The art of
Movement Elegance Grace Beauty

History of
Bucks School of Dance

The Bucks School of Dance was formed in April 2010 by Candy and Karen consisting of 3 branches that were previously under the “Pat Steel” umbrella: Bourne End, Loudwater and Seer Green.

The 2 schools became sister schools and have been growing and changing together ever since. “Baby Bucks” is now 14 years old and has learnt a great deal from its big sister school, who is an astounding 70 years old.

Our Loudwater branch originated as the Amethyst School of Dance (founded by one of Pat Steel’s first ever pupils, Judy Watts), and our Bourne End branch previously known as the Bucks School of Ballet (also owned by a former a former Pat Steel pupil, Jane Tyrell). The Seer Green branch was founded by Candy’s mum Pat Steel back in the early 1960’s!


Miss Karen found her love of Dance Teaching aged 13, coaching students in Medal Tests and ISTD Exam Coaching, all after only 2 years of starting dance herself. She attended Jeannine Greville Dance Academies and assisted with RAD Ballet classes, Medal Test Coaching and left in 1998 to train at The North London Dance Studio. 


Miss Karen graduated from Dance College and worked professionally as a dancer and actress with a little teaching on the side at Jeannine Greville Dance Academies, Castle Street Dance Studios, White Waltham School, and Nursery level Dance at St. Pirans School for Linda Sweetzer.


Miss Karen aged 21, started running Summer Dance camps at Altwood School under the name of KS Academy of Dance. Summer Camp is where she first taught Miss Victoria!


Miss Karen joined the Loudwater and Seer Green Branches alongside our Founder Pat Steel and Miss Claire, and introduced ISTD Modern and Tap and offered to take over the running of all things ISTD. She became the Modern and Tap teacher at Wycombe Abbey School where she worked alongside Candy for 14 years.


The Bucks School of Dance Ltd was formed!


When Miss Karen’s daughter was 2 years old, Karen started a brand-new branch, close to home for her daughter and her friends, so in September 2013 the Penn Street branch was born. It has grown from one teacher with a few classes to two teachers teaching simultaneously with a full and varied afternoon and evening of classes.

We added an extra day at Penn Street with Street Dance and Musical Theatre classes on a Tuesday. The classes were so popular we soon outgrew the space, so in 2018 we added in a new location in Tylers Green. We now offer Drama, Ballet, Modern, Tap and Contemporary. From 2 classes at Penn street Village Hall to 2 new branches spread over 4 venues spread over 3 days.

Karen and Candy created an elite group of dancers called THE PERFORMANCE GROUP which is a joint group for pupils at both of our schools. The aim of this group is to push those dancers who just cannot get enough of dance.  We offer them the opportunities to dance as much as possible and perform and compete in dance events.

Miss Victoria is currently our Performance Group Manager and works alongside Miss Karen and Miss Kim on Wednesdays.

Also in 2016, Acro and Contemporary dance were introduced and in 2017, occasional Aerial silks workshops were added to our bustling timetables.

We started to provide Dance parties (online or in person).

Our LAMDA drama clubs and classes were founded by Ryan and Miss Karen.


Miss Karen became Principal and Owner of the Bucks School of Dance. 

Zoom classes were introduced!! Online exams were taken and dancing in “small squares” was an interesting chapter . Covid safe Easter and Summer camps were eagerly attended!

Our Tylers Green First School branch opened with drama, ballet, modern and tap classes on Mondays and Thursdays.

PBT Classes were added to Bourne End , and in Autumn 2024 further PBT classes will be introduced at Loudwater and Seer Green.


Miss Candy stepped down as Head of Ballet but still remains a consultant and share holder within the business.

Our School became an ISTD Ballet School as opposed to an RAD Ballet School.


In May 2024 Miss Naomi took on the new role of Head of Ballet and Miss Claire became our Creative Director.

Watch this space for what’s next! 

Exciting times ahead for our dance school. 


We teach the following disciplines

We know your children lead busy lives and we thank you for your continued dedication and for choosing to be part of our schools.

  • Ballet classes Grade 1 and above –ISTD and RAD syllabus classes
  • Intermediate Ballet class – ISTD and RAD syllabus classes – Vocational Level
  • First steps, Twinkle toes and Junior ballet classes – Fun ballet classes for our youngest ballet pupils, introducing the ballet discipline in a fun and caring way
  • Class exam or Preliminary Ballet classes – NATD syllabus class

ISTD syllabus, free work and improvisation

Fun and funky street classes for boys and girls

Primary to Intermediate – ISTD syllabus Classes
Beginner Tap and Modern – A chance to boogie and make some noise
Class exam NATD Tap

Elite training for our PG group taught by Karen and Victoria (invite only)

Confidence boosting and fun drama classes taught by our LAMDA qualified instructor

Singing, Dancing and Acting all in one class taught by Naomi

Acrobatic skills for dance

Fantastic Dance School

“Fantastic dance school, my daughter has been dancing with them for 10 years!”

You all hold a very special place in our hearts

“We cannot thank you and all of the teachers enough for just how much you have given our daughter over the years, you know how much she has loved dancing with Bucks School of dance and you all hold a very special place in our hearts.”

Feels very welcome

“My daughter joined this school in March as we went into lockdown. She has never met any of the teachers or students but already feels very welcome. The virtual lessons have been really great. In every lesson the teachers have commented on each student so they know despite not being there in person they are […]

The team are superstars!

“Not only do you allow so many children and teenagers a chance to enjoy putting on a great show, but raising money for such worthy causes too. You and the team are superstars!“

Working to High Standards

“A great dance school, working to high standards with a supportive and friendly teaching team. My daughter loves her lessons at the Bucks School of Dance.”

Like a second family

“Great dance school, my daughter has danced with them for 9 years and has learnt so much. It’s like a second family to her. The shows they put on are incredible and the teachers are very encouraging. Highly recommend it.”

Our Schools

We know your children lead busy lives and we thank you for your continued dedication and for choosing to be part of our schools.

Tylers Green

Seer Green​


Penn Street​

Bourne End​

Our Teachers

All our teachers are dedicated and committed to ensuring our students get the best tuition and support. In 2019 Miss Karen became Principal of The Bucks School of Dance and Miss Candy is Head of Ballet.

Karen Stuart​

Principal and Head of Modern and Tap

Qualifications: AISTD, DDI, DDE – Modern Theatre, Tap dance and Imperial Classical Ballet, NATD Member. ID Contemporary Dance, Progressive Ballet Technique, ISTD Contemporary Teacher.

Karen danced at Jeannine Greville Dance Academies until she was 18, and then trained full time for 3 years at The North London Dance Studio. She later attended the Linda Sweetzer Teacher Training College, and The DNA Performing Arts College for further teacher training. Karen was an assistant teacher from the age of 12 and was managing ISTD exam coaching from the age of 13! 28 years later, and she still loves passing on her passion to the younger generation.

As well as teaching, Karen has danced and choreographed for many companies. Some of which are listed below; Assistant choreographer for Thomson Rep shows in Greece, Cabaret dancer/singer for Mondiale Entertainment in Fuerteventura; Princess Jasmine in Pantomime, MIB Tribute UK Tour for Howlin Entertainment ; ballroom dancer in the movie ‘Vera Drake’ by Mike Lee; and numerous backing dancer and extra roles, both on stage and on TV.

Karen joined our sister school -The Pat Steel School of Dance in 2004, starting her journey at White Waltham School after school club, the Loudwater branch, and the Seer Green branch. Karen has, at some point, taught at all of the branches of the Bucks School of Dance, and the Pat Steel School of Dance. She is currently teaching our senior classes on Tuesdays in Bourne End, our junior ballet, modern and tap classes at our Tyler’s Green branch, our Thursday Penn Street classes, assisting with Drama at TGFS Thursdays and at BCA on Saturdays. She is also Co- choreographer for “The Performance Group” competition team, who train on Wednesdays.When she’s not dancing, thinking about dancing, or costume hunting, she is fulfilling her other major role as mummy to Amelia and Alex. She would like to thank her husband and children for putting up with her sometimes unsociable hours of work, and thank them for supporting her passion for dance, and putting up with the many weird and wonderful props, and super sparkly costumes that are scattered in every spare corner of the house, and most of all coping with her crazy “SHOW BRAIN”!

Claire Austin

Ballet teacher

Qualifications: AISTD Ballet, Modern, National, ANATD Ballet

Claire started her dance training at The Weston School of Dance & Performing Arts in Chelmsford at the age of 6 where she gained her advanced qualifications in ballet, tap, national and modern. After a period assisting on Saturdays when she was 14, she gained her teaching qualifications and was offered a full-time position teaching at the school. From there she moved to Amethyst Dance School, where she stayed for 11 years, working with Judy Watts and Bev Crook before joining Pat Steel School of Dance/Bucks School of Dance in 2001.

Claire is currently teaching at Bourne End, Loudwater and Seer Green for Bucks School of Dance as well as being the go-to cover teacher for our sister school Pat Steel. She is the co-producer for the school dance shows and costume maker extraordinaire!

Claire’s favourite pastime is snuggling up with her 4 grandchildren, the latest two joining the world in 2022, 3 days apart!

Victoria Dance

Tap, Modern and Street teacher

Qualifications: DDI DDE ISTD Modern Theatre and Tap Dance

Victoria has been dancing since the age of 2 1/2 and it has always been the main focus and passion in her life. Her love of dance lead her to study Dance and Performance Art at school, where she achieved A*s and distinctions in her Performing Arts National Diploma, with a view to making it her future career.

Victoria has performed in and choreographed for various shows and competitions all over the country, including the National Finals at Global Rock Challenge, Guys and Dolls and Little Shop of Horrors. She has played lead roles such as ‘Golda’ in Fiddler on the Roof and has performed at the Royal Albert Hall and Sheffield Arena.

Victoria always knew that she wanted to teach and work with children and attended the Linda Sweetzer Teacher Training College in September 2011. Here she gained her ISTD DDI teaching qualifications in Modern Theatre and Tap Dance at the age of 19 and her ISTD DDE qualifications by the age of 21.

Most recently, Victoria became a Mummy to her little bundle of joy Theodore who is now just over 1 years old! Victoria and her husband Ryan are overjoyed and loving their new adventure as a family of 3!

Naomi King

Modern, Ballet and Tap teacher

Qualifications: ISTD DDE Imperial Classical Ballet and DDE Modern Theatre.
National Diploma in Musical Theatre, ISTD Contemporary

Naomi started dance and gymnastics from a young age and performing on stage became her passion. She has taken exams in RAD Ballet and ISTD Modern, she went on to study Musical Theatre and Dance at sixth form college and achieved straight distinctions in her National Diplomas. She went on to study Musical Theatre at The Oxford School of Drama where she was taught by leading industry professionals in acting, singing, performance and dance.

After leaving drama school, she pursued her major passion which is dance teaching. She went on to study with Linda Sweetzer to gain her DDE in Imperial Classical Ballet and Modern Theatre.

Naomi started working for the schools in the spring of 2018 teaching Ballet, Modern, Tap and Musical Theatre and has loves teaching for our schools.

Naomi currently teaches at our Tuesday Bourne end branch and our Thursday Loudwater branch. 2021 saw the addition of Caleb to her family.

Catherine Kirby

Dance teacher

Qualifications: Registered Teacher RAD

Catherine’s passion for dance started early when she attended her first ballet class at 3 years old.

She has experienced a variety of wonderful teachers throughout her training with both Pat Steel School of Dance & Bucks School of Dance.

Catherine soon began dancing every day and her love for dance developed further when she gained a place training at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts and joined their Classical Ballet Academy.

It was in her teenage years that she decided she wanted to become a dance teacher, having assisted during classes and summer camps.

Before Catherine started her teacher training, she danced with the English Youth Ballet Company performing Swan Lake and has competed in many local competitions.

Catherine was mentored by our head of ballet; Miss Candy, during her 2-year Certificate in Ballet Teaching with the RAD, and qualified in 2021. She is now studying for her Diploma in Dance Teaching Studies with the Royal Academy of Dance.

Kim Coulson

Dance teacher

Qualifications: Level 3 BPT Instructor, Registered RAD teacher

Kim’s love for dance began at a very young age with her grandma, an ex-professional dancer, teaching her ballet and tap in her living room. She then enrolled in classes at our sister school The Pat Steel School of Dance, and has not looked back!

In her time at both Pat Steel and Bucks School of Dance she has trained in ballet, modern, tap and contemporary and was a member of the very first Senior Performance Group. Kim also performs locally in musicals, and has been in the Maidenhead Drama Guild’s pantomime for 14 years!

She is a fully qualified level 3 Progressing Ballet Technique instructor and is about to enter the final year of study for her BA (Hons) Dance Education degree at the Royal Academy of Dance.

Kim began teaching for us in 2020 and is a wonderful addition to our ever growing, and evolving teaching faculty. She has been taught and trained by many of our highly experienced teachers at our school and our sister school, and we know she has a fabulous work ethic and that “dedication to dance” that we strive to inspire in all of our pupils, assistant teachers and most definitely our wonderful teaching team.

Ryan Van Champion

Head of Drama

Qualifications: BA (Hons) Acting, LAMDA registered teacher

Ryan trained as an Actor at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and works professionally as a performer in television drama, stage, commercials, and voiceovers. He has had a great passion for the Performing Arts since childhood and loves passing this passion on to the next generation.

Ryan has been a drama teacher for over ten years, primarily preparing students for LAMDA exams in Acting, Devising, The Speaking of Verse & Prose, and Musical Theatre.

Ryan is excited to inspire creativity in the students at Bucks School of Dance at the Tylers Green and Loudwater branches.

Keira Elise Grimsdale

Dance teacher

Qualifications: ISTD DDE Tap & Modern almost completed, Level 3 Extended Diploma in Dance, ACROTRIX Teacher Training course 2022

Keira started dancing at the age of 2. She began her journey at Gail Annette School of Dance (now formally known as Romy Louisa Dance Academy) which she attended until the age of 18. Whilst attending RLDA, Keira had the opportunity to perform at Disneyland Paris and Her Majesty’s Theatre as well as having the opportunity to assist with classes.

She has recently just graduated from Momentum Performing Arts Academy where she trained in Musical Theatre Performance and Dance teacher training. Her studies included singing, acting, and dancing in genres such as tap, ballet, modern, jazz, commercial, musical theatre, double work, contemporary and a variety more.

Before attending Momentum, Keira attended City of Oxford College where she completed a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Dance. Keira teaches at our Bourne end Monday branch, Thursday Frieth branch and Friday Seer Green branch.

Teaching has always been Keira’s passion from a young age, and she has always been set on inspiring students the way her teachers inspired her once upon a time.