Founder and Principal Teacher
Dancing is Jo’s passion, she started dancing at the age of 4 and is trained in a wide range of styles. She left Orkney to study dance full time at Ballet West and then Dance For All in Edinburgh where she gained an HND in Professional Stage Dance as well as studying her teachers qualification with the ISTD. Jo also took many exams with the ISTD and the Royal Academy of Dance to Advanced 2 level. She is a registered teacher with the RAD.
Jo has extensive performing and teaching experience. She has toured throughout Scotland as part of the Ballet West full time course and was selected as a dancer for the Commonwealth Games Handover Ceremony 2010, India. Jo was honoured to take part in the Patron’s Lunch parade for the Queens 90th birthday celebrations representing the RAD which was broadcast live on the BBC. This involved a very special performance dancing with Darcey Bussell and other RAD members for Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Family. Jo’s choreography work includes local productions of “The King and I,” “Annie,” “Oliver,” “42nd Street,” “9 To 5” and “Cats” which featured many of her talented pupils. She has also choreographed numerous pantomimes and cabaret shows.
Tara began Highland dancing at the age of 4 at Findlay School of Dance, which she then continued to practise alongside classes in Jazz, Ballet and Tap at Just Dance Orkney. She successfully auditioned for full-time dance training with Dance for All College in Edinburgh. Over the course of three years she advanced her skills and gained knowledge in a number of new styles including: Contemporary, Spanish, National, Musical Theatre and Commercial, leaving the college with a HND in Professional Dance Performance.
Tara is a qualified UKA Associate Highland Dance teacher and has passed her ISTD practical teaching exams in Modern Theatre and Tap Dance. She is also a fully qualified level 1 Progressing Ballet Technique teacher. She has been a teacher at Just dance Orkney for one year so far, and looks forward to many more in the future!
Presently, Tara has undertaken an Exercise to Music fitness qualification to gain more knowledge about a range of subjects, which will improve her teaching repertoire in the future.
In 2020 Tara was offered a full time role in Remarc as part of the entertainment team for the summer season in Greece. Her main duties were fitness and sports activities, contributing to the choreography and performing in Dance shows.
Fun fact: Favourite dance styles are theatre jazz and lyrical.
Shirley (Jo’s mum) has many roles behind the scenes from helping with admin, organising show costumes, assisting with the junior classes and keeping our school clean! She is always there to help when needed and is a familiar face around the school. We would be lost without her! When she’s not at Just Dance you can find Shirley following her passion of cooking or enjoying a walk with her dog Sid.