Francesca Rowsell was 3 years old when she began studying RAD ballet at the Sheila Coxhill School of Dance in Bedfordshire. She also learnt tap and jazz, but her first love was ballet. At the age of 11 years Frankie performed in The Nutcracker as a snowflake, with a Youth Ballet Company that travelled the country. Throughout her school career Frankie performed in many shows with both the schools she attended and her dance school. She feels passionately that students should have the chance to explore their potential in ballet with skilled tuition, to enjoy it as a hobby, to experience the joy and excitement of performance and be given the opportunity to explore the many experiences dance opens up for them.

At the age of eighteen, Frankie left Bedfordshire to attend the university of Plymouth to study a four-year degree in English and Education. While on her first teaching practice she met Mary Griffiths at Woodbury Primary School and took up ballet lessons again. Frankie studied for grades 6, 7 and 8 ballet with Mary and achieved distinction in all three grades.

Qualifying as a Primary school teacher in 1999 Frankie has taught across the Primary age range from Reception to Year 6, teaching the whole Primary Curriculum and enjoying opportunities to teach dance as part of PE, in after school clubs and choreographing dances for school productions. She has found this a hugely enjoyable and rewarding experience.

After a short break from Ballet when she had her second and third children, Frankie returned to classes with Mary Griffiths, where her daughters have danced too. Frankie achieved her Intermediate exam with distinction and enrolled on the Certificate of Ballet Teaching Studies in January 2019 with Mary as her mentor. In July 2021 Frankie took co-ownership of Woodbury Dance Studio when Mary retired.


Dorota Markham, known as ‘Dottie’ was born in Lublin, Poland and started ballet at the age of 10 years, having attended gymnastics classes from the age of 8 years. She quickly fell in love with ballet, training at Spoteczne Ognisko baletowe until the age of 18. Dottie then went to university to study Philosophy having achieved her matura (equivalent to A levels) in Polish, English and History. In 2003 Dottie attended Kunming Dance School a ballet school in Yunnan in China for 6 months. This was an exciting and inspiring experience. Ballet, as always, was taught using French terminology so this felt familiar and reassuring!

Dorota moved to England in 2004. Dottie joined ballet lessons with her daughter, Amelia, in 2015, quickly rediscovering her passion for dance. Dottie passed her Grades 6, 7, 8 and Intermediate Ballet over the years and in 2019 Dottie began the CBTS (Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies) under the mentorship of Mary Griffiths, founder of the Hong Kong Ballet and later Woodbury Dance Studio. In March 2019 Dottie performed with the Woodbury Dance Company in Pineapple Poll at Sidmouth Manor Pavilion Theatre taking on the role of a sailor. From July 2021 Dottie took joint ownership of the Woodbury Dance Studio following Mary Griffiths retirement.