- Hollie-Ann Lowe
- Anna-Jane Casey
- Lesley Anne Knight
- Bex Allingham
- American Musical Theatre Academy
- Jon Robyns
- Jordi Guitart
- Adrienne Posta
- Nikolai Foster
- De-Napoli Clarke
- Michelle Blair
- Ian Royce
- Verity Rushworth
On Tuesday May 1st, danSing’s aspiring performers were treated to a wonderful dance workshop with professional musical theatre artist, Hollie-Ann Lowe. A former danSing pupil herself, Hollie-Ann went on to train at the prestigious Urdang Academy, London, before landing the role of Gloria in Flashdance, the UK National Tour 2017-2018.
Hollie-Ann popped in to see a junior musical theatre class and then worked on a jazz routine with danSing intermediates and seniors. She went on to perform a solo dance and musical theatre song before chatting about her training and experience on tour. It was a wonderful evening which inspired everyone at danSing.
Musical Theatre Masterclass with West End Star Anna-Jane Casey – February 2017
To continue their professional workshops with industry professionals, danSing Directors, Helen and Jane, were delighted to host a Musical Theatre Masterclass with West End star, Anna-Jane Casey on 23rd February 2017.
Anna-Jane Casey, who recently starred in Annie Get Your Gun at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, hails from Lancashire and went to London at the age of 16 to play Rumpleteaser in Cats. She has been performing professionally for over 30 years starring in many West End shows including Billy Elliot, Starlight Express, Chicago and Grease. On television, Anna-Jane has played Sophie in Eastenders and Linda in The Bill. She has sung all over the world with orchestras such as The Royal Philharmonic and performed at the BBC Proms as a soloist with the renowned John Wilson Orchestra.
With piano accompaniment by Helen Leaf, there was a fun vocal warm-up session and then Anna-Jane taught the young performers “The Rhythm of Life” from Sweet Charity, working on the meaning of the lyrics so that they were able to give a wonderful group performance with vocal harmonies and movement. The Masterclass continued with solo songs that were performed in front of Anna-Jane so that she could work on individual vocal technique, presentation and acting through song.
Anna-Jane was delighted with the high standard of the students and all who took part gained a great deal from this wonderful opportunity. Aspiring musical theatre performer Coraleigh Hobson said, “Anna- Jane’s energy and love for teaching made the Masterclass not only a fantastic learning experience but also extremely enjoyable.”
Singing Workshop with West End performer and TV Broadcaster, Lesley Anne Knight – Jan 2017
To launch their series of workshops for 2017, danSing directors Helen and Jane were thrilled to welcome Lesley Anne Knight on Sunday January 22nd 2017. Drawing on her distinguished West-End and TV Broadcasting career as well as her extensive experience of teaching at colleges in London, Lesley Anne gave singing masterclasses to young aspiring performers.
In the morning Lesley Anne worked with junior performers focusing on breath control, vocal projection and stamina. She selected three contrasting musical theatre songs and gave advice on choosing repertoire for auditions and exams. In the afternoon, senior students were invited to perform audition songs and Lesley Anne worked on vocal technique, presentation and acting through song.
At the end of the day, Lesley Anne answered questions and gave invaluable advice on preparing for audition days. She said afterwards; “I was impressed by the enthusiasm and focus of all of your students, they’re an absolute credit to you.”
Dance Workshop with professional dancer Bex Allingham – Oct 2016
danSing seniors enjoyed a fabulous dance workshop with professional dance artist, Bex Allingham. Bex has worked extensively for Disney Princess Cruises and in pop videos for Jessie J, Gabz and The Saturdays. After a thorough warm up, she taught a commercial dance routine and chatted about her career, giving valuable audition tips.
West End Workshop with the American Musical Theatre Academy of New York and London – Feb 2016
After winning a worldwide musical theatre ensemble competition, danSing was treated to an outstanding workshop weekend with the American Musical Theatre Academy of New York and London.
The workshop was led by AMTA co- founder and principal, Kenneth Avery-Clark, who is a West End actor, writer and producer. Kenneth was joined by AMTA vice-principal, Mark Goldthorp, who is starring in the new production of Sunset Boulevard with Glenn Close. Kenneth and Mark inspired the young performers, aged 11-19, with their enthusiasm, energy and expertise, working on musical theatre extracts, vocal technique, choreography and acting through song.
Kenneth commented afterwards, “it’s fantastic to see the enthusiasm of the students and to know that they are already receiving a great foundation in singing. These are potentially the ‘stars of tomorrow’ and it’s great to have those locally who will nurture them and give them as many opportunities as possible. We thoroughly enjoyed the Northern hospitality and can’t wait to return.”
Singing Workshop with West End performer, Jon Robyns – Jan 2016
To start their 2016 programme of events, danSing directors, Helen and Jane, were privileged to welcome West End performer, Jon Robyns, to hold a singing workshop with aspiring young performers.
Jon studied Musical Theatre at the prestigious Mountview Academy in London. Graduating in 2004, he joined the UK touring company of Miss Saigon understudying the role of Chris. He then went on to play the role of Mark Cohen in Rent and the roles of Princeton and Rod in the original West End production of Avenue Q. Jon played Marius in Les Misérables at the Queen’s Theatre and later Enjorlas during the 25th anniversary tour. In 2011, he joined the cast of Spamalot both on the UK tour and in the West End and, more recently, appeared in the original London cast of Memphis.
Taking time out from playing Caractacus Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Jon gave advice and inspired those currently auditioning for colleges and NYMT. He said that danSing was doing excellent work and tweeted “a pleasure working with @dansingstudio – very talented and focused young professionals.”
Dance Workshops with West End dancer and choreographer, Jordi Guitart
As part of danSing’s unique series of performing arts’ workshops to help young performers prepare for auditions, Helen and Jane regularly invite West End dancer and choreographer, Jordi Guitart, to hold a day of dance for a variety of age groups.
Jordi came to England from Barcelona in 1990 and trained as a dancer at Bodyworks and the Urdang Academy. His professional career has taken him all over the world both as a dancer and choreographer. He is Head of Jazz at “Ballet West”, Head of Dance at “Expressions” and also runs his own successful Dance School “TGS” with his wife, Nicola.
Jordi’s day of dance consists of three exciting workshops, an urban street dance class for juniors, a commercial jazz class for intermediates and an advanced audition preparation class for aspiring performers aged 15+. For the seniors, Jordi teaches a college entry level routine and shares valuable audition tips.
Audition Workshops with West End actress and director, Adrienne Posta
In order to help young performers audition for colleges, shows and youth theatre companies, danSing directors, Helen and Jane, regularly invite West End actress and director, Adrienne Posta to hold audition workshop days at danSing. Adrienne began her acting career at the age of seven and has worked with the likes of Sidney Poitier, Dame Anna Neagle and Anthony Hopkins. In recent years, she has combined teaching at the major London colleges with directing and currently gives master classes in acting through song at the London School of Musical Theatre.
danSing audition days with Adrienne are incredibly inspiring and informative. Students worked on monologues and are invited to perform audition songs. Adrienne gives invaluable advice on choosing appropriate repertoire and on the process and techniques needed to prepare and perform at auditions.
Audition Workshop with eminent director, Nikolai Foster – Nov 2014
danSing performing arts school was privileged to host an audition workshop with eminent theatre director, Nikolai Foster.
Taking time out from directing the West Yorkshire Playhouse production of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas which stars Darren Day and Oliver Tompsett, Nikolai shared his experiences of working on numerous acclaimed theatre productions and chatted about his new appointment as Artistic Director at the Leicester Curve Theatre. Aspiring performers prepared songs and monologues for the workshop and Nikolai worked on their prepared pieces, offering advice to those intending to audition for performing arts’ colleges or forthcoming productions. The workshop was incredibly inspirational for all those who took part and Nikolai donated his fee to local charity the Bethany’s Smile Foundation
Nikolai told danSing directors, Helen Leaf and Jane Waring, that he had enjoyed the afternoon immensely. He said “it was tremendously inspiring to see the fantastic work you’re doing with the students.”
Street Dance Workshop – St. Aidan’s School – Oct 2014
danSing hosted a fabulous dance workshop with renowned dance artist, De-Napoli Clarke. Constance Green Hall at St. Aidan’s School, Harrogate, was the venue for this high-energy contemporary/street dance event at which young performers were able to develop their skills and stamina as well as learn the latest dance moves.
De-Napoli trained at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and then went on to be a founder of RJC Dance and the National Youth Dance Company. He starred in the hit musical Stomp, performed with Kokuma Dance Theatre Company, NEXUS Dance Company and appeared on Top of The Pops with Mel B and Missy Elliot. More recently he choreographed a presentation for Le Grande Depart, Tour de France in Leeds and followed this with dance workshops at the Commonwealth Youth Dance Festival in Glasgow. In August 2014 De-Napoli was commissioned by Phoenix Dance Theatre to create a dance piece for the Challenge Cup Rugby final at Wembley Stadium.
Such was the success of this dance event that De-Napoli was invited to join the danSing team as a regular dance consultant!
Audition Workshop with Theatrical Agent, Michelle Blair – June 2013
danSing seniors performed a specially prepared medley of pop/rock songs to start the afternoon and then Michelle chatted about her stage experience. Students were invited to perform an audition song in front of the invited audience and Miss Blair commented on the performances and talked to participants about auditioning for colleges and shows and the techniques needed to prepare for auditions including song choices.
Behind The Scenes with Roycey – Sept 2011
danSing performing arts school was delighted to be joined by TV presenter and entertainer, Ian Royce, on Sunday 18th September. Ian, who is a cousin of danSing’s musical director, Helen Leaf, found time during a flying visit to Yorkshire, to chat about his experiences as the UK’s number leading warm up artist and Simon Cowell’s number one choice for such shows as the X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent and American Idol.
The evening’s entertainment also included danSing’s own X Factor style competition which was judged by Ian together with Wayne Bavin (Radio Presenter, Tempo FM) and Louise Hanen (Chair of the Acorn Committee and this year’s Stray FM ultimate local hero). Young singers, aged 7 to 19, from danSing and other local schools, sang before the three judges for a chance to win VIP tickets to the X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, generously donated by Ian. The competition was won by Sophie Stott who sang “Feeling Good”. In second place was Juliette Dumouchel, with third place shared by Olivia Jackson and Millie Archer.
Celebrity judge, Ian Royce, told danSing directors, Helen Leaf and Jane Waring, that he was humbled by the warm welcome he had received at danSing.
An Audience with Verity Rushworth – June 2011
On Wednesday 15th June, danSing hosted an evening with West End and TV actress, Verity Rushworth.
Verity took time out from playing the new “Maria” in the National Tour of The Sound of Music to talk to young performers about her career in television and on stage. She sang songs from The Sound of Music, accompanied by danSing’s Musical Director, Helen.
Later in the evening, danSing held a singing competition which was judged by Verity and Ann Percival, Head of Drama at Thirsk School. Singers competed for a place at danSing’s forthcoming summer school. Verity was very impressed with the high standard of the competition and the winner was Megan Gilbert who sang the technically demanding comic number, “Alto’s Lament”.