Meet the Team
B.A. (Hons) Dance & Theatre, RAD RTS, DDE in Modern Theatre ISTD
Owner and Principal of the Louise Parkes School of Dance.
Sam's passion for all things dance including Ballet, Tap and Modern saw her gain numerous distinctions up to Advanced level at the Allied School of Dance where she trained from the age of 3 and went on to win the Berkshire Championship. At 18 she was offered a scholarship at London Studio Centre where she was awarded a B.A. (Hons) in Dance and Theatre. Since performing on UK tours with the likes of Spirit Productions, Sam fulfilled her dream of qualifying as a dance teacher with her Level 4 Teaching in Classical Ballet followed closely by her DDE in Modern Theatre with the ISTD gaining over 90 per cent in her practical exams. Now a fully Registered Teacher for the RAD, Sam is delighted to be passing on her love of dance. For the past 8 years, she has also been Principal of Spin Theatre Academy which continues her love of Musical Theatre for children aged 4 - 15yrs.
In addition to teaching classical ballet from Pre School to the RAD Vocational Grades at LPSD, Sam has established a successful tap and modern division and she loves to produce stand-out choreography for the school’s bi-annual Shows.
Sam is very passionate about passing on her knowledge and joy of dance to all the students at LPSD and is very honoured to be taking over the reins in 2023.
M.A. Hons, RAD RTS, Silver Swans Licensee
Louise Parkes is the founder and former principal of the school. In 2023, Louise transferred full ownership and management of the school to Miss Sam Varndell having worked together since 2011.
Louise is a registered teacher of the Royal Academy of Dance and she is a Licensed Silver Swans teacher. She continues to be involved in the school with exam coaching, teaching adults and mentoring.
After a highly successful corporate career in Public Relations, Louise retrained as an RAD teacher and opened the school in 2005. With the help of an inspiring team of teachers, the school has since flourished to what it is today and Louise is delighted that she has been able to hand over the reins to the very talented Miss Sam.
BA (Hons) in Dance, DDE in Imperial Ballet ISTD
Kiel’s classical ballet, modern and tap training started in South Africa and prior to moving to the UK, he performed in Footloose and Fiddler on the Roof.
He was awarded the prestigious Doreen Bird Scholarship in 2007 to study Dance and Musical Theatre. At Bird College, he performed in numerous showcases directed by Luis De Abreu. He was also invited by the ISTD to demonstrate the Advanced 2 Boys Ballet Syllabus created by Andrew Wilson. Alongside his vocational dance training, Kiel also studied the Trinity College London Speech and Drama examinations up to Grade 8.
He recently completed his BA (Hons) in Dance and is currently studying for his Diploma in Dance Education with the ISTD. With his considerable experience in contemporary dance, musical theatre and classical ballet, Kiel has not only built up a thriving contemporary division, but also become a wonderful asset to the school.
Darren’s formal training began at the Jackie Palmer Stage School and Agency where he trained in Tap, Modern and Ballet and performed in many theatre, TV and film productions. He soon realised his real passion lay in teaching and he went on to become a fully qualified IDTA teacher (International Dance Teachers Association) and licensed Children’s chaperone.
He taught extensively at JPA and has helped to shape the dance careers of many students who have gone on to perform professionally. During this time he also established, with his business partner, the Step To It Academy in Chesham teaching children and adults of all ages.
Not satisfied with an already busy schedule, Darren freelances for other schools in the Buckinghamshire and Berkshire area and I feel very fortunate to have him at our school where his adult jazz and tap classes are one of the highlights of the weekly timetable and his choreography is much loved by the children. Darren is also a key choreographer for our bi-annual shows.