Achievements of Past and Present Students in Dance & Performing Arts
Lottie Casserley, 12, has been playing Bielke in Sir Trevor Nunn’s acclaimed production of Fiddler on the Roof since it started at The Menier Chocolate Factory. She is now continuing the role during the show’s West End run. Anna De Oliveira, 10, is currently appearing in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the London Palladium. Earlier this year Saffia Layla, 9, played one of the three mean girls in the Arcola’s production of Little Miss Sunshine. She also appeared in Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s run of Evita. Dulcie Allsop, 13, is currently playing Tessie in the national tour of Annie. Dulcie will start at The Sylvia Young Theatre School in September 2019, having spent the previous two years at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts.
Appearing in panto this year will be Saffia Layla in Beauty and the Beast at Aylesbury Waterside, and Katie Lulham, 14, Mollie Casserley, 10, and Ruby Cousins, 10, in Sleeping Beauty at the Alban Arena.
Tilly Warr, 10, Tabitha Pennant-Jones, 15, Ruby Cousins, 10, and Millie Cousins, 9, will be dancing in Coppelia at The Elgiva in September 2019.
Ayla Clare, 16, left both Tring Park School and JMDS (where she was Head Girl) in July 2019 to start her professional training at Bird College Conservatoire for Dance & Musical Theatre. Ayla also performed in the 2016 season of the English National Ballet's production of The Nutcracker. Lili Nikolic, 19, who won a scholarship to Bird College when she was 16, has just graduated with distinction.
We have had several students win scholarships to the Sylvia Young Theatre School, probably the country's leading children's school for the performing arts. These include Lauren Bird and Alex Bird who, before leaving JMDS for Sylvia Young, appeared regularly in West End musicals, including Les Miserables, in which both girls played the part of the young Cosette. Alex went on to train at the London Studio Centre and has been a dancer on X Factor and performed in Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, the UK tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Matilda the Musical.
Nancy Allsop, now 16, also won a scholarship to Sylvia Young. While at JMDS she won the lead role in God Bless the Child at the Royal Court and the part of Marta in the Indonesia and China touring production of The Sound of Music. In May 2017 she was cast as July and Annie understudy in the West End production of Annie.
Joanne Stobbs and Syanne Day successfully auditioned for the Royal Ballet School's Junior Associate programme. Jo Stobbs is now a Costume Assistant on such productions as The Crown, Burnt, War Machine, The Tunnel, Denial, and Suffragette
We currently have ex student Louis Parkins and Erin McGlinchey pursuing degrees in dance at the London Studio Centre. Past pupils Daisy Bishop, Alex Bird, Jo Stobbs, Samantha Turton and Dani Acors also qualified there.
Dani Acors, a successful musical theatre actress, appeared as a debutante in Disney's Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens, and in 2018 on the West End stage in the musical All or Nothing.
Samantha Turton performs continually in musical theatre in Germany. From January 2017 she performed in Tanz der Vampire (Dance of The Vampires) in St Gallen as Ensemble/Dance Captain. As of August 2018 she is assistant choreographer / performer in Titanic in Germany.
Former head girl Jo Redburn went on to train at Laine Theatre Arts in Surrey and undertook engagements in South Africa, Sweden and on an American cruise ship. Jo also won leading roles in the UK tours of 42nd Street and appeared with Shane Ritchie in Boogie Nights, on tour and in the West End.
Syanne Day and Natasha Chung went on to Elmhurst School of Dance. Syanne Day is now with the English National Ballet.
Joley Brindle received a first-class degree in Theatre and Professional Practice at Coventry University. She now runs Flametree Productions.
Sam Chung started his dance training at JMDS, won a scholarship to Tring Park School for the Performing Arts and was also an associate of the Royal Ballet School. He has performed with the National Youth Ballet, Ballet Black, Saltzburg Ballet Company and Tarzan the Musical in Germany. He is now in Hamburg’s production of Aladdin The Musical.
Natasha Chung had a fully-funded place at the Bejart School in Lausanne, Switzerland. As a student, she performed on the UK tour with Birmingham Royal Ballet and with Bejart Ballet in Milan. She also performed as a TV backing dancer with Beyonce. She has been a rehearsal assistant and costume designer for the National Youth Ballet.
JMDS pupils appear with the National Youth Ballet, the English Youth Ballet and the London Children's Ballet. We also have students studying extra ballet at the Tring Park Academy and the London Junior Ballet.
Nicola Coker Gordon and Lauren Coker Gordon appeared with the National Youth Ballet for 11 consecutive years.
Lisa Bridge has been in Bend It Like Beckham, the West End production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and the UK tour of Charlie & The Chocolate Factory. She is currently appearing in Only Fools and Horses in the West End.
Lucy Jones is an entertainment reporter for ITV and a producer and editor.
Georgia Long completed her dance training at Stella Mann College in 2018 and is now on her first professional engagement as a dancer with Concordia Cruise Ships.
Eloise Ward, 18, and Tegan Bushby, 20, are in full-time training at the Margaret Howard Theatre College. Past student Lewis Sanders, now successfully pursuing a career in performing arts, also qualified there.