Portobello Dance

Artistic Director: Mark Elie

Dance Teachers

Portobello Dance School offers professional and highly experienced dance trainers, often with colourful backgrounds. We also ensure that all teachers are DBS compliant (previously CRB).

Ballet pose

Michelle Ballentyne

Michelle won a scholarship to study at Laine Theatre Arts for three years where she gained her Associate in Cecchetti Ballet with Distinction. During her time there, she also won a scholarship to The Royal Ballet Summer School. After her studies she immediately gained a place in Union Dance Company with whom she toured in both Europe and Great Britain. She was a principal dancer at ‘The Souls in Motion Gala’ at Sadlers Wells, working with Paul Henry and Stewart Arnold, and also performed with The Carol Straker Dance Company.

Michelle then went on to perform in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals ‘Cats’ where she understudied Demeter, Bombalurina, Cassandra and Tantomile. Then she went on to play the part of ‘Buffy’ in ‘Starlight Express’ at The Apollo Victoria. Michelle has worked extensively in both Theatre and Television and has appeared in many pop videos.

In 2008, Michelle graduated from Middlesex University with a BA Hons in Dance Studies. Upon graduating, Michelle continued to demonstrate Martha Graham Technique at Middlesex and went on to work with Robert Cohan and Anne Went in documenting Graham Technique for future resources. Michelle is delighted to be a part of The Portobello Dance School team. She also teaches Ballet and Contemporary at Innovation Dance Studios and continues to perform with Scatter Adult Dance Company at The Place.


Anna Davydova

Anna is a very professional dance teacher with excellent organizing and teaching skills. She is a positive, professional teacher, dancer and choreographer, with more than 15 years international experience adept at combining a strong educational ethos with an outstanding artistic talent. She possesses exceptional interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to develop and maintain positive internal and external relationships. She is a motivational and inspirational leader capable of coaching and empowering individuals to enable them to fulfill their potential whilst ensuring that they make a positive contribution to their environment.


Mark Elie, Artistic Director, Producer

Mark’s personal dance journey has proved invaluable in working with the young and ethnic community. The Foundation is, in part, the realisation of his dreams to offer opportunities to talented young people from all walks of life.

Mark Elie spent his early years in a children’s home, where at the age of ten, an opportunity to dance led to sponsored ballet training, which was to later take him across the world …

From the renouned London’s Rambert School of Ballet, he went onto the Ballet Gulbenkian Dance Company (Lisbon) and the Dance Theatre of Harlem (New York) before returning home to the work of the Carol Straker Dance Company.

His dance involvement in musicals has included ‘The Wiz’, ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’, ‘Joseph’ and ‘Y’, whilst his choreography has spanned television, motion pictures, pop promos and fashion shows.

With a wealth of experience behind him, he pursued a vision for a new type of dance school in West London – a vision that became reality in 1994.


Raheem Lascelle

Raheem, began dancing at the age of 14 at high school, achieving high grades in Contemporary Technique. After GCSE Dance Studies, he furthered his training at The Center for Arts, whilst gaining significant credits for his early professional career.

After training for a couple of years, Raheem set his goals to train at The Urdang Academy gaining a DADA award, studying the styles of ballet, jazz, contemporary, tap and commercial dance in-depth, alongside acting and singing.

After training in musical theatre, Raheem appeared in commercials, music videos, live performances and tours. Raheem has had the opportunity to work with London Fashion Week, Coca Cola, Wizkid, Sprite, BEFFTA Awards, even branching out as a Model.

In dance, Raheem’s heart lies with both Contemporary and Hip Hop, teaching Street Dance at Portobello Dance School.