About Us

Run by Carolyn Farrish-Mayer, the Art House has been providing dance classes for all ages since 2003 and musical theatre classes for reception age up to 18’s. We’re now thrilled to be adding group singing sessions for adults to our repertoire.

Whatever your preference is for taking classes with us, whether it’s for fun and socialising, or with a view to a career in the performing arts industry, we’ve got classes for you.

Many of our past students have gone onto successful careers working in both musicals and plays all around the world including many west end shows, and even in television. Take a look at what our past pupils have gone on to below.

The Art House studio consists of a large dance studio, a smaller dance studio, changing rooms, and a reception area, with viewing windows to the dance studios.

We also have some availability for hire as a meeting space or to use for classes such as yoga or pilates, so please get in touch if you’d like to enquire about availability and prices.


“To provide a fully inclusive, unique, safe environment, with highly qualified teachers for all your creative needs. We promote accessibility for everyone from complete beginners to advanced students, providing classes for all levels from age 3 upwards.”

About Carolyn

A Macclesfield girl born and bred, Carolyn knew from the age of 14 that she wanted to open a dance and musical theatre centre, and worked hard from that point on to make her dream become a reality.

Having taken dance classes as a child, her dance training then progressed in her teenage years to study for her theatre dance teaching qualifications, and she achieved her Associate teaching qualifications in ballet and modern jazz followed by her Membership teaching qualifications in tap and stage, by the time she was 20 years old. Following on from this she started to teach adult classes in tap and jazz dance.

In 2003 she acquired the old Endeavour Works building on Henderson Street in Macclesfield, had it converted to dance studios, and opened Art House Theatre and Dance. She then introduced dance and musical theatre classes for children, and has been teaching her students to reach their full potential to this day.

Carolyn has continued her professional development with the International Dance Teachers Association, taking a further 7 Dance Teaching qualifications, achieving high distinctions in them, and now has IDTA qualifications in the following:

  • Licentiate Level Modern Jazz, Ballet, and Tap
  • Anatomy Diploma
  • Musical Theatre Teaching Diploma.

Carolyn also has a background in music having completed all her grades up to and including grade 8 in classical piano, and has a passion for music, specialising in writing beautiful harmonies to teach in the group singing and musical theatre classes.

A note from Carolyn...

“Dance, music, acting, and singing have been a part of my whole life, and I’m very fortunate to do what I do and share that passion with others.

There are so many great dancers, singers, performers, and musicians to inspire us, and though I’m constantly in awe of so many artists throughout the ages, one of my earliest inspirations was from watching performances by the late great Gene Kelly. He was an actor, dancer, singer, director, and choreographer, and his athletic style of dancing combined with his classical ballet technique was absolutely incredible and an inspiration to all. I hope you find your passion in our classes whoever your inspiration is.”

what we offer

Styles of dance included at Art House Theatre and Dance:

  • Group classes in Ballet, Tap, and Contemporary Modern Jazz (this incorporates contemporary, street style, commercial, lyrical, and modern).
  • Solo, duet, and small group classes in all styles by arrangement.
  • We also run musical theatre classes, group singing for adults, and a selection of dance classes for adults.

dance opportunities at Art House

For all our 18’s and under we offer EXAMINATION opportunities throughout the year with the IDTA (the International Dance Teachers Association) in ballet, contemporary modern jazz, tap, theatre craft, and musical theatre.

We also do SHOWS in various theatres and venues around the area. We have our beautiful main dance show which gives the dancers their chance to show just how talented they are, and how much their training progresses.

Our solos, duets, and small groups have an extra SHOWCASE each year to gain more very valuable performance experience.

Past Students of Art House

Past students of the Art House have gone on to professional studies at ArtsEd, Guildford School of Acting, Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, Laine Theatre Arts, Royal Ballet Associates Programme, The Hammond School, Phil Winstons Theatreworks, London Studio Centre, and Bird College.

Professional work by past pupils includes the following:

  • Chicago (UK tour)
  • Beautiful (UK tour)
  • Gypsy (the Savoy Theatre)
  • Jesus Christ Superstar (Regents Park Open Air Theatre)
  • Hairspray (UK tour)
  • Cock (Ambassadors Theatre)
  • Shrek the Musical (UK Tour)
  • Oklahoma (UK tour)
  • Kinky Boots (UK tour and West End)
  • Various plays at the National Theatre
  • Newsies (Wembley Park Theatre)
  • as well as many more!

Parent / Student Testimonials

  • Art House is a really special place. My son learned there — ballet and jazz — for seven years; not only did he become a good dancer, but he found such confidence in himself. He decided he wanted to dance as part of his career: he’s now at Guildford School of Acting.

  • My daughter has been taught by Carolyn at Art House Theatre and Dance for over 4 years. Carolyn is enthusiastic, supportive and has a true love of dance which really shines through in her teaching. Thanks to Carolyn, my daughter has grown enormously, in both ability and confidence.

  • Carolyn’s teaching of my sons over the last 8 years has been fantastic, progressing them from beginners to getting distinctions at Intermediate level for ballet and tap. Most importantly her lessons are great fun, and they look forwards to going each week. I thoroughly recommend Art House Theatre and Dance.

  • A few years ago, I started Adult Ballet classes and found such joy in it, that I now regret not having done ballet all my life! I now also do Adult Tap. Both classes are a great brain workout as well as a physical one, but Carolyn creates an atmosphere that is friendly and relaxed, not about worrying about getting everything right but enjoying what your body can do. Absolutely life-changing. Highly recommended.

  • The Arthouse has been a major part of my daughters’ childhoods from aged 3 to 18. It is a fun, inclusive and safe place to be, where kids can learn to dance and perform, socialise with friends and build their self-confidence. Carolyn is a super dance teacher and a great support with lots of experience that the kids can benefit from. My daughters love it.

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