Access to Higher Education Diploma (dance)

Pre-Vocational Training Programme – Contemporary  Course Update.

With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic necessitating the need for social distancing to prevent its spread and will need to remain in place for the foreseeable future we  have made the difficult decision to postpone the intake of any new students onto our Pre-vocational Training Programme  (PVTP) until autumn 2021.

While obviously  this is disappointing, we hope you understand this is a necessary step to help keep each other safe as we work to re-enter our building and studios. 

Our priority for the autumn is to ensure the safe return of our current students on our full and part-time training programmes and all our other users and artists.

We will update you with any new information and developments as soon as they are confirmed. If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch with the PVTP office or you can take a look at our website page: PVTP 

Stay safe, and we will be in touch with more information soon.


This course is led by national level professionals from the dance industry with the emphasis being on the achievement of practical dance skills that will enable participants to audition for Conservatoire training at Degree Level and a future career in dance if they so choose. 

Core Dance Course Tutors:

James Muller (Contemporary & Ballet)

James currently teaches Ballet and Contemporary on the Pre-Vocational Training Programme. He trained at Central School of Ballet & The Royal Ballet School and also teaches at The Place and Central School of Ballet. His previous performance experience includes Richard Alston Dance Company, Theatre Ulm (Germany) and Northern Ballet.







Cheryl Heuston (Jazz)

Cheryl trained at London Studio Centre, graduating in 2004 after touring with the Jazz Company.

After leaving dance school, Cheryl performed on ‘Top of the Pops’ and MTV’s ‘The Fridge’ as well as dancing in several Pantomimes and Corporate Events for Dance reality and Manic Productions.

Cheryl then went on to dance in production shows on cruise ships for HireNotes Productions and Vegas based, company CBG.

As a choreographer Cheryl has choreographed production shows for HireNotes and Manic Productions and worked as an assistant to Gail Davies of CBG, assisting and performing in ‘100 years of Magic’ at the London Palladium.

Cheryl has taught in schools around the Swindon area and taught Musical Theatre for the Ceccetti Summer School at Arts Educational.

Cheryl has been running her own school – Marlborough Academy of Dance (MAD) since it began in September 2013.






Fred ‘Realness’ Folkes (Body Conditioning & Contextualising Dance)

Realness’ is a UK based performer and a member of the group Old Men Grooving – finalists in 2015 Britain’s Got Talent.
Fred specialises in various popular/vernacular and street dances, especially dances of the late 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. He is regarded internationally as an expert in the street dance styles of Popping and Locking.






Workshop Tutors Include:  Estela Merlos, Deepraj Singh, Liam Wallace, Stephen Williams, Debbie Lee-Anthony, Sarah Josh, Anna Watkins, Jacob O’Connell, Ben McEwen, Aggie Nonsizi, Gemma Fuller, Natasha,Thomasin Gulgec & Gemma Bowen

Units of study

  • Dance technique including contemporary dance, classical ballet and jazz dance
  • Body Awareness
  • Performance Practice 
  • Fundamentals of Choreography and Creative Practice
  • Contextualising Dance

Extra curriculum studies

  • Extra practical enhancement training will form part of this training programme with workshops in a variety of current dance styles
  • Audition preparation and guidance
  • Students will be expected to attend a minimum of six performances per year held at the Court Theatre @ Swindon Dance

Assessment methods

Assessment will include practical demonstration, performances, verbal presentations and discussions, reflective logs, written question and answer, project and practical file.


Access to HE Diploma (Dance) – £315 per term (based on 3 terms a year)

Access to HE Diploma (Urban Dance) – £315 per term (based on 3 terms a year)

Both qualifications have been allocated 16-19 government funding. All students aged 16-19 years of age will be able to access this funding, therefore the qualification will be free and students will be expected to cover the cost above for enhancement training. Students aged 20+  can pay for the course, please get in touch for further details. 

Scholarships are available. Please email if you would like to be considered for a scholarship-

Travel Subsidies are available


Entry for 2021 is by application and audition 

This programme of training runs in partnership with New College, Swindon 

Swindon Dance is an accredited CERTA centre 

This programme of study is classified as; Access to Higher Education Diploma, AVA Learning Programme.

All information complies with the; QAA Recognition Scheme for Access to Higher Education – The Access to Higher Education Diploma Specification 2013