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.


Dance has provided a space for Rachel to unleash her creativity. Directing Edinburgh Ballet Theatre with Vanessa has stirred up her passion for teaching which helped her to enrol in a BA in Dance Education with the Royal Academy of Dance. 


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.