About the Tutors

Abigail Cova RAD Registered Teacher

Classical Ballet
(Dip. Classical Ballet & Related Subjects, RAD Teaching Cert)

Abigail Cova
Abigail started dancing in Glasgow at the age of 7 with Bernadette Sloane, she successfully auditioned for the Scottish Ballet’s Junior Associate programme. She went on to full time training at Scotland’s premier dance school, The Dance School of Scotland where she performed in many school shows. In 1992 Abigail became one of the first students to attend The Royal Ballet’s new senior associate programme in Birmingham.

Abigail furthered her dance training in London from the age of 16 where she attended Central School of Ballet. During her time here Abigail won scholarships to the Vaganova Summer School and Gloucester Seminars and danced in many choreographies by Christopher Gable, Michael Barret Pink and Didi Veldman and performed with the touring company British Gas Ballet Central.

Abigail went on to dance with The Ben Love Dance Company, The Scottish Ballet performing La Fille Mal Gardee and in Aida with Harvey Goldsmith at Earls court. Abigail completed her teacher training with the Royal Academy of Dance in 2005 and continues her professional development with the Royal Ballet School and the Royal Academy of Dance teacher training courses.

Deborah Swain BA Honours FDI ISTD/CDE ISTD

Modern/Tap/Street Dance

Deborah Swain
Deborah obtained her teaching qualifications at The Centre for Performing Arts and Kingston Teachers Training College and obtained a BA Honours Degree in Dance at Hertfordshire University. Previously Deborah had attended Laine Theatre Arts and London Studio for theatre studies and musical theatre. Deborah has been performing professionally in theatres for many years and has built her career performing in musicals, plays and pantomimes, on cruise ships, television, and even sang in a girl group.

Some of her theatre credits include, As You Like it, Tommy, Forbidden Planet, Musical Memories, Aladdin, The Record Collection, Cinderella, Sleeping beauty. She performed many roles for Disney Cruise Line these include, Beauty and the Beast, Hercules, Disney Dreams. 3 Divine was the name of girl group Deborah sang in and toured west end venues. Television credits include Daziel and Pascoe.

Throughout Deborah’s career she has always taught dance and has worked as a choreographer for various companies. She has worked for large holiday companies choreographing their in house productions and worked as an assistant choreographer for Tommy and Forbidden Planet.

Deborah has worked for various dance schools for the last 4 years Teaching Modern, Tap, Ballet, Hip Hop, Contemporary and Musical Theatre.

Robyn Holder

National Diploma in Performing Arts (Dance)
BA Hons at the London Contemporary Dance School.

Robyn Holder
Robyn is from Grahamstown in South Africa, it was here that she started dancing at a young age. After moving to London in 2005, Robyn began her training at Marble Hill Dance Studio under Abigail Cova and then continued her training at Lewisham College. Robyn graduated from the London Contemporary Dance School in July 2013 where she worked with choreographers including Sasha Roubicek and Theo Clinkard. It was at LCDS where Robyn developed particular interests in Contact Improvisation, improvisation for performance, choreography, teaching and dance for film.

Robyn is a freelance contemporary dance artist and a founding member and dancer for ‘Feet off the Ground Dance’, a company that performs Contact Robyn Holder Improvisation in unusual contexts. More details can be found at: www.feetofftheground.co.uk

Robyn has taught at Marble Hill Dance Studio since 2009 as an assistant and teacher for all ballet grades, nursery classes, contemporary, choreography and body conditioning. Robyn is also a teachers assistant and cover teacher at Chelsea Ballet School.


Melissa Willis

Melissa Willis

Melissa started dancing at the young age of 7. She was trained in many different styles of dance including ballet, tap, modern, street dance, disco, latin, ballroom and contemporary. From a young age she performed in many national competitions, pantomimes, professional and west end productions including Annie, Joseph and the Technicolor dream coat and Billy Elliot.

After gaining places at vocational musical theatre schools such as Bird and the London Studio Centre, Melissa decided that her real passion was in teaching. As a result she trained for three years at the Royal Academy of Dance on the Ballet Education degree program, where she gained her advanced 2, registered teacher status and became a licentiate of the Royal Academy of Dance. As well as being a qualified ballet teacher Melissa has also gained her ISTD tap and modern teaching qualifications.

Melissa currently teaches many different styles of dance around South London including Marble Hill Dance Studio.


Amy Shelton

BA (Hons) Ballet Education, RAD RTS, LRAD

Amy Shelton

Having received a BA (Hons) in Ballet Education at the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD), Amy has trained with some of the world’s top dance professionals. She is a fully qualified teacher of the Royal Academy of Dance having obtained her registered teacher status (RAD RTS), Advanced 2 Ballet Examination and RAD Licentiate (LRAD).

Amy is well travelled having taught dance across continents. She joins us from Bermuda, but her past postings have included Canada, where she taught and examined full time dance diploma students, Dubai and even Kenya! She is also a frequent visitor to the USA and relishes the opportunity to dance as much as possible when across the pond.

As an educator Amy encourages students to reach their full potential and to that end holds a 100% pass rate for students’ RAD graded and vocational examinations. Furthermore, she endeavours to instil professionalism, autonomy and dedication in all of her classes, while simultaneously fostering creativity, personal development and a genuine love for dance.

Amy is excited to return to the UK and is thrilled to be joining MHDS!


Ellen Elphick

Ellen Elphick

Ellen is an Elmhurst Lower School Graduate and a Royal Ballet School Upper School Graduate.

Upon Graduating from The Royal Ballet School in 2012 Ellen accepted a contract with the Hong Kong Ballet and danced as an artist there for 2 years. Ellen then secured a contract with Scotland’s national dance company, Scottish Ballet as an artist and danced there for the next 2 years.

Whilst at Scottish Ballet Ellen Performed in Cinderella, 5 tangos, Maze, and performed soloist roles in Elite Syncopations, The Crucible, The Nutcracker, Oxymore, A Streetcar named Desire and had a role created on herself in Elsa Canasta. Ellen is now a graduate from the Royal Academy of Dance having achieved her Professional Dancers’ Teaching Diploma.


Ellen Johanson

BA (Hons) Contemporary Dance

Ellen Johansson

Ellen is a London based dance artist. She holds a First Class BA Honors in Contemporary Dance from London Contemporary Dance School. Ellen has performed in work by Rick Nodine, Miguel Pereira, Barak Marshall, among others. She has choreographed for both camera and stage, collaborating with designers, sculptors, musicians and film makers.

Ellen’s ballet training was deeply nurtured when studying with Pipa Duke. Combining the highest level of expertise with warmth and attentiveness Pipa enabled her students to rise to the challenges, find the artistry and sense of flow within the classical form, and fully express the joy of moving.

Since 2012 Ellen is teaching dance classes to Londoners within the age range of 2 years old to 103 years old. Ellen is continuously deepening her knowledge in dance and movement by studying with teachers such as Iñaki Azpillaga, Jozef Frucek and Linda Kapetanea, Jeremy Nelson, Matej Kejzar, among others.


Patricia Zafra

Patricia Zafra

Patricia is from Valencia, Spain. She trained in contemporary dance at the Maria Carbonell Dance School. She moved to London to complete her degree at the London Contemporary Dance School where she graduated from in July 2013. Since graduation she has worked with New Movements Collective, Just Us Dance Theatre, Rick Nodine, Saju Hari and Theo Clinkard. She has recently worked with deaf choreographer Chisato Minamimura in the production Ring the Changes+ and in her newest R&D work Passages of Time. She is a founding member, choreographer and dancer of the all female dance collective Feet off the Ground Dance, which performs Contact Improvisation & Partnering work and collaborates with live improvising musicians. Patricia has also produced and choreographed her own work and dance for film.

Patricia Zafra has taught for C-12 Dance Theatre Ballet for Kids Program and Ballet North Company and is recently teaching Ballet at Rainbow Montessori Nurseries.

Angela Terence

Angela Terence

Angela trained on the Foundation Acting course at Arts Ed London and then the BA Hons Acting course at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

She works as a professional actor on stage and screen. She has had the opportunity to work at theatres such as The Royal Court, The Gate & The Hampstead Theatre. And television programmes such as Wallander (UK version with Kenneth Branagh), Endeavour, Doc Martin and The Suspicions of Mr Whitcher.

Prior to her professional training Angela attended the BRIT School for 4 years. And belonged to many amateur theatre companies in Surrey and South London from age 9.

She believes the fun and confidence that performing gives you serves you well in all professions and areas of your life not just for those who wish to pursue performing careers. Having an awareness of the voice, your breathing & the body and how to use it properly can greatly increase your confidence and the way you deal with social situations.