Abigail Cova RAD Registered Teacher
Classical Ballet

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

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 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 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 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 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

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!

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.

Abigail Muir

Abigail started dancing at the aged of 4 with the Coles Forsyth Dance Academy in Milton Keynes. She trained in RAD ballet, tap and modern theatre there until the age of 18.

At 16, she enrolled at Northampton College to study a BTEC Level 3 extended diploma in Musical Theatre specialising in Dance.

Abigail auditioned for several performing arts colleges gaining places at Urdang Academy, Bird College, Millennium Performing arts and London Studio Centre. However, she decided that rather than going down the performing route she wanted to teach and inspire children to dance.

At 18 she began a BA(Hons) Degree in Ballet Education at the Royal Academy of Dance where she is still currently training to be a ballet teacher and working towards gain her LRAD and registered teacher status.

James Groom
BA (Hons), LRAD, LNATD (Ballet), ANATD (Tap/Modern/Freestyle), RAD RTS

James started dancing with his local dance school in Essex (Talents Theatre School), at the age of 9. There, James competed in various competitions and has performed on many West End Theatres, like the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and the Royal Albert Hall. He was in the ensemble choir in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Adelphi Theatre and has even performed in front of HRH The Duchess of Cornwall! He performed at the presentation of the launch of the RAD’s Discovering Repertoire Syllabus.

Having found a passion for teaching he started taking professional Associate teaching exams in Ballet, Tap, Modern, and Freestyle styles and has been a qualified teacher with the NATD for over four years, having received the Associates with Distinctions. Following his A-Levels, James was awarded a scholarship to a vocational dance school but decided to follow his passion of teaching to complete the BA (Hons) degree in Ballet Education at the Royal Academy of Dance and became a Licentiate of the RAD. James is also a certified Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT) instructor.

Now, embarking on a new adventure, he is starting to learn how to write dance, studying the Professional Award in Benesh Movement Notation. This will be done alongside teaching dance in multiple dance schools across London and began working with MHDS in January 2018.

Laura Radford

Miss Laura has been dancing since the age of 3, studying Ballet, Tap, Contemporary and Modern Jazz. It was at her childhood dance school, Geiralt School of Dancing, in Nottingham, where she was inspired by her teacher, to train further. Alongside her dance training, she performed in shows, festivals and enjoyed learning to play the piano and violin.

Laura’s love of teaching developed further as she began to assist her dance teacher. After achieving successful A-Levels at school, Miss Laura still decided that her passion was in Ballet teaching. It was this that spurred her on, to begin studying for a BA (Hons) Ballet Education at the Royal Academy of Dance and Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Dance. She is now in her final year and is looking forward to teaching for Marble Hill Dance Studio full-time, from September 2018.

Alongside her studies, Miss Laura is a dancer with Semaphore Ballet Company. She has performed at many different locations in London, collaborating with local artists, film-makers, photographers and musicians.

Miss Laura enjoys teaching a range of different ages and abilities. From private tuition to large classes, she hopes to get the best out of her students and see them grow and develop overtime.

Marta

In 2015 Marta gained a BA(Hons) degree in contemporary dance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, where she performed in works by i.e. Charles Linehan, Alison Curtis-Jones & Lizzie Kew-Ross. She completed placements with i.e.: Bangarra Dance Theatre in Australia, Phoenix Dance Theatre in the UK, Rozbark Dance & Movement Theatre in Poland.

Since graduation, Marta has had the opportunity to perform in works by i.e: Rosie Kay, Darren Ellis, Maresa von Stockert, Kirill Burlov, Watts Dance at “Gala for Grenfell” charity event directed by Arlene Philips at Adelphi Theatre, in BBC Proms & has been a dancer in Follow Through Collective & Co. She has been featured in music videos for Daughter, The Ramona Flowers, Una Healey, The Vaults, Tom the Lion. Apart from performing in various projects & festivals, in 2018 Marta choreographed a new work called “Filtered” which has been performed across Poland & won her a Choreographer’s Award & 2nd Prize for best choreography performance at Polish National Dance Theatre Competition in Kielce as well as 1st Prize at a Regional Dance Competition in Bielsko. Her love to teaching and leading workshops across Poland, UK & Wales led into becoming a founder, coordinator and instructor at “GUIDANCE PROJECT” which since 2016 is a voluntary mission, focused on delivering dance & art workshops to community of unprivileged and orphan children across Uganda, Africa. Marta is very excited to be able to lead next mission for three months starting in June 2018.

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.

Eliza Wade

Eliza began dancing when she was five years old. She has been involved in several youth companies, associate shemes and community dance projects, more recently including Watkins Associates as well as being a part of the CAT Scheme at The Place for 5 years, giving her a wealth of experience with different companies and dance artists.

After making a choice between her place at London Contemporary Dance School and university, she is currently studying Medicine at University of Southampton as well as dancing with English National Ballet Youth Company.

Eliza started assisting and teaching at Marble Hill Dance School in 2017.

Erin Simpson

Miss Erin started performing from a young age. She started ballet, tap and jazz at her local dance school when she was 3. She began singing lessons when she was 10 and decided to go into musical theatre.

She took part in a number of musicals which led her to gain a place at the top musical theatre school in the UK. Whilst at Arts Ed she played a lead in ‘Lady Be Good’ alongside John Brant directing (producer of The Westend/Broadway musical ‘Come From Away’) and Darren Carnall Choreographing (Associate choreographer for The West End show ‘Kinky Boots’)

After gaining a BA HONS from The Arts Educational School, she has been in a professional production of Cinderella and also teaches at Marble Hill Dance Studio.

Yanitsa Dimitrova

Yanitsa started dancing when she was 5 years old for fun, but soon realised how much she loved dance. At the age of 11, she gained a place at the vocational Art School in her home city Ruse ( Bulgaria ) where she stayed until she graduated at 19. It was there that she studied the Russian method of classical ballet called ‘Vaganova’ alongside jazz ,modern dance, folklore dance and piano lessons. At the school, one of her cherished achievements was to win first prize at the ballet competition at the age of 17.

After graduation, Yanitsa was accepted at the ballet company in Ruse and became a member of the opera house where she performed on stage multiple times.

Her role in the theatre gave her the opportunity to go on a ballet tour to Italy and Spain where she performed the famous ballets Swan Lake, Giselle and Chopeniana.

After three years in the theatre, Yanitsa decided to move to Germany to study and perform ballet. She benefitted from being trained by principal dancers from Chemnitz Opera House in East Germany and had the opportunity to  perform some of their choreographies.

Yanitsa eventually moved to London and has now been living here for 8 years. She studied at RAD (Royal Academy of Dance) and successfully completed their PDTD training which has given her the opportunity to peruse teaching dance as a career alongside her other passion , being a freelance performer.

 

Nasta Kontopidi

Nasta Kontopidi graduated in 2015 from the Greek National Opera School. She started her career as a rhythmic gymnast at the age of 6, and went on to be part of the national team for 10 years, receiving significant honours. 

During her career as a dancer she has collaborated with notable groups in Greece and abroad and has received many awards for her work as a dancer, including 1st place at the 2014 New Choreographer Festival.

Nasta has been a member of the Nefelopetra Dance Theatre since 2013 and also the Chantry Dance Company where she has collaborated with Pierre Tavernier (2013) and Antonis Foniadakis on the production of “Priority” (2015). 

In May 2016 she took part in Pavlos Kourtidis’s dance performance “Labyrinth, From Darkness to Light and was selected to take part in the KCDC’s International Dance Journey in Berlin in December 2017. Nasta was also chosen to perform in Peridance Capezio Center’s BLUEPRINT Intensive in August 2019.

Nasta has performed in many productions of Greek National Opera, including Snow Queen, Don Quixote and The Cunning Little Vixen and has participated in numerous workshops including, The Limassol Summer Dance Workshop, Amsterdam Summer Intensive, on the Hofesh Schechter Method and Beer Sheva, Israel Kamea Dance Company’s Audition Seminar.

Nasta has recently moved to London and attended The Master Ballet Progressive Technique by Daniel Guy Lommel 2018. 

This year Nasta  signed her contract with Tavaziva dance company and can’t wait to start her Journey with us

Alice McDermott

Alice grew up in Jersey, Channel Islands where she started dancing at the age of 5 studying ballet, tap and modern dance in the RAD, IDTA and ISTD syllabi. Over the years, Alice has enjoyed participating in showcases with principal dancers of the Royal Ballet and competing in local festivals and national competitions. In 2016, she was successful in winning a bronze medal at the Bloch Dance World Cup Finals.

Alice moved to London in 2017 to begin her studies at the Royal Academy of Dance. She is now in her final year of studying for her Bachelors degree in Ballet Education and the Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Dance program. In addition to her studies and working as a tutor at Marble Hill Dance studio,  Alice is also part of The Semaphore Ballet Company where she enjoys performing and collaborating with local artists.

Alice Moore

Alice started ballet at the age of 7 at her local ballet school. She then went on to join the Birmingham Royal Ballet Junior and Mid Associates programme at age 10 for four consecutive years.  Alice also benefitted from being invited to London to take part in a variety of different dance workshops and private rehearsal viewings with the Royal Ballet which further added to her experience.

Alice then moved to London to study at the Royal Academy of Dance and graduated in 2018 with a BA (Hons) Ballet Education and Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Dance (LRAD). During her time at the Royal Academy of Dance, Alice was fortunate enough to be selected to perform alongside Darcy Bussell as part of the Queens 90th birthday parade in June 2016 and thought it was an extreme privilege to perform for the Royal Family and be involved in the televised celebrations. In addition to this, Alice has performed on the One Show at BBC Broadcasting House and danced ‘The Strictly’ as well as being involved in a VT performance in January 2017 for the BBC programme “Let’s Sing and Dance for Comic Relief”.

Alice Tagliento

Alice began dancing at the young age of 3 years old. She originally trained in ballet and contemporary dance at her local dance school in Italy (Arke Turin). From a young age Alice travelled as she wanted to deepen her knowledge and train with some of the world’s top dance professionals such as teachers and dancers from Martha Graham Dance Company. She moved to London to join Rambert School and during her training she had the chance to work and perform works by Darren Ellis, Jenna Lee, and Didy Veldam, to mention a few. In 2017 she was awarded with a First Degree BA hons.

Alice danced with Rambert Company in 2016 at Sadler’s Wells in Mark Baldwin’s The Creation and performed at the Barbican in April 2017 in On with the Dance, a piece choreographed by Arielle Smith to a composition by Danyal Dhondy. She joined Michael Clark Company in 2017 and since then she has had the opportunity to perform and teach nationally and internationally for students in Australia, Germany and United Kingdom. More recently, Alice performed for Gucci Milan Fashion Week in 2018 and appeared on BBC 4 in the broadcast of “To a simple rock and roll song” by Michael Clark.

Alice enjoys performing, but she also loves to share her knowledge and offer her experience to younger students. One of Alice’s cherished accomplishments is to see her students understand , grow and enjoy dance.