“McAlpine is a wonderful, life-enhancing dance school, with room for everybody.”

Donald and Phyllida – how McAlpine Dance began….

Donald McAlpine

A New Zealand RAD scholarship winner, Donald danced with Sadlers Wells Theatre Ballet for four years. After working in the commercial theatre, dancing in television, films and west end shows and studying modern dance with Sigurd Leeder, he joined London Festival Ballet where he became a soloist. He stayed with the company for seven years and later joined Harlequin Ballet as choreographer and dancer.

Phyllida McAlpine

Phyllida trained with Anna Ivanova in London and danced with the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford Upon Avon and Glyndebourne Opera. She joined Alicia Alonso’s Ballet company in Cuba and on returning to London, she met Donald when she joined London Festival Ballet.

Louisa McAlpine

Company Director of McAlpine Dance Ltd

Louisa trained at The Royal Ballet School on the Teachers Course and was the 1978 winner of the Ursula Moreton prize for choreography. She danced with Ballet Go Round and Schweitzer Kammer Ballet and went on to play Clariss in West Side Story at the Manchester Opera House and Tantomile in the London production of “Cats” Since 1982 Louisa has regularly performed and assisted in productions at English National Opera.

She has choreographed for many operas and musicals, but her main love is working with the students at McAlpine Dance.

She is a member of the Early Dance Circle.

Louisa is a registered teacher and a Life member of the RAD, as well as an ISTD teacher.

She is also a licensed teacher of Silver Swans ballet for adults.



Our Drama, Contemporary and Stage Clubs are taught by highly qualified and professional teachers, many of whom are ex pupils of McAlpine Dance.

We strive to help develop self confidence and love of dance in our students while preparing them for exams and performance. Many of students have gone on to vocational schools and become professional dancers and performers. Some of our adult dancers have also taken the RAD Ballet exams along with the younger students and more recently we have begun to study the ‘Discovering Repertoire’ syllabus.


“My girls have gone to McAlpine Dance since they were tiny, and are growing into wonderful dancers. It shows in everything they do – the balance, poise and grace they have learned is there for us all to see, every day. They have absolutely loved being in the biennial “big show”. They will never forget the excitement of their first proper theatrical performances”


“Louisa and Phyllida take an interest in every student, making sure to bring out the full potential of each child, with their own love of dance shining through it all”


“McAlpine is a wonderful, life-enhancing dance school, with room for everybody.”