The Fiona Henderson School of Dance (FHSD as it's affectionately known as, by pupils past and present) was established in 1985 in Edinburgh with just five pupils. Since then it has grown steadily and currently has over 300 pupils.


The School accepts pupils from 13 months (walking) and offers dance classes from Beginner level right the way up to Professional level. Some of our former students have progressed to study dance at full-time vocational schools, some have become full-time dance teachers and a select few have gone on to open their own dance schools.


My ethos is that I want all pupils that come through our door to leave us with a love of dance. Some love it for exercise, some love competitions, some love exams and others love to perform, but my message to them is always clear – do your best, work your hardest at whatever aspect of dance you wish to excel at, and love what you do because anyone watching you whether it be a competition judge, an examiner, a teacher or an audience will appreciate your joy of dance and how hard you are working.

Fiona Henderson
Principal and Artistic Director


Why we believe Everyone should Dance

Physical Fitness - Physical benefits from participating in a dance class at any age include physical fitness, muscle control, coordination, cardiovascular conditioning, flexibility, strength, endurance, stamina, grace, poise, posture, alignment, and balance. With today’s obese society, dance classes offer an exciting opportunity to get active, learn something new, and have fun.

Intellectual Stimulation - Dancing in a structured dance class environment fosters the following: calculation and planning; sequential learning; patterns; spatial development; increased motivation to learn, achieve and reach milestones; mental flexibility and mastery; problem solving skills; holistic thinking (right and left brain inclusion); improved academic performance; and memory.

Social Development - Participating in dance classes and performances allows individuals to work with others which will prepare them for future relationships, both personal and professional. Social fundamentals enhanced in dance classes include team exploration; communication; camaraderie; cooperation; responsibility; tolerance; respect for peers, teachers, mentors and elders; problem solving; and patience.

Creativity and Artistic Integrity - Dance classes and opportunities to perform provide an outlet of expression for everyone. Creativity is just as important as academic performance for inventions, medical breakthroughs, and technological advances in society. Dancers often improvise and create their own choreography which nurtures aesthetic awareness; musicality; creative expression; imagination; innovation; rhythmic expression; music appreciation; visual arts appreciation; and artistry.

Emotional Exploration - Self-respect, joy and excitement are the most profound emotional benefits of dancing.

Self-Improvement & Self-Empowerment - Dancing can be a group effort but at the same time, individual exploration is paramount as everyone progresses at different rates. Dancers flourish with regard to focus, concentration, determination, perseverance, persistence, self-discipline, strong work ethic, sense of accomplishment, self-esteem and confidence. Likewise dancing cultivates self-awareness, listening skills, accuracy, open-mindedness, time management skills, reasoning skills, and problem solving skills.

Acceptance and Understanding - When studying with a qualified instructor, dance education also includes dance history as well as exploration of other cultures and styles of dancing. This fosters acceptance and understanding of others which will be useful in future relationships both personally and professionally.

Academic Advantages - Academically, dancers have distinct advantages regarding learning a foreign language since ballet terminology is in French. Dancers also have a better understanding of English grammar and composition because composing and creating a dance is much like writing an essay with a beginning, middle, end, punctuation and transitions. Most importantly, dancers work holistically using the right and left brain. The right brain dictates creativity, intuition, and a look at the whole, whereas the left brain is the logical, sequential and analytical side. In creating movement phrases, both sides work in conjunction with each other which is a more comprehensive approach than traditional schooling.

Medical Benefits - Dancers reap many health benefits including strong bones, lubricated joints, a decrease in blood pressure, lower cholesterol, better weight management, improved muscle tones, and a reduced risk of heart disease.

Reduce Stress & Tension, Greater Sense of Well-Being - Perhaps the most important benefits to dancing include: stress and tension reliever, an increase in energy, you look and feel better, pride, sense of accomplishment, a better outlook in life, and it’s fun!!!