Carlisle Dance Academy

About Us

About Carlisle Dance Academy – The most popular dance academy in Cumbria

About Carlisle Dance Academy

Brief History | CDA’s Aims | Classes at CDA | Starting | Uniform | Yearly work cycle | Pick-up and drop-off | Opportunities at CDA
Attendance | Fundraising | Meet the Team | Contacting CDA | News and Events | Other important info

Welcome to Carlisle Dance Academy!

We are delighted you have chosen to join the CDA family. This letter will include all the important information you will need to know. We know this looks like a lot to take in, but any member of CDA staff is happy to discuss, explain and go through any of it with you.

Brief History

Carlisle Dance Academy was established in 2012 by Laura Irwin. We are very proud to have grown and grown out of a school hall into purpose-built premises, with 4 studios with full length mirrors and sprung flooring. CDA further conducts classes in Wigton and Penrith.

We have 10 fully qualified, experienced and talented teachers – Laura, Leony, Joanna, Lisa, Becca, Kelly, Emily, Gabby and Abbie.

CDA is the newest and freshest dance school in the city!

Back to top

CDA’s Aims

Our main aim is obviously to teach your children/ yourself to dance successfully in an enjoyable, safe and productive way…but we want to do so much more. Here at CDA we pride ourselves on having a positive impact on:

  • Building confidence
  • Developing self-esteem
  • Increasing social skills
  • Improving overall performance skills
  • Health and fitness levels
  • Working as a team

Back to top

Classes at CDA

We offer a great variety of dancing classes at CDA and are continuing to develop what we have to offer. We try to structure our timetable, so pupils have the opportunity to do more than one lesson on the same day, for example pupils can take ballet, dancing and cheerleading in straight succession on a Saturday. Class prices are discounted when more than 2 lessons a week are taken. We are constantly increasing the classes we offer but if there is anything else you would like us to provide for you please don’t hesitate in letting us know.

  • General dance lessons: hip hop, street dance, freestyle, commercial and disco
  • Ballet/ Lyrical/Contemporary lessons
  • Commercial dance lessons
  • Cheerleading classes
  • Modern Stage
  • Musical Theatre
  • Pensioner classes
  • Tricks lessons
  • Boy’s only Street dance lessons
  • Tap Classes
  • Parent and toddler, Little stars
  • Dance fit
  • Technique classes
  • Competition teams
  • Acrobatic classes
  • Jazz classes
  • ‘First dance’ for weddings

CDA has something to offer to everyone!

Back to top


When joining CDA you will be asked to complete an online registration form, which will be emailed to you.
This is to ensure we can care and provide the best tuition we can for your child/yourself.

We politely ask parents/carer to wait outside the studios in the reception area whilst classes are being instructed; this reduces the child’s distraction and keeps the dances a surprise! For the child’s first class we are happy for parents/carers to sit in until the child is settled and comfortable.

Back to top


All pupils within a general dance class (other than seniors) will require black ballet shoes and white tap shoes. Seniors general dance classes will require white jazz shoes. Each dance class has an individual class leotard, you are only able to purchase these from CDA (on the front desk).

Pupils within ballet classes will require pink ballet shoes, a black ballet leotard and white ballet tights (again able to purchase from CDA).

Pupils within cheerleading classes will require black lycra hot pants.

For all CDA shows and performances, pupils will require a black CDA T-shirt.

For weekly classes children are able to wear comfortable clothing such as leggings, t-shirts, gym wear, or their class leotards. With the exception Ballet classes must wear full uniform.

We understand when first joining CDA, parents/carers may not want to buy all the uniform at once, we are aware and are understanding in these circumstances. We politely ask firstly buying the footwear, within the first month. If you have any issues or concerns over the uniform, please ask the class teacher.

Back to top

Yearly work cycle

CDA runs on a yearly cycle. From the start of a new school year in September until January pupils will be working on exam work. Pupils will sit dancing exams with NCDTA and/or IDTA. After the exams we hold an awards ceremony (which is optional). This is where pupils who have sat exams will be presented with their exam trophies and certificates. From January to July pupils will be working on dances for our annual summer shows either performed at The Sands Centre.

CDA has the same holidays as schools. We offer fun holiday camp throughout the holidays. Please check termly newsletters for exact dates of holidays.

Back to top

Pick up and dropping off at CDA

The car park within the CDA yard is for CDA staff only, we politely ask parents/carers not to park in here; if you require parking closer to the building please contact a member of staff.

Please arrive 5 minutes prior to class time and have your child/yourself ready in the appropriate shoes and clothing.  When the class is over the dancers will be escorted to the reception to be picked up.

For the safety of our students please do not pull up in front the door and wait.  Please park and come in to get your dancer and ensure you are not blocking the gates or entrance to car park.

Back to top

Opportunities CDA has to offer

Here at CDA we constantly try to keep the Academy as fresh and exciting as possible therefore we try to give our students as many opportunities as we can. Below is a list of some of the shows/events we have held and taken part in since we have opened:

  • Yearly CDA Sell out shows at the biggest performing venue in Cumbria, The Sands Centre
  • Dance Exams through both IDTA and NCDTA Examination boards
  • Several other CDA showcases held at The RRMA Theatre, Harraby Theatre, The Venue, The Hilltop Hotel and The White Heather
  • Compete in national competitions
  • Many in house fundraising events
  • Many charity performances all over the region
  • Carlisle/ Wigton/ Workington/Brampton Christmas Light’s Switch On
  • Cumbria’s Gay Pride events
  • Bus trips to dance workshops
  • Christmas Parades
  • Famous and professional dance workshop
  • Theatre trips
  • CDA Summer/ Easter/Christmas/Halloween and half term Holiday Camps
  • CDA Award’s Ceremonies
  • CDA Christmas Parties
  • CDA Disney Character Dance Day



Good attendance is imperative because absences can hold back the entire class. Please make every effort to encourage your child to attend every class to allow them to reach their potential in all performances.

If a dancer misses 3 classes within a term without contacting and notifying a member of CDA staff, they will unfortunately loose their space.

Back to top


Here at CDA we do not charge parents/carers for any shows or performance costumes. Instead we have a Fundraising committee which was formed with the aim to raise funds for new costumes and keeping the cost of dance classes down.

Back to top

Meet the Team

Click here to read more about each member of the team of CDA instructors.

Back to top

Contacting CDA

Thank you for taking your time to read about Carlisle Dance Academy and what we have to offer.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask a member of staff.

Like us on Facebook – Carlisle Dance Academy. Give our Facebook page a like to keep up to date with information and reminders.

Details of how to contact us, click here.

Directions and how to find us, click here.

Back to top

Keep Up-to-date with Carlisle Dance Academy News and Events

To keep up-to-date with CDA activities… feel free to do what’s easiest for you!

Back to top

Other important info…

  • All teaching staff are fully qualified Dance Teacher
  • DBS cleared staff
  • First aid trained staff
  • NCDTA registered school
  • IDTA registered school
  • Registered with British Cheerleading Association
  • Public Liability Insurance
  • PRS for music license
  • Covid certificated staff

Back to top