Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I join The Joanne Banks Dancers?

    Just scan this QR code to join one of our trial classes

    Or if you prefer, telephone Top Hat Studios on 01388 420210 and speak to one of our receptionists or send us an email to and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

    We can suggest an appropriate class for you, offer you a one-to-one Assessment Class or put your name on our waiting list if we cannot accommodate you in a class.

    For more information:
    The Joanne Banks Dancers CV

  • What will happen when I arrive at Top Hat Studios?

    As soon as you come through our door you will be greeted by one of our receptionists.

    She will talk you through our procedures and get you to fill out our registration forms.

    You can ask our friendly receptionist about our classes, uniform, fees, timetable etc. She will then show you to our waiting room and you can get ready for your class.

    Please click the following link to view the Joanne Banks Dancers Timetable 2023

  • What should I wear for class?

    This really depends on the class you are taking! For new pupils we suggest a pair of leggings and a close fitting t'shirt or leotard if you have one.

    A list of our uniform can be found here Information for New Pupils.

  • How do I pay for the classes?

    Classes are payable in advance and by the term. Termly invoices are sent out to all pupils and we offer established pupils the facility to pay fees in two instalments at the start and middle of a term.

    Fees should be paid for before the commencement of a term. If your fees are late you may incur an administration charge of £7.50 which will be added to the total.

    Fees can be paid by cash or credit/debit cards. Please note that we are no longer able to accept payment by cheque.

    Our recommended and preferred method of payment is via Internet Banking (BACS bank transfer), please speak to one of our receptionists for more information.

    Here are our bank details:

    NatWest Sort Code: 51 70 43 Account Number: 88255654

    Please click here to read our Payment of Fees notice and Holiday Dates 2023/2024 for term dates.

  • Can parents stay and watch the class?

    As we have now moved into our wonderful new home at Top Hat Studios, we would encourage parents to take a seat and sample some of the delicious drinks and treats that The Green Room has to offer. Why not bring the little ones straight from school to have their tea before class? In The Green Room you're surrounded by windows where you can see the classes taking place.

    However, we do ask that if you are waiting that you do not stare at the class in progress as this distracts the pupils and can be off putting for the teachers too!

  • Is there somewhere to park?

    Top Hat Studios is located in the heart of Spennymoor High Street and as such, there are loads of parking spaces behind the Town Hall near Farm Foods, just a short walk from our premises.

    There is on-street parking but this is 1hr no return from 7am till 6pm, but free after 6pm. It's worth noting, however that the spaces directly outside Top Hat Studios are part of a loading bay, operating until 6pm all days except Sundays.

    Our advice is to use the abundant spaces over behind the Town Hall and save yourselves a potential ticket.

  • What performance opportunities do you offer?

    Each year we produce a large dance revue show in one of the local professional theatres. We invite around 150 of our pupils, of all ages, to take part.

    We have provided the juvenile dance teams for Darlington Hippodrome Theatre pantomimes for the last 25 years and young students who take tap, modern and ballet with us are invited to audition for the team.

    We regularly put together cabaret pieces for performance at our own parties and events as well as for outside events. We take part in the IDTA Tyneside Area Gala of Dance and Showcase events. We are very involved with local charities who often ask us to provide entertainment at their events.

    We do not enter pupils in dance competitions.

    For more information:
    The Joanne Banks Dancers CV 2022

  • What about dance exams?

    The taking of Dance Exams is optional but we do encourage our students to work towards exams. Being affiliated to the International Dance Teachers Association (IDTA) we work towards their graded and performer exams in all theatre subjects.

    Students can take exams in:

    Tap, Ballet, Theatre Craft, Contemporary Modern Jazz, Acrobatic Dance, Musical Theatre

    Younger pupils are encouraged to be part of the IDTA Rosette Awards.

    For more information:
    Correct Dress For Exams - 2020 and Dance Exam Information

  • I have danced before and don’t want to be in a beginner’s class – what should I do?

    We can offer you an assessment class. This would take place in our studio with our Director of Dance, Kay Clarey or one of our teachers.

    In this class we would cover all the subjects you wish to study with us and find an appropriate level for you to fit into our current classes.

    Please speak to our Reception Team to discuss this option.

  • Can I buy dance shoes and uniform from you?

    Yes! We can supply all your dance clothes and shoes at very reasonable prices. We also have a variety of dance bags and accessories to offer.

    The Joanne Banks Dancers also have their own high quality training kit which includes jackets, legging, vests, crop tops and shorts printed with our name and logo.

    All these items are available to order from our Reception Team.

    For more information please speak to one of the reception staff at Top Hat Studios (01388 420210).

  • Are the Joanne Banks Dancers fully GDPR compliant?

    Yes. We work very hard to ensure that the precious data of everyone we deal with is handled and protected with care. Please click on the documents below to read more about how we do this.

    Customer and Pupil Privacy Policy

    CCTV Privacy Policy

    Volunteer Privacy Policy

    Should you have any further queries, please contact us at

  • Are the staff DBS checked and First Aid trained??

    Yes, all staff at JBD are DBS checked and have full enhanced disclosure. They are all also registered as Chaperones for Children In Entertainment. All staff have First Aid certificates and regularly take part in CPD training.