Sarah Dean (Principal)

Sarah Dean founded DAPA in 1998, and has personally overseen the school’s development into one of the largest and most successful Performing Arts schools in the country. It is a remarkable achievement for a dance school to celebrate twenty years of existence, but even more amazing when one thinks of the thousands of children that have passed through the classes. Before DAPA opportunities in East Kent, to train as a performer were extremely limited, but since 1998 thousands have!

But Sarah has combined her role as the Principal of DAPA with a glittering career as one of Britain’s leading professional choreographers. Her close association with the professional theatre has given many DAPA students the unique opportunity to appear on big stages in major theatres, most notably the DAPA troupe that performed at London’s Savoy Theatre for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in the presence of Princess Eugenie, the emotional contribution DAPA made to the Stephen Gately Memorial at the Palace Theatre- in the West End, the amazing opportunity for DAPA students to dance alongside professionals at Ruth and Eammon Holme’s celebrity wedding (and appearing in Hello Magazine!) and more recently performing with BGT winners Collabro at the Leas Cliff Hall in Folkestone.

Sarah trained at Arts Educational College in Chiswick; she had a successful career as a professional dancer for many years. She travelled the world appearing in such far flung places as Japan, Hong Kong, Spain and Ireland; and notably starred in “Spirit of the Dance” in the USA before returning home to become the choreographer for the Marlowe Theatre Pantomimes in Canterbury. Sarah then moved from performing to choreography before opening DAPA!!

In 2005 Sarah became the Dance Co-ordinator for First Family Entertainment, the country’s leading producer of pantomimes. She annually employed over four hundred dancers and co-ordinated nine top choreographers across twelve different theatres across the country. Her work in pantomime brought her into contact with scores of celebrities – she taught David Hasselhoff to dance, Priscilla Presley became a friend and took her shopping in Las Vegas, and everyone lost count of the number of dwarfs she taught “Whistle While You work” – though it was always a multiple of seven, she waltzed with Bradley Walsh and pirouetted with Wayne Sleep, plus many, many more amazing memories. Closer to home, perhaps Sarah’s greatest achievement was “Celtic Journey”, the Irish dance show she devised, directed and choreographed, which was performed at the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury and the Churchill Theatre, Bromley. In 2008 Sarah founded the St Margarets Festival Ballet. This has been an enduring pleasure, bringing classical ballet to the village that has become her home. But between all these amazing experiences and brilliant shows, she can still be found at 4pm most days at the DAPA Deal Studio in Mill Road or at DAPA Canterbury working with the students and taking them that one step further down the road to achieving their dreams.

Sarah Dean (Principal)

Dance School in Canterbury

Dean Academy of Performing Arts


Prince Of Wales Youth Club
23 Military Rd

Dance School in Deal

Dean Academy of Performing Arts


Goodwin Academy
Hamilton Road
CT14 9BD


If you have any queries please use our contact form or other contact details

DAPA - Dean Academy of Performing Arts
1 Erin Cottages, Well Lane
St Margarets-at-Cliffe
Dover, CT15 6AA
07963 029441
[email protected]

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