About us


The school was founded by Mrs. Daphne Norcross in the 1960s. Peta Barratt joined the school as an Assistant Teacher in 1987 and bought the school in 1991 when Mrs. Norcross retired. Harriet and Katie after both dancing and teaching for many years took over the school in 2019 when Miss Barratt retired.


R.A.D. Ballet

Ondine Academy offers training in R.A.D. ballet to the highest standard – up to and including Grade 8, and Vocational Grades.

The Royal Academy of Dance is an awarding body, approved by the Qualifications & Curriculum Authority, which has accredited the Academy’s Grades 6, 7 & 8 and Vocational exams. Passing Grades 1, 2, & 3 is equivalent to a GCSE Grade D – G or Level 1 NVQ. Primary in Dance examination is awarded at Entry Level 3 of National Qualifications Framework. Continuing through to Grades 6, 7, and 8 earns UCAS points depending on the pass mark and will accomplish a result to the value of an A level for Grade 8. Many of our girls achieve this. More information is available on the Royal Academy website.

The size of the school allows us to hold Ballet exams every term in our own venue, which means that the children may progress at their own pace, taking an exam as soon as they are able and not having to wait until there are enough children ready to book an Examiner.

I.S.T.D. Modern & Tap
ISTD Modern & Tap is offered in all Grades & Majors and exams are held twice a year. However, it is school policy that modern and tap are only offered in addition to ballet classes and not offered on their own, as ballet is the core subject to achieving a high standard in dance.

Melody Movement                                                                                         
Pre-School syllabus for children 2 ½ – 4 ½ with Melody Bear. Baby Ballet is offered from age 2 ½ – 3 ½. Melody Movement syllabus is taught from 3 ½ – 4 ½ where the children celebrate their achievements in class with special stickers on a Melody Bear chart and medals are awarded throughout the year. At 4 ½ the children then move up to the RAD Pre-Primary syllabus.

Acro Dance
Acrobatic Arts dance classes for children in Reception to Year 6.  A fusion of classical dance and acrobatic elements.

Street Dance
Recreational, fun street dance classes for children in years 3 – 8 without pressure of exams.

Adult Ballet
An opportunity to come and experience a ballet class and release your inner ballerina! Specifically designed for older learners, these classes will help improve your mobility, posture, co-ordination and energy levels.

Selected students may be offered the opportunity to join Team Ondine and participate in Dance Festivals throughout the year.

*Parents are welcome to watch the first class after the half term break of each term, with the exception of the Baby Ballet and Melody Movement classes, for which the watching week will be the last class of the term


Co-Principal Miss Harriet Allum,

BA (Hons), RAD RTS. Trained at Norcross School of Dance and Ondine Academy. She qualified as a Teacher at the Royal Academy of Dance in London.

Co-Principal Miss Katie Bennett,

CDE Trained at Norcross School of Dance and Ondine Academy and did her Teacher’s Training with Linda Sweetzer

Miss Nadine Brenton.  LISTD, Level 6 DPP, QTLS, DDI, DDE.   Teacher training at Chichester College.   She has taught ballet for 3 years at Rochelle Ballet School and ISTD modern and tap teaching at INTIME Dance school.

Mrs Joanne Jones RAD RTS.

Miss Annie Morris