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Contemporary, Jazz, Improvisation & Tap Faculty

Audition Preparation Tutor


Katie started her professional training at the Stella Mann College, graduating to the London Contemporary Dance School and the Alvin Ailey School, NYC.

After a varied performing career that included Pantomimes, Cabaret and Contemporary companies, she then pursued her main passions, teaching and choreography.

She has taught at Elmhurst Ballet School, the London College of Dance and Bird College; this included teaching Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary and Choreography, as well as being Head of Contemporary and Composition and Dance Director for the Bird Theatre Company (Bird College).

It was at Bird College that Miss Doreen Bird and Sue Passmore encouraged Katie's choreographic abilities and alongside the numerous pieces for Bird College and the syllabi for the ISTD, as a guest teacher she has also taught and/or created pieces for many other colleges such as the Brit School, The Centre, The Dance College, The Hammond School, London Contemporary Dance School, London Studio Centre, Merseyside Dance Centre, Performers College, Preston College, Urdang Academy and many schools overseas, creating countless choreographies for graduation shows at professional colleges. She has also choreographed for a variety of organisations such as professional contemporary dance companies, Channel 4, the BAFTA Academy and Move It.

She is an international examiner and lecturer for the ISTD Modern and Tap faculties and a member of the ISTD Modern Theatre Faculty’s Committee. Katie is part of the creative team that devised the ISTD Modern Theatre Grades 1-6, the Advanced 1 and 2 and part of the Advanced 2 Tap.

As a lecturer for the ISTD, Katie delivers the syllabi and trains examiners and teachers worldwide. She has lectured at the ISTD’s Chichester Teachers’ course for the last 17 years, taught and adjudicated for the ISTD’s Janet Cram Award and Star Tap Award and at many ISTD congresses. She has also taught for the Royal Academy of Dance.

Katie has won awards, scholarships and development grants for her teaching and choreography, including those from the Lisa Ullmann Dance Trust award, London Contemporary Dance School, Bird College and the London College of Dance.

Katie has worked with many inspirational teachers and choreographers throughout her training and career such as Jane Dudley (original dancer for the Martha Graham Dance Company), Juliet Fisher (LCDS) and Molly Molloy (jazz teacher and choreographer). She has also been lucky enough to be guided and supported in her dance and teaching development and career by Muriel Ashcroft, Daphne Peterson and Tereza Theodoulou.

Katie continually increases her professional knowledge in many ways including travelling to NYC to update her with the training program at the Alvin Ailey School and at the Broadway Dance Centre as well as the annual ISTD Examiners’ training (where she is normally also a tutor for the course). Furthermore, she regularly takes courses such as First Aid, Safeguarding and Health and Safety.

Katie is also the Artistic Director of The Dance Summer School organisation, which supports young dancers and teachers in their dance development.


Singing tutor, ensemble and musicianship

Tessa has worked extensively in theatre, film, TV and radio as both a singer and actor. Her performance credits include the Royal Shakespeare Company, UK No. 1 and studio tours, BBC TV and Radio, Channel 4 and Channel 5, several independent films, numerous show bands and original bands, a series of recordings for Cambridge University Press and Red Thread Audio Plays together with appearances at The Glastonbury Festival, The Edinburgh Festival, the London Fringe and more.

Tessa studied for her B.A. in Drama at Manchester University and followed this with a post-graduate diploma at the Guildford School of Acting and Dance after which she continued her vocal training in London with such luminaries as Mary Hammond; more recently she has completed her Estill Level 1 and 2 training with Anne-Marie Speed, keeping her vocal practise and teaching current and relevant in this constantly changing and competitive world.

Singer, actor, voice-over artist and role-player; composer, director and arranger; choir leader and teacher of singing, speech and drama, Tessa has more than thirty years’ experience in the industry. She is as passionate about her teaching as she is about her performing and writing and is currently the lead singer and song-writer of her own band as well as continuing to work for a number of independent film-makers and recording studios.


ATS/Musical Theatre Repertoire Faculty

Audition Preparation Tutor

Alex has worked closely with Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber as a performer and dance captain in London's West End for over 15 years.

Alex was born and raised in London, England. His first job was at the age of 12 working with Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber on a show called Young Apollo. He went on to train at the prestigious Arts Educational School in London where he was awarded the Andrew Lloyd Webber Scholarship for Musical Theatre.

During his time at college, Alex performed at the Royal Variety Performance and the Brit Awards working for Arlene Phillips. After graduating, Alex went straight into work. His first job was Sir Andrew Lloyd Webbers "Sunset Boulevard", working with Sir Trevor Nunn and the legendary Bob Avion. Alex was the youngest cast member in the history of the show.

His next show was "Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat", teaming up with Andrew Lloyd Webber and again becoming the youngest person in the history of the show to play the title role of Joseph on stage.

Many shows followed including "LES MISERABLES","RENT" and "WE WILL ROCK YOU" which he made his home for 6 years. Alex performed and acted as Dance Captain, working alongside Ben Elton, the legendary Brian May, and again with Arlene Phillips.

Other Theatre work includes: Guys and Dolls, My Favourite Year, Born to Live & Summer Holiday. 

Television & Film work includes: The Worlds End, The Queens Lost Uncle King George V1, Face 2 Face, CO OP Commercial ITV, The IT Crowd & Levis Nationwide Modelling Campaign.


Tap Faculty & ISTD DDE Tutor


Andrea received her early training at the Corraine Collins Dance Studios and went on to complete four years at Laine Theatre Arts.

After graduation from the College, she completed a number of professional dance engagements before beginning her teaching career. She has over 20 years of experience in teaching and choreographing. She was on the tap faculty of Bird College for four years and successfully ran her own school in Gloucestershire for 10 years before starting a family.

Andrea is a Modern Theatre and Tap Dance Examiner for the ISTD, and is a Lecturer for the Tap Dance Faculty.


Guest Tap Faculty


Avalon Rathgeb graduated from Bird college in 2009 after studying on a three-year full-time scholarship. Since graduating she has received two internships from the American Tap Dance Foundation 2009/11, a scholarship for the Los Angeles Tap festival 2012 and was the winner of the 2013 cutting contest at Stockholm Tap Festival. Avalon was invited to accept 1 of 25 places reserved for outstanding dancers in the 2014 Tap programme at the School at Jacob’s Pillow in Massachusetts, USA. Her career highlights include dancing in the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games and the closing ceremony of the European Games, Baku, Azerbaijan 2015.
Avalon was a company member of Grant Swift’s TeAyPe in Melbourne, Australia, was asked in 2014 to join Tapestry Dance Company, North America’s only full time and paid Tap dance company. Avalon is the Artistic Director of Old Kent Road which she founded in London in 2014. Her first show ‘Fall Out’ was accepted to perform at Resolution! 2015, it received Arts Council England funding and premiered their first full-length show in 2016 and are currently preparing for a 2017 and 2018 tour.
As a solo artist Avalon frequently teaches and performs internationally for tap festivals and events including; Dubrovnik Tap Festival - Croatia, Taptastic - Germany, Stockholm Tap festival - Sweden, Prague City Tap festival - Czech Republic, Australian Tap festival, Escola Luthier Dansa, Tanzhaus - Dusseldorf, Tip-Tap - Poland, Moscato Tap Festival - Italy, Tapworks - Malaysia, workshops in Singapore and she was featured in the documentary ‘Tapworld’. In the UK she has recently performed at the Harrods Boxing day opening celebration, the 1st International Chinese Film Awards and interviewed for BBC Radio London. In the UK Avalon also teaches at Bird College and Pineapple Dance Studios.



Ballet Faculty / ISTD DDE Tutor


Sadie’s early training began at White Lodge and later at Bush Davies.

She has previously taught at professional Colleges such as Bird College and Liberatus and now is on the ballet staff at Morea Performing Arts.


Following graduation in 1989, Sadie worked in various pantomimes, and danced on-board the Q.E.2 for Jean Ann Ryan Productions and was also principle dancer with Opera North. Theatre credits include Carousel (The Royal National Theatre and Shaftesbury Theatre, West End) and a year UK tour of Oklahoma.

Sadie holds the fellowship status of the ISTD Imperial Ballet & Modern Theatre Faculty, as well as Licentiate Tap and Associate National.


Sadie has extensive teaching experience and is an ISTD Examiner in the Ballet, Tap and Modern Theatre faculties.


Musical Theatre, Jazz and Tap Faculty

Alan is well known not only for his work as a performer, but also as a fantastic talented teacher and choreographer.

Alan's choreography credits include: Strictly Come Dancing, Assistant Choreographer for So You Think You Can Dance? He has choreographed the UK tour of 'Fascinating Aida', Anton Du Beke & Giovanni Pernice: Him & Me, 'Charm Offensive' and more.

Theatre credits include : Jerry Travers in the UK Tour of Top Hat the Musical, Lee Hart in Kiss Me Quickstep (Eastbourne Theatres) Original West End Cast of Top Hat at the Aldwych Theatre, Singin' in the Rain (Chichester Festival Theatre), Andy Lee in 42nd Street (Chichester Festival Theatre/Curve Theatre Leicester), The Prince in Adam Coopers' Shall We Dance (Sadlers Wells Theatre), Cats (understudy Rum Tum Tugger and Munkustrap, German Tour), Featured Artist in Viva La Diva (UK Arena Tour and DVD Release), We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre, London), Movin' Out (understudy Tony, Apollo Victoria Theatre), Crazy For You (understudy Bobby Child, UK Tour), One Touch Of Venus (Opera North, UK tour and Sadlers Wells), The Ha'penny Bridge (The Point, Dublin), Santa Claus The Musical (The Mayflower Theatre, Southampton), Featured Artist in Ol Blue Eyes (Alhambra Theatre, Dunfermline), Children Will Listen (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane) and Tap Soloist in Sondheim's 75th Birthday Celebrations (Hackney Empire / BBC Radio).

Some of his television credits are: Strictly Come Dancing, The Sound of Musicals (Channel 4), How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?, Dancing In The Streets, Children In Need, and Blue Peter (BBC) and An Audience With Kylie Minogue (ITV).


Contemporary, Creative, Improvisation Faculty

Catarina Carvalho is a London based dance artist. Born in Lisbon, Catarina trained at École Supérieure de Danse de Cannes Rosella Hightower in France with a scholarship from the Ambrosoli Foundation (Zürich).

Catarina’s career began at Ballet de L’Ópera National du Rhin, experiencing a broad range of the company’s repertoire under the direction of Bertrand D’At.

Catarina danced for Company Wayne McGregor for 10 years and has toured in various company productions around the world. During this time Catarina was also Rehearsal Assistant and assisted Wayne McGregor in several projects.

Catarina continues to collaborate with Studio Wayne McGregor as an assistant, restager, dancer and teacher. In 2019 Catarina performed in Tree of Codes at the Opera Bastille, re-staged Pre-Sentient for Rambert and Symbiont(s) for Ballet Central.

Most recently as a freelance artist Catarina has performed in Shobana Jeyasingh Dance’s productions Contagion and Staging Schiele, and with Tânia Carvalho Company in Onironauta. Catarina’s choreographic work has been presented in a wide range of settings. In 2017 she created Grande Fugue for Sadler’s Wells elderly community group Silver

Routes and alumni from National Youth Dance Company as part of Dance Umbrella Festival. And in 2020, she created MultiVox for Elmhurst Ballet Company’s Synergy programme.


Commercial, Body Conditioning and Jazz Pas de Deux Tutor

Audition Preparation Tutor

Tom trained at Laine Theatre Arts on a Scholarship and immediately started his professional career in ‘Saturday Night Fever’, Germany choreographed by Arlene Phillips, where he played the roles of Joey and Ceasar.

After his time in Germany, Tom toured with ‘Saturday Night Fever’ which included a Scandinavian arena tour and two UK tours. He continued to perform in ‘Saturday Night Fever’ as the main featured dancer Ceasar in the West End London Apollo Theatre.

In 2006 Tom performed again at The Apollo Theatre West End in ‘Movin Out’ choreographed by the world-famous Twyla Tharp.

Tom then ventured into the commercial scene where he was lucky enough to be a part of the ‘Take That Stadium Tour’ & ‘Ultimate Tour’. He continued to work with artists on tour including Anastacia on her World Arena Tour.

Toms Film & Television credits include ‘Mamma Mia’ (Film), ‘How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria’, ‘Mobo Awards’, ‘Brit Awards’, ‘Royal Variety Performance’, ‘Children In Need’, ‘Strictly Dance Fever’ where he performed a duet for Leanne Rimes, Sam Sparrow ‘Black and Gold’ music video, ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ performing for Duffy and ‘X Factor’ performing for Rihanna, as well as many other wonderful experiences.

One highlight of Toms career was being a part of the UK tour with the London philharmonic orchestra performing a theatre jazz show starring Erin Boag and Anton Du Beke, where he enjoyed teaching Anton du Beke private tap and jazz lessons.

Tom is now holding dance Workshops, teaching and judging competitions across the UK


Guest Ballet Faculty

Elizabeth trained at Elmhurst and The Upper Royal Ballet School in London.  
She performed as a classical dancer in Switzerland with the Lucerne Ballet Company for five and a half years. Elizabeth was promoted to a soloist after two years and performed in many ballets & operas such as Transfigured Night, Coppelia, Las Emanus, The House of Bernarda Alba, Don Giovanni, Giselle, La Bayadere, La Traviata & Carmina Burana. 

Elizabeth has worked with many choreographers including Job Sanders and Dieter Amman.

Elizabeth achieved the level 4 & 5 BBO Dance teaching course and in 2008 she graduated with the DTLLS at Trinity College London. In January 2007 the BBO appointed Elizabeth as a personal mentor to students training for their Level 4 Diploma teaching qualifications. Elizabeth was invited to train as a BBO examiner which she became in 2014. 

She also continues as both a teacher and official examiner for the scholar programmes run by BBO Dance. Elizabeth regularly teaches CPD workshops for BBO Dance students and teachers, as well as ballet classes at the Morea Performing Arts in Cheltenham. Elizabeth has recently gained a certification in Progressive Ballet Techinque (PBT). 


Head of Student Welfare, Tap, Folk, Latin, ISTD DDE Tutor.  

Winner of the ISTD National Faculty’s Helen Wingrave Scholarship, Eduardo Martinez Yañez studied in Mexico under the renowned teachers Auda de Los Cobos, Joan Mondellini and Mario Mejia and in the UK under Robina Smith, Elizabeth Harrison, and Hazel Burrows, gaining his Fellow status. Then he continued with CPD courses in NYC.

He specialises in teaching European and Mexican Folk Dance, Tap and Latin Rhythms. He is also the Director of The Dance Summer School organisation, which specialises in creating courses for dance students and teachers in the UK and abroad.

In Mexico, he taught at the National University of Mexico, Instituto Estatal de Cultura -Guanajuato State, training dancers and teachers-, Mexico City's Ballet Academy, and academic schools. He also ran his own successful dance school in Pachuca City.

A former Mexican folk dancer, he is the only ISTD Examiner from Latin America and has taught at Bird College (junior section) and oversaw delivering the practical units for the DDI and DDE ISTD National qualifications at The Dance College. Eduardo has also choreographed and taught -guest teacher- for many organisations such as The Wells Summer School with dancers of the Royal Ballet, the ISTD CPD courses, The Centre PAC, The Dance School of Scotland, The College of Dance -Dublin-, and schools such as Corraine Collins Dance Studios.

His professional activities as a dancer, teacher and Artistic Director have taken him around the world to places including South Korea, Malaysia, Japan and much of Europe.

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