Success Stories

Sophia Markou

Sophia started dancing with Turning Pointe at the age of 4yrs old. During her years with us she studied RAD Ballet completing all her Graded Exams up to Grade 8 as well as her Intermediate Foundation & Intermediate Ballet Exams. Throughout the years, Sophia danced leading roles in many of our Youth Ballets (TPYB) gaining invaluable experience dancing on professional stages and seeing the backstage workings of theatres such as Dubai Opera. After her years of dance training with Turning Pointe, Sophia realized she wanted to pursue a life in the theatre, with this in mind, after graduating from The English College, Dubai she took a years sabbatical to prepare herself for applications to top theatrical colleges in the UK. Turning Pointe arranged an Internship for Sophia at the prestigious Dubai Opera, under the guidance of Sophie McKay, rotating between different departments and gaining invaluable experience.

The year at Dubai Opera enabled Sophia to gain a place at the internationally renowned LAMDA (London Academy of Dramatic Arts) to study Stage Management. We are excited to see Sophias’ career progress and watch her grow in her chosen field. We asked Sophia what she gained most from the internship we arranged for her at Dubai Opera. These are Sophias own words;
The most beneficial thing I gained was being able to experience many different genres of entertainment and how they are all run differently backstage and through that process seeing how a theatre can adapt to these changes and seamlessly overcome challenges that come to light during this time.

I will always remember the adrenaline of being backstage especially when you have to quickly solve problems such as when I was the dresser for a female lead of a concert where a costume malfunction occurred and having to find a quick and good looking solution before she went back onstage, that being the biggest safety pin I had ever seen.

Neha Das

Neha has lived her whole life in Dubai with her family starting her dance career at the age of 5yrs old studying Indian Classical Dance and Hip Hop. She joined Turning Pointe at the age of 11yrs old to study Classical Ballet and realized she had a passion and talent for the genre.

During her time with Turning Pointe, Neha completed all her RAD Graded Examinations and also her Vocational Exams up to Advanced Foundation. Neha’s dream is to teach ballet and one day open her own ballet school, with this in mind Turning Pointe assisted her with her application and auditions to different degree courses at UK universities.

We are delighted Neha has gained a place at The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) in London for September 2020 studying for a BA Hon’s in Ballet Education.

Minttu Viljaharju

Minttu Viljaharju joined Turning Pointe in 2007 aged 8. As a fairly late starter to ballet she was immediately very dedicated and committed. She began her RAD journey by participating in Class Awards until she was ready for full examinations, the highlight of which was her Grade 6 for which she received a staggering 96%. Minttu also shone on the stage and performed lead roles in 4 of our TPYB productions Including Cinderella and The Little Mermaid.

In 2014, Minttu decided to apply for full time professional dance college and so after preparing her audition material of photographs and DVDs with her teachers, we were delighted to hear that she was accepted to the Sibelius High School for Musicians and Dancers in Finland where she went from strength to strength, blossoming into a truly beautiful dancer.

Minttu has decided to focus on contemporary dance styles for her future, a genre of dance that she also began studying with Turning Pointe.

Elena Cecchetti

Elena Cecchetti joined us in 2015 following participation in our inaugural summer camp. In addition to graded and vocational classes she also studied contemporary dance and participated in our annual shows. Elena has excellent facility and exceptional talent that developed and progressed rapidly through her classes.

We invited her to attend a workshop given by the faculty of Moorland International Ballet School (UK) who also immediately recognized her potential. Elena was offered a full time place to study at Moorland commencing September 2016. She has continued to shine in this new environment and is achieving outstanding grades in all dance styles.

Sara Chambers

Sara Chambers joined us in 2010 when she was in Grade 3 ballet and also studying Grade 6 Modern. She was soon selected to join our vocational program and took her Intermediate Foundation ballet exam in 2013. Shortly afterwards she was awarded a place at The Accademia diDanza in Genova, Italy where she has continued to progress and develop her talents. Sara was always exceptional at allegro movements (jumps) something that is clearly evident in this recent photograph of her performing a grand jete in a performance in Italy.

Sara recently auditioned and was accepted for both the Iwanson Dance Academy in Munich and the Opus Ballet School in Florence and is now faced with the difficult choice of which college to attend to finish her training before she begins to audition for companies.

Misha Goddard

Misha Goddard began her training with Turning Pointe in 2007 and spent 5 years with us before she successfully auditioned for Northern Ballet School in Manchester, UK. She was able to participate in 2 TPYB productions before she left in which she gave amazing performances as Alice in Alice in Wonderland and Tinkerbell in Peter Pan.

Misha has natural balletic poise and creates beautiful lines in her dancing. She has a great aptitude for pointe work and trained very hard for both her graded and vocational examinations with us. She has continued to take her examinations in both ballet and tap and in doing so has also gained her teaching certificate for these.

Misha chose to move to The Urdang Academy in London following her time at Northern Ballet School in order to study for her degree alongside her dance education. She graduates in summer 2017 and has already been offered a dance contract with Disneyland Paris.

Bella Ashill

Bella Ashill joined Turning Pointe in 2012 when she was in Grade 3 ballet. Bella’s potential and talent was immediately evident in her ballet classes but she also excels at modern and tap dance. Bella studied all 3 of these genres during her time at Turning Pointe, achieving great success in all her examinations.

Bella was selected to attend the Moorland International Ballet School workshop where the team saw how she stands out not only in terms of her ability but also because of her personality and artistry. Based on her performance at the workshop, Bella was offered a full time place at the school and began her vocational training there in September 2016.

Amelia Dolan

Amelia Dolan joined Turning Pointe in 2007 for Grade 4 ballet and was soon invited to attend vocational classes too. Over the following 6 years Amelia also studied Modern and Glee classes with us. In 2013 Amelia danced the lead role of the Fairy Godmother in the TPYB production of Cinderella and she also danced a fantastic solo in Dance Dynamix. During this time we also put together her audition pack for vocational schools in the UK and Amelia began training at Tring Park School for Performing Arts in September 2013.

Parmis Khalili

Parmis Khalili began her training with Turning Pointe in 2006 in Grade 1 ballet. She danced with us for 9 years moving through all the grades and also taking both Intermediate Foundation and Intermediate vocational examinations.

Parmis has a great passion for drama and acting and so used her excellent dance skills to support her applications to full time drama schools. In September 2015 she began her full time education on the drama course at Tring Park School for Performing Arts.

Angel Scally

Angel Scally joined Turning Pointe in 2008 and was studying Grade 2 ballet. She trained with us for 7 years and developed a very secure and precise ballet technique. She also trained in modern and tap dance and entered for examinations in all 3 genres. Angel also had many featured roles in TPYB productions including the lead role in Snow White.

Shortly after receiving a distinction for her Intermediate ballet examination Angel was accepted to begin full time training at Tring Park School for Performing Arts in September 2015.