Team Academy Street

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.

‘Team Academy Street’ continues under the guidance and nurturing of Gillian Stuart and Joanne Milne. We strive to provide a high standard of dance training within a welcoming and fun environment, and endeavour to continue to instil the foundations ethos of Academy Street.  ‘Live, Laugh and Dance’  


Joanne Milne

A (Hons) Dance Education, RAD RTS, DDE, AISTD Acrobatic Arts Certified

Joanne started dance classes at the age of 4, in Ballet, Modern, Tap, Highland and later Contemporary. By undertaking vocational training completed Advanced 1 Ballet & Advanced 2 Modern examinations. During her training, Joanne was given many wonderful opportunities to perform on stage. Regular performances 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 embarked on the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Dance Education degree. Upon completion of the first year, gained her registration with the RAD (RTS) and her Diploma in Dance Instruction (DDI) with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD). Once successfully graduating in July 2013, Joanne accepted a senior teaching role for the Edinburgh Dance Academy. Within this role Joanne worked for the dance department of a specialist High School, tutoring SQA dance of all levels National 5 – HND level dance. Her role also included choreographing for many an event. This included Christmas events on Princes Street, a large flashmob, external school shows and many dance competitions!  

July 2014, Joanne returned to Aberdeen and taught as a freelance instructor in Aberdeen for a variety of dance schools and continued to teach SQA qualifications. Has since completed the Diploma in Dance Education certificate (DDE) and continues her training still.  Joanne opened her own dance school Elevate Dance in 2016 where she had 3 successful years of classes, before merging with Academy Street Dance Studio in 2019. 

Gillian Auld Stuart

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 2 Modern, Advanced 1 Ballet and Advanced 2 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. Offering preschool & street dance classes within nurseries and education settings with great success and popularity, which are still continuing today. Under the Minimovers Aberdeen brand, Gillian branched out into the party business offering an array of dance parties. These have been extremely successful for many years, and will continue to party on at Academy Street.