About us

dance image move it 2016

Butterflies was founded in 1999 by Rachel and Hannah Whiston. The school has grown from strength to strength over the years and continues to develop and advance for the benefit of its students. The school continues to be friendly and family focussed, creating a safe and warm environment for students to develop their dance skills and confidence.

Mission Statement

We aim to provide a safe and friendly environment, where students of all ages and abilities can learn and develop their talents in all aspects of Performing Arts.  To create a positive and warm setting in which to encourage individual passion and spirit for the arts.

Our Facilities

Purchased in 2007, the former police cells were maintained by Butterflies and used for storage until 2014 when planning was granted to demolish the site and rebuild our purpose-built state of the art performance centre. We aim to facilitate new and old classes for all ages and abilities in a comfortable, safe and inspiring setting. Set back from the road, in the heart of the thriving town of Thirsk, we boast a safe and inviting entrance, welcoming you day and night. The building is up-to-date with the latest in safety technology and fire systems to ensure the comfort and reassurance of all our customers. There are plenty of available parking spaces only a short distance away. Disabled parking is available on site by request; please contact us to facilitate the use of this space.

The facilities include purpose-designed dance studios, acoustic live lounge, wardrobe, dressing room and a quiet study area for those working on exams with Butterflies. Please see the Gallery for more information and photos.

what we offer

  • Contemporary – One of the leading performance styles of present day dance. Today, contemporary dance draws on all features of dance but is still predominantly linked to classical ballet and modern dance. With Pioneers such as Merce Cunningham and Martha Graham, contemporary dance has grown and continues to grow in strength and stature in the dance community. At Butterflies we study contemporary dance as a free work class, where students can enjoy the creative freedom of contemporary dance with the restrictions of exams, or students can partake in the innovative AQA courses resulting in GCSE and A Level qualifications.
  • Ballet/Pointe classes – Ballet is the foundation training for all dance styles, opening doors to all aspects of performance, utilising its disciplined technique. Improving, posture, balance, coordination and self awareness, ballet is a vital part of a performer’s ability.    At Butterflies, ballet classes start at 3 years of age, experimenting with expressions and building confidence and awareness of the body over time. Ballet as an art form has grown over hundreds of years and can often be blurred with other dance styes like lyrical and contemporary. However, ballet technique, although sometimes hidden, is always evident in any dancer and performer.
  • Tap Dance –  Tap offers students much more than the opportunity to make lots of noise! From creating simple rhythms with their feet, to speed tap, street tap, lyrical tap and much much more. Combining other genres to create an impressive visual and aural art form for all to enjoy.


Butterflies Dance gave me all the skills and confidence I needed to pursue performing arts as a career.

Ionica Calvert