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Rachel Clowes, Director 

Rachel grew up in Perth, Australia and has always loved to dance but did not start her formal training until the age of 11 where she was trained in jazz, ballet, contemporary, hip hop, tap, and cheerleading. She has also dabbled in acrobatics, highland dancing and flamenco. Since moving to Edinburgh her focus has turned towards ballet, mainly thanks to Edinburgh Ballet Theatre.


With many years of teaching various ages, Rachel enjoys being able to provide adults the opportunity to perform through EBT, an opportunity not may adults get to experience. When not dancing, Rachel can be found working as a physiotherapist, sewing and attending weekend ballet retreats.

Vanessa Smer-Barreto, Director

Vanessa was born in Tamaulipas, Mexico, where she showed a love for the sciences, and dancing, since childhood. After completing BSc and Msc studies in Physics, she came to the UK in 2012 to study a PhD in Astronomy.  In parallel to completing her PhD, she worked her way to a pass with merit in the Advanced 2 RAD examination.

She is currently a researcher at the Institute of Genomics and Molecular Medicine in Edinburgh. But in the early mornings and evenings she is either dancing, choreographing, or preparing ballet classes! In 2018 she was awarded funding from the National Library of Scotland to make a dance for the project ‘Scottish school exams’. When not researching nor dancing, she enjoys reading, travelling, and catching up with friends.

Photo credit: Tommaso Giuntini

Susan Chynoweth, Head of wardrobe

Susan danced from childhood. She was a founding member of Edinburgh Ballet Circle and danced in every production, including a sold out fringe run in 2017. Involvement in the group also gave her the opportunity to create costumes. Susan is very excited to be involved in the new Edinburgh Ballet Theatre. 

In daily life, she is a trustee for a children's charity, mother of 3 and spends a lot of time dancing and sewing.

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Maya Meyerman, Company Assistant

Maya is an MA student at Queen Margaret University where she is currently studying arts, festival and cultural management. Originally from Canada, she grew up dancing ballet and other dance styles. She was the President of Recreational Dance for her university dance club and began teaching adult ballet in 2018. As an arts manager, she has also been involved in the dance world as a studio assistant, a dance festival stage manager, a member of the First Position Patrons Committee for Canada's National Ballet School, a research assistant for a study on dance rehearsal and creation spaces in Ontario, and a project coordinator for 'You Can Dance' a photography project showing diverse bodies in ballet. Maya is passionate about making ballet accessible for all and is excited to be involved with the great work at the Edinburgh Ballet Theatre.

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