Faculty Staff & Members

Peter Schaufuss
Founder & Artistic Director

Peter Schaufuss was quite literally brought up in the theatre and is an Olivier, Evening Standard and Edinburgh Critic’s Award-winning choreographer, teacher, director and widely recognized as one of the most talented male dancers on the international stage.

 

In a stellar career he has performed with the most celebrated ballerinas of his time at all major ballet companies, and staged upwards of 100 productions worldwide. He has had ballets and choreography specifically created for him by the likes of; Sir Kenneth McMillan, George Balanchine, Roland Petit, Sir Frederick Ashton, among others.

 

Peter has also been the director of ‘English National Ballet’, ‘Berlin Ballet’ at the German Opera Berlin and ‘Royal Danish Ballet’. He is the Founder of the ‘English National Ballet School’, the ‘Peter Schaufuss Ballet & School’ and the 'Royal Danish Ballet School in Holstebro’.

 

Peter has had his own Emmy Award nominated television program ‘Dancer’ for the BBC as well as built ‘Black Box Theatre’ to his design, in Denmark, which is his native country.

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Dame Darcey Bussell DBE
Patron

Dame Darcey Bussell, DBE is acclaimed worldwide as one of the great ballerinas of her generation. She received her early training at the Arts Educational School before joining the Royal Ballet School.

After graduation she joined the Sadlers Wells Royal Ballet for a short period before joining the Royal Ballet where she became a principal dancer at the age of only 20 years old. 
 

Dame Darcey remained with The Royal Ballet through her whole ballet career, but notably also performed as a guest artist with many of the world’s leading companies including. New York City Ballet, La Scala Theatre Ballet, the Kirov/Mariinsky Ballet, Hamburg Ballet and the Australian Ballet. 
 

Dame Darcey is well known to the general public, not only as a judge on "Strictly Come Dancing", but also from books, modelling, and numerous BBC Television productions.
 

She also supports numerous British and international charities and dance institutions.
 

Dame Darcey became the Patron of Edinburgh Festival Ballet in 2020.

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Lee Walls
General Manager/Administrator

Lee Walls is born in Edinburgh and had an early career in Event Management and Presentation, she spent several years abroad away from home developing her management skills before returning to Edinburgh to further her career setting up and running her own very successful Event Company. 

 

In 2018 she was invited to join the Rose Theatre as the Operational Manager and in March of 2020 she was appointed General Manager of Rose Theatre, Saint Stephens and Edinburgh Festival Ballet & School. 

 

Lee is married to Ryan a successful photographer and the author of the acclaimed book 'Edinburgh People' they have four children. In her spare time Lee enjoys cooking and skiing and she is a supporter of several charities and an active member of her church’s board.

Johan Christensen
School Principal & Co-Director

Johan Christensen was born in West Jutland in Denmark and joined the prestigious Royal Danish Ballet School as a child prodigy. He performed many of the children’s roles on stage, including the title role Peter in Sergei Prokofiev's much loved 'Peter and the Wolf' and the Prince in the magical Nutcracker production by Alexei Ratmansky.

 

During his schooling Johan was trained in the unique, to the Royal Danish Ballet, style of August Bournonville and participated in the 200th anniversary of the choreographers birth in 2005, appearing in all the important children’s roles in the ballets presented during this the 3rd Bournonville Festival celebrations.

After further extending his education at the world renowned choreographer John Neumeier’s school in Hamburg he joined Peter Schaufuss Ballet at only sixteen years of age as a dancer in 2008.

 

In the following years Johan developed and danced in the whole company repertoire including many leading roles, such as the prince in Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker, with great acclaim. 

In 2012 he danced the title role in Shakespeare’s Hamlet to Sir John Gielgud’s famous soliloquies, and Tybalt in Sir Frederick Ashton's legendary production of Romeo and Juliet, with Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev in London performances.

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2013 was the turning point in Johan’s career as he launched himself from principal dancer to wider stardom when he replaced at short notice the indisposed superstar Sergei Polunin at the London Coliseum Theatre. Johan had a huge overnight personal triumph and critical acclaim in the role as Billy in the stage adaptation of the Oscar winning movie ‘Midnight Express'.

The same year he also successfully participated in the television hit ’So You Think You Can Dance’ in the Benelux countries winning the prestigious Golden Ticket, followed by touring extensively in Europe with Isabelle Beernaert’s Dance Company. 

 

As a Solo Dancer for Aida Cruises, a leader in the industry, Johan has both choreographed/danced and been their Dance Captain worldwide.

He has also performed at the famous Pantomime Theatre in Copenhagen, danced with the prestigious Bejart Ballet Lausanne in their masterpiece of 'Bolero', and guest danced with Ballet Ireland. 

In 2018 Johan performed in the Scandinavian Premiere of the legendary musical by Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Robbins ‘On the Town’, as well as lately successfully participated on Danish television's version of ‘The Greatest Dancer’.

 

However, in 2019 his career turned full circle as he returned working with Peter Schaufuss as the founding Principal of Edinburgh Festival Ballet School and Co-Director for the Company.

Margaret Papoutsis - DO, Dips(SN)(NT), MBANT, CNHC
Performance Health Consultant

Osteopath and Nutritional Therapist, Margaret Papoutsis, has spent a lifetime at the leading edge of performance medicine. She has developed a special rapport with artists - both professional and student - which enhances both her therapies and her health-related advice.
 

She has been a consultant to a wide variety of leading dance companies and schools. These have included London School of Contemporary Dance, London Festival Ballet, English National Ballet and School, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Royal Ballet School Teachers’ Training Course, Royal Danish Ballet and School, Peter Schaufuss Ballet and School, Denmark, along with long associations with musical theatre colleges and West End theatre productions. She is currently the Performance Health Consultant to Edinburgh Festival Ballet Company and School.
Margaret was trained at the British School of Osteopathy (now the University College of Osteopathy), where she was a Gold Medal Graduate. Subsequently she qualified (with Distinction) as a BANT Registered Nutritionist, and has trained with the National Centre for Eating Disorders. She is on the Register of Integrative Medicine for Mental Health.
Margaret is delighted to take up the position of Performance Health Consultant for Edinburgh Festival Ballet School.

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Caroline Rees
Dancer & Teacher

Caroline began dancing in her home town of Yeovil, England before going on to train at Central School of Ballet and London Studio Centre. After graduating, she performed with Vienna Festival Ballet in their production of Sleeping Beauty. She then went on to join European Ballet's UK and Ireland spring/summer tour and was promoted to soloist for the autumn/winter UK and Ireland tour 2011/2012 for their productions of Coppelia, The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella. She was the swing for Raymond Gubbay's Strauss Gala 2012-2015 and in 2012 danced alongside Darcey Bussell in the London Olympic closing ceremony. She went on to join Let's All Dance's UK tour of The Nutcracker dancing as the Sugar Plum Fairy. In 2016 she joined JSLN Dance Company for their UK tour, dancing classical and neo-classical works by Soren Niewelt. In 2017 she was promoted to Coryphee for their second UK tour and performances at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Caroline performed in the UK, Germany and Italy with the company not only in theatres but also schools and care homes as part of their outreach program. She then went on to dance for two years at the Moravske Divadlo Olomouc in the Czech Republic where she danced as corps de ballet and demi soloist in many classical and contemporary shows as well as operas and children’s productions.

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Most recently she has danced for Peter Schaufuss as the Mother in the Nutrcracker Denmark tour and as Queen Gertrude alongside Sir Ian Mckellen in Hamlet at the Edinburgh fringe festival.

Along side her performing career Caroline has taught at top ballet schools in London and abroad teaching ballet, pointe, repertoire and competition coaching.  Her past students have gone onto take places at internationally renowned ballet schools and win at top competitions. Taking her own experience into account she strives to encourage students to be their very best and prides herself in bringing fun, imaginative ways to help students learn. 

Sup Dhanasunthorn
Creative Administrator - Contemporary Teacher

Originally from San Francisco, Sup Dhanasunthorn trained at New York’s American Musical and Dramatic Academy. Since graduating he has appeared in productions of Miss Saigon, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Peter Pan and NBC’s Saturday Night Live. He has also toured Canada, the United States and China in The Spirit of Christmas and The Spirit of Broadway.

In London, Sup founded the contemporary dance company, Embody, along with Marina Guarnieri, with whom he choreographed the opening of the Aquatics Centre, built for the London Olympics in 2012. Other choreographic credits include work for Costa Victoria and Atlantica, Trophy Wife, Toni & Guy, Oxford College Ball, Phish Leong, and the UK and European tour of The Lion King in which he has also appeared on stage.

He has worked on Universal Picture’s 47 Ronin, the Royal Albert Hall production of Aida, with Olly Murs and on BBCTV’s Strictly Come Dancing and in Edinburgh with the MGA Academy.

Off stage, he founded The Hustle, which aims to support the lives of actors, singers, dancers and variety performers in the UK by connecting them to the services and work they need to sustain and develop their careers.

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Lucy Hutton
Dancer & YBB/Pre School Teacher

Growing up in South Queensferry just outside the Scottish capital of Edinburgh, Lucy started dancing at a young age with the Central Scotland Ballet School and later joined The Scottish Ballet Associate Programme. As well as performing in numerous school shows, Lucy danced at the 2014 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony in Glasgow, as well as representing Scotland in artistic gymnastics, something she enjoys teaching to younger students.

 

Having decided to pursue a career in dance, Lucy moved to Manchester as a full-time student at the Northern Ballet School, graduating in 2020 with a diploma in professional dance. 

She danced many solo roles during her time in Manchester including the production of The Nutcracker and also enjoyed the broad range of different dance techniques and styles which was offered in various performance opportunities 

 

Lucy is excited by the challenges being offered to her both as a teacher at the Edinburgh Festival Ballet School and as a dancer with the Company, having recently participated in the new creation by the company's associated, renowned choreographer and founder/director of Portugal’s exiting Quorum Ballet Daniel Cardoso, dancing with international acclaimed dancers Johan Christensen and Luke Schaufuss.

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Permanent Guest Teachers and Choreographers

Daniel Cardoso
Guest Choreographer

Daniel Cardoso graduated from the National Conservatory of Lisbon, where he received multi-disciplinary dance training. Daniel won full scholarships with the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance (where he received the Coca-Cola Award for Artistic Excellence) and the Joffrey Ballet School in New York.

While in the United States, he danced with companies like Martha Graham Dance Ensemble, Martha Graham Dance Company, Donald Byrd/The Group and as a guest artist with Westchester Ballet Company, Pearl Lang Dance Theater, Battery Dance Company, Coyote Dancers, amongst others. Wile in New York, Daniel was invited to choreograph and dance for the movie Altar Dance, directed by Joe Clifford and filmed in New York City.

In 2001, Daniel signed a contract with the Peter Schaufuss Ballet in Denmark, where he ascended to principal dancer. In the same year he was invited to restage the ballet Maple Leaf Rag by Martha Graham, at the Teatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro in Brazil for the Martha Graham Trust.

During his international carrier Daniel has danced works by Martha Graham, Peter Schaufuss, Itzik Galili, Robert Wilson, Maurice Béjart, Donald Byrd, Susan Stroman, Freedy Moore, Barbara Griggi, Steve Rooks, Benvindo Fonseca, Kenneth Topping, Ginger Thatcher, Pearl Lang, Maher Benham, Milton Meyers, Terry Weikel, Giuseppe Frigeni, Thaddeus Davis, Richard Move, Jonathan Hollander, Steven Pier, amongst others.

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After returning to Portugal in the summer of 2005, Daniel founded the award wining repertory company Quorum Ballet, where he is the artistic director and resident choreographer.

His experience as a chorographer includes over 35 works for the Quorum Ballet and works for the National Ballet of Split (Croatia), Peter Schaufuss Ballet School (Denmark), National Ballet of Albania (Albania), Vaganova Ballet Academy (Russia), Oslo Academy of the Arts (Norway), Afrikera Dance Theater (Zimbabwe), CeDeCe Dance Company (PT), Companhia de Dança de Almada (PT), National Conservatory of Lisbon (PT), amongst many others. His work has been highly acclaimed by the international press and presented in over 20 countries.

From the vast repertory created for Quorum Ballet stands out the “Rite of Spring | Made in China”  premierd in China in 2018 in co-production with the Shangai Oriental Arts Center, Magic Flute and the Young Artists Plateform for Dance in Beijing.

Since 2007 he has been a guest teacher and choreographer for the Vaganova Ballet Academy in Saint Petersburg, Russia. “Encounters”, the piece created in June 2018, was premiered at the Marinsky Theater.

Daniel’s teaching experience includes Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance (USA), Teatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro (Brasil),Vaganova Ballet Academy (Russia), Beijing Dance Association (China), Peter Schaufuss Ballet and PSB School (Denmark), Oslo Academy of the Arts (Norway), CPBC Companhia Portuguesa de Bailado Contemporaneo (Portugal), CeDeCe Companhia de Dança Contemporanêa (Portugal), Escola Superior de Dança (Portugal) to mention a few.

Daniel Cardoso is also currently a member of the General Council at the National Dance Conservatory of Lisbon and regularly invited to be a jury in several international dance competitions.

Matz Skoog
Guest Teacher

Matz Skoog

Born in Stockholm, Matz Skoog trained as a dancer in Sweden and in Russia. After graduating from the Royal Swedish Ballet School, he became a member of the Royal Swedish Ballet, later joining English National Ballet where, along with other guest en-gagements, he remained as a Principal Dancer for several years.
Matz has enjoyed an extensive dancing career at the highest level in both classical ballet and contemporary dance, working with artists such as Mark Morris, Mats Ek, Jiri Kylian, Sir Fredrick Ashton and Rudolph Nureyev to mention but a few. He has also been a member of Netherlands Dance Theatre in Holland and Rambert Dance Company in the UK. In 1996 Matz was appointed Artistic Director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet, a position he held until 2001. From 2001 to 2005 he was Artistic Director of English National Ballet.


Since 2006 Matz is pursuing a freelance career as international guest teacher, artistic consultant and personal and professional development coach; working with several national dance companies and schools.

Recent guest teaching engagements include the Royal Ballet, Norwegian National Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, New English Ballet Theatre, Rambert Dance Company, Studio Wayne McGregor and Classical Ballet Instructor on the film set of Cats. In addition Matz is a Certified Executive Coach and Mentor, ac-credited by The City and Guilds of London and the UK Institute of Leadership and Management, working in this capacity with a wide variety of clients; both within the performing arts and with other businesses professionals.

Stefan Wise
Rehearsal Director & Ballet Master

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Tara Schaufuss
Guest Choreographer

Nationality: Australian and Danish

Education: Carolyn Gilby Dance Centre in Aspley, Queensland (tap, jazz, ballet and modern dance), Australian Ballet School and apprentice at the Royal Danish Ballet School

Previous companies: Queensland Ballet in Brisbane

Tara Schaufuss

Mayumi Ganley