Katie Philpott


Katie began dancing at the age of five at the Angela Reynolds and Dorothy Stevens dance schools.  On leaving Mirfield High School, she began her three-year professional dance training at Laine Theatre Arts in 1985 and launched her career dancing on Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines sailing from New York to Bermuda.  In 1989, she joined the circus, working with choreographer Rex Grey and performing in a huge three-ring tent with American Circus touring Italy and Germany.   In this challenging yet rewarding role, Katie met fascinating people from around the world and had a memorable insight into life in the then divided Germany.  Katie moved to a small ornate circus in Zurich before working for choreographer Dougie Squires at theatres around Scotland.

Katie then returned to sea, joining Matrix Entertainments and dancing on board the ‘Horizon’, Celebrity Cruises, with the renowned Peter Gordeno before becoming Head Dancer on their brand new ship, the ‘Zenith’.  Cruising the East and Western Caribbean, Katie coordinated rehearsals, looked after the well-being of her team and liaised with the cruise director.  She then sailed around the world working as Head Dancer with choreographer Alan Harding on another new ship, the ‘Silver Cloud’, Silver Sea Cruises.

In 1997, Katie passed her ISTD teaching exams at the Laton Ash Dance School before enjoying her last season at sea with the Fred Olsen Cruises sailing around the Baltics and Mediterranean.  She began her teaching career in East Sussex at Doris Isaacs School of Dance, Deborah Lamb Theatre School, Roedean Girls School and Brighton College before returning to Mirfield.

School friend Steph Hepworth encouraged Katie to hold a dance class for her three-year-old daughter and friends.  Enquiries soon came from other age groups and in September 2000, the KPSD was born, performing its first show at Dewsbury Little Theatre with 90 pupils.  Steph remains Katie’s close friend and helps organise shows and events.  

Katie said the School provides a friendly and accessible environment for all abilities, but maintains a professional approach and strives to achieve high standards in all classes.  She is proud of the School’s 100% ISTD exam pass rate and that the students have the invaluable opportunity to perform in professionally staged shows at the Lawrence Batley Theatre.

Rachel Bowers

(BTEC BA (Hons))

Rachel started dancing and acting when she was just three and is also a graduate of the KPSD! 

She studied two BA (Hons) Degrees in the disciplines of Dance and Drama at Liverpool Hope University and Huddersfield University and went on to work at the Sarah Taylor School of Dance before joining Katie five years ago. 

Rachel is also a Community Sports Dance Coach and works in primary and secondary schools around the region alongside teaching street dance, jazz, contemporary, musical theatre and cheerleading at KPSD. 

She works with five to 20-year-olds and explained that the best part of her job is the honour of watching her students develop as young people and flourish as dancers.

Teaches Street Dance, Jazz, Musical Theatre, Cheerleading and Contemporary

Sophie Clayton


Sophie came through the KPSD ranks, attending her first modern dance class relatively late at the age of 11.  However, from day one she was hooked and soon added ballet, tap and jazz to her repertoire.  Dance became Sophie’s life and she completed all her ISTD exams under Katie’s wing.  By the age of 17, Sophie knew she wanted to teach dance and went on to train for her Diploma in Dance Instruction (DDI) at Dorothy Stevens School of Dance.  She then continued at ElliTe Studios and completed her diploma in dance education (DDE).  Sophie teaches all ages of dance, from the three-year-olds in creative movement through to adult classes.  She explained that the best thing about teaching at KPSD is the children and the friendly environment which ‘feels like ‘home’!  Sophie teaches, ballet, tap, modern, jazz, and acrobatic arts.


Teaches Ballet, Tap, Modern, Jazz and Acrobatic Arts

Hannah Jones


Hannah started dancing at the Angela Reynolds School of Dance at the age of four and trained at Cambridge Performing Arts and the London Contemporary Dance School where she gained her National Diploma in Professional Dance and Certificate of Higher Education in Contemporary Dance.  During her time as a professional dancer, Hannah appeared in many productions from pantomimes to working with leading contemporary choreographers such as Kim Brandstrup and Richard Alston.  Hannah joined KPSD in 2010 and is a registered teacher with both the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) and the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD).  She works with both children and adult groups at KPSD and other schools including the Kim Frost School of Dance. Hannah also works as a tutor/assessor on the RAD's Certificate in Ballet Teaching studies course, a distance learning teacher training programme. Hannah said she loves working alongside the fabulous team at KPSD and having the opportunity to use her passion to inspire others.  

Hannah teaches ballet and tap and is also a trained Pilates teacher.

Candy Wilman

(AISTD dip, DDE, RAD teaching cert)

Candy began dancing at Kathleen West’s School of Dance and went on to further her training at the Hammond School of Dance in Chester where she won plaudits for Endeavour and Choreography winning the competition with a 'metamorphosis piece' adjudicated by Julia Farron.

Candy gained her equity card dancing in pantomime and appeared in numerous television shows including Coronation Street, Heartbeat, Darling Buds of May and a Steve Coogan series.

Before joining the team at KPSD, Candy worked at Barbara Peters' School of Dance and has seen many of her students go on to enjoy careers and become teachers in the world of dance. 

She has now been teaching for more than 25 years and has choreographed and produced numerous shows at venues including the Lawrence Batley Theatre and Huddersfield Town Hall. 

Candy teaches pre school children upto adults and loves the warm and friendly atmosphere that Katie has created, helping everyone feel supported and part of the thriving KPSD family.

Teaches Modern, Tap, Ballet and Disco Duck

Amber Wilson


Amber has been dancing since she was three and has recently returned to the UK after working as a professional dancer travelling the world on cruise ships.

She studied at Preston Dance College, qualifying as an ISTD teacher in Tap and Modern alongside gaining a Foundation Degree in Professional Performance and Teaching. Amber is also a qualified instructor in Aerobics, Body Conditioning and Armchair Exercise.

During her career as a professional dancer, she was Dance Captain at a prestigious Greek resort,  a role she also undertook on cruise ships while also gaining experience was Production Manager.

Amber describes herself as a positive and energetic person who adores children and she wants to share her experience and knowledge to help others achieve their dream career or simply enjoy dancing as a hobby.

Karen Rogers

KMR Dancewear

Karen started working with KPSD in 2007 supplying dancewear to its students.

She studied business at college and worked in the freight forwarding industry for 20 years before working part-time as an Early Years Practitioner while she brought up her family.

Karen set up KMR Dancewear to supply dance clothing and uniforms to local dance schools and began her association with KPSD in its early years when her eldest daughter began dancing at the School. Karen now works as a full-time Office Administrator at a school for children with special needs.

If you would like to contact Karen regarding dancewear, you can email her at


KMR Dancewear

Dianne Watkinson

BA Hons

Dianne started working with KPSD in 2014 and supports Katie with the School’s social media, marketing and communications.

As a Film, Theatre and Television graduate, Dianne has a passion for the arts and also works at the Lawrence Batley Theatre, where we present our shows.  She has a wide-ranging experience working as a Journalist and Press Officer both in the UK and overseas.

Dianne loves dance and live performance and even dances herself in our adult tap classes and supports our fundraising events.  She lives in, and believes in, the Mirfield community and helps KPSD build friendly, productive and sustainable relationships with our dancers, their families and the wider community in West Yorkshire. 

If you have any queries relating to our Facebook page, KPSD website or any of our external communications or fundraising, you can contact Dianne at

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