Welcome to Darlington Academy of Performing Arts


DAPA was created by Joanne and Paul in August 2018 and in that time, has gone from a class of 13 students to over 280 students in 2023! We are passionate about bringing affordable classes to our community and therefore we keep our class prices low, we don't charge for extra rehearsals leading up to shows, and we almost entirely pay for cast costumes ourselves through fundraising and only ask that parents provide costume basics like t-shirts or school uniform and we supply the rest.

Our students range from age 2 years old in our Baby dance classes going up to 18 years old in our Mainstage classes and we have an adult class for ages 16 Plus.

At DAPA we love musical theatre so there is a strong focus on singing dancing and acting in our MAINSTAGE and INFANT classes.

We also offer students dance, singing or drama only classes for those interested on training in one discipline.

We love performing arts and we believe the skills you learn from performing arts helps set you up for life so we are passionate about reaching out to as many people as we can. Therefore you will often see DAPA in and around the Darlington community. In the past few years we have attended Darlington Library events, Town centre events such as Mass Dance and Carnival, and you may even have seen us out and about in local schools providing workshops, or supporting our local community's Half term Activity programme! 

In the last year we have become members of NODA (National Operatic & Dramatic Association)

NODA is the national body that represents amateur theatre. They support and inspire amateur theatre and their vision is that amateur theatre is successful and sustainable, providing a range of opportunities for people to develop their skills, and enjoy taking part, at all levels.

They have reviewed some of our productions which you can read by clicking the links below.

Check out our video to see what we are all about !

Feedback from a Dance workshop we did at the Hippodrome for Darlington Dance Festival 2023:

"I wanted to pass on the feedback from your workshop was excellent – I think it seems to have gone down so well with the children and staff and was reported by many as ‘their favourite workshop and part of the day’. Everyone, including me were amazed how much you got through in the short amount of time. So thank you"

Alison Raw

Darlington School Sport Partnership

May 2023

We are delighted to announce that we won the NODA award for Best Youth production (District 6) for our production of Frozen jr 2022! 


All our teachers are passionate about developing the next generation of performers.

We hope to inspire, motivate and teach positive values. Whether a student chooses a future that involves dance or not, we feel that every student who leaves our studio will enter the world as a sincere individual being the best version of themselves.

Each student is different and has different goals. We value every style of student and look forward to nurturing them in a positive environment