecca and Lucie to help you concentrate on technique and to aid those thinking of a professional career in dance.
The sisters are keen to pass on their knowledge and to encourage others to discover what they are capable of. They have an enthusiasm and energy that most would envy and a natural way with children. Young people respond well to the girls as they enjoy their classes, learn and achieve.
At GDA we love nothing more than a dance show and believe in giving parents a chance to watch routines that have been prepared so they can see how their child is progressing. It does the kids good to show off what they can do and the parents/families are usually blow away by what their dancers achieve.
REBECCA graduated with a FIRST CLASS honours degree in dance and professional practice and studied at the critically acclaimed number one institution for contemporary dance in the world, Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London. There she attained a postgraduate diploma in community dance. Her time at Laban was a real privilege, giving her the opportunity to progress even further as a professional dancer and to learn from some of the very best. Rebecca is also a level two British Gymnastics coach.
LUCIE has also attained a FIRST CLASS honours degree in dance and professional practice. She is a very strong dancer well suited to hip-hop and street dance and in contrast, she is a beautiful contemporary dancer, proven when she won 'Best In Show' at Destination Dance 2020.
The sisters filmed with Britain's Got Talent on three different series, following an invitation to do so, and Rebecca was one of the dancers on the big Bollywood movie De De Pyaar De in 2019. The sisters' choreography is new and challenging and won Gifford Dance a place in the final of the largest group dance competition in the UK, where they won the adjudicator's award at Liverpool M&S Arena and our 2019 Mini team were national champions. Our Mixed age competition team were unbeaten for the whole of the 2021 season. Rebecca and Lucie have performed at Blackpool Opera House on multiple occasions along with their students, danced alongside the 'Big Band' at Birmingham Symphony Hall by special request and performed with some of their dancers at Disneyland Paris.
Having grown up in Stotfold (and being the sixth generation in their family to live here) the girls are now enjoying giving back to, and playing a part in, the local community to which they belong, as well as expanding farther afield.
Below Rebecca and Lucie perform in a music video for singer songwriter and musician Sam Gifford, who just happens to be their brother :-)
Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours
in Dance and Professional Practice as well as a postgraduate diploma in Community Dance from Trinity Laban Conservatoire.
IF YOU WANT TO SEE MORE THEN WHY NOT LOOK US UP ON YOUTUBE OR INSTAGRAM
The wonderful Margarita Cook leads our ballet sessions. Margarita started ballet when she was 7 years old. She studied professionally in the Higher Private Professional Dance School “NIKI KONTAXAKI” – NIKOLETTA’S BAKALI” in Greece for three years where she trained Russian system ballet and contemporary dance (mostly Limon technique).
Since achieving her Diploma as a dance teacher for both Ballet and Contemporary dance, she has gone on to accomplish a masters degree in the UK in “CHOREOGRAPHY & DANCE PERFORMANCE.”
She has worked as a ballet teacher in both Athens and London and is proud to have placed fourth in ballet at the International Dance Competition in Greece. She has taken part in many professional productions and we are extremely fortunate to have her as part of our team.
Gifford Dance Showcase 2020
Performing at Disneyland
We love Acro
Rebecca and Lucie are also competitive gymnasts
Blackpool Opera House
Who loves a show?
Britain's Got Talent 2019
Practice makes perfect
Dancing at Disney!
Filming at Britain's Got Talent
This is us!
Britain's Got Talent
Tricks and Tumbles
Performing at Fetes
Rebecca and Lucie at Nationals