Clair Thomas



Clair trained at the Susan Robinson School in Byfleet. She was awarded the Phyllis Bedells Bursury in 1988. She won a Prix de Bourse in the 1989 Prix de Lausanne and is the only UK prizewinner from a non Vocational Ballet School, in the history of the Competition. Clair joined The Royal Ballet School on a Scholarship in 1990. She went on to win the Gold Medal in the RAD’s Flagship Competition, The Adeline Genée Awards (Now Margot Fonteyn International Ballet Competition) and began her professional career with English National Ballet in 1992. During her career she also danced with London City BalletHet Nationale Ballet in Amsterdam, Brussels Ballet in Belgium and The Michael Clark Company in London. Clair graduated with a Professional Dance Teaching Diploma from the Royal Academy of Dance in 2008. She has previously taught for The Urdang Academy in London and Bird College in Sidcup. She is currently a free lance teacher for the RAD both at Head Quarters and on their international Summer Schools. Clair was Head of Ballet at bothThe D&B School of Performing Arts in Bromley for three years and then for The Brighton Academy for 4 years. She is currently a Ballet Tutor for IC Theatre in Brighton teaching Ballet to Degree Students as well as teaching Ballet for BATCH Pre Vocational Dance Course at Smikle Dance Studio. She has choreographed for the Sussex Youth Ballet and various other Graduate Performances. Clair founded Ballet Brighton in 2015 and in 2020 became a certified PBT teacher.

Holly Henry

Teacher: Ballet and Musical Theatre

Holly grew up in Manchester where she trained in Ballet, Tap, Modern and Jazz.  She later began performing, teaching and choreographing. She then went on to gain a Foundation Degree in Dance from Liverpool Institute for Contemporary Theatre and more recently completed her BA (Hons) degree in Performing Arts from Institute for Contemporary Theatre. She has performed at venues such as Liverpool Echo Arena, Manchester Palace Theatre, Lowry Lyric Theatre and as part of Brighton Fringe Festival.  Holly has been a valued member of the Ballet Brighton team for three years and we are very lucky to have her.

Ellie Canavan-White

Assistant Teacher

Ellie trained at The Eastbourne Academy of Dance since in various styles of dance.  She completed all RAD Grades up to Advanced 1.  She also attended Central School of Ballet Associate program.  Ellie has been assisting in classes with Ballet Brighton for the past year and has recently begun studying for her Certificate in Ballet Teaching with the RAD.  Miss Ellie attends the Advanced Ballet class and pointe every Friday and is also working towards completing her RAD Advanced 2 Exam.  During the week she works in a Secondary School as head of Religious Studies and has a BA (Hons) in Religions, Philosophies and Ethics which has given her invaluable experience in teaching young people.  We are very happy to have her as a valued member of the Ballet Brighton team.

Ester Natzijl

Guest Teacher: Ballet and Yoga

Ester Natzijl is a dancer, performer, puppeteer, theatre-maker and teacher. Following her training in Classical Ballet and Contemporary Dance at the Royal Conservatoire of Music and Dance in The Hague, she worked with several contemporary companies, including the Netherlands Dance Theatre and Introdance, touring all over the world. She received additional training in theatre and mime, gained her MA in Theatre Science from the University of Amsterdam and simultaneously created different multi-disciplinary acts and dance theatre performances. Ester will be teaching Adult Ballet and a Vinyasa Flow Yoga class for Adults and Ballet Coaching class for younger students. She will also take the first in our series of Adult Dance Workshops. We feel very fortunate to have Ester as part of the Ballet Brighton team and are grateful for the wealth of experience, creativity and inspiration that she will bring to the students.

‘dance with joy and inspiration’

“Miss Clair is professional, enthusiastic and friendly. The classes are structured whilst remaining fun and my two daughters love it! I would thoroughly recommend.”
Michelle – Mother of Chloe and Florence