Academy Street was founded by Jemma Mcrae in 1996. Jemma ran the school for 23 years, and during that time she touched the lives of many dance students in Aberdeen. Jemma's reputable teaching and sparkling personality shone bright for all those who had the chance to be a part of her dance journey. Gillian was an Academy Street Dance pupil where in later years she joined as a teaching member, Joanne then joined the team in 2014. This became the solidarity of 'Team Academy Street'. We worked as a trio for 5 years and valued each other as teacher's as well as close friends. Our every inspiring 'Jem' sadly passed in February 2019, and she left one of the biggest legacies in her 'extended family' Academy Street Dance Studio.
August 2019 will see Jemma's legacy continue at the family's kind request by Gillian and Joanne. We both are extremely honoured to be given the opportunity, albeit sad without Jemma's guidance. We look forward and determined to continue her legacy, life work and keep 'Team Academy Street' going for many years to come.
BA (Hons) Dance Education, RAD RTS, BA (Hons), DDE, AISTD Acrobatic Arts Certified
Joanne started dance classes at the age of 4, in Ballet, Modern & Tap, followed by Highland at age 7. Joanne completed examinations up to Advanced 1 in Ballet and fully completed the Modern syllabus by gaining her Advanced 2 certificate. During this time Joanne was given many wonderful opportunities to perform. Dancing at the Arts Centre, HMT, corporate events at the P&J arena and the spectacular Royal Albert Hall in London.
In 2009 Joanne decided to turn her passion into a career and started her teacher training, where she undertook the Dance Education degree, registered teacher's status with the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) and her Diploma in Dance Instruction with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD). Upon completion in June 2013, Joanne accepted a senior teaching role for the Edinburgh Dance Academy, within this role Joanne choreographed for many an event, including part of the Christmas events on Princes Street, a flashmob, and many dance competitions, a highlight being a trip to a competition in Blackpool and a choreography piece getting through to the finals of That's Showbiz.
Since 2014, Joanne returned to Aberdeen and has worked as a freelance instructor in Aberdeen and gained her further teaching Diploma in Dance Education, in 2016 Joanne opened her own dance school Elevate Dance where she had 3 successful years of classes, before merging with Academy Street Dance Studio in 2019.
Gillian started dancing age 18 months old studying ISTD Ballet, Tap, Modern & Highland. At 12 years old, Gillian gained a full scholarship at The Dance School of Scotland in Glasgow. Here Gillian was lucky to be taught by many specialist dance teachers from all over the world, performed to Princess Anne, in Annual showcases in the Kings Theatre Glasgow, and won the choreography competition and progress prize, twice in five years.
When returning home to Aberdeen age 18, she furthered her dance training by gaining her Advanced Modern, Ballet and Tap examinations. Alongside these vocational dance exams, whilst working for an oil company Gillian taught part time and gained her dance teaching qualifications; DDE Modern & DDI Tap, accredited by the I.S.T.D.
Gillian set up her own business Minimovers Aberdeen. Here she offered preschool & street dance classes within nurseries and schools during school time. Which have proved to be extremely popular over the years. Gillian also loves a party, so she decided to set up a Dance Party business as part of her Minimovers venture. These have been extremely successful for many years now, helped to run by an amazing team, Erin Cornwell and Jessica Black.