DANCE DESIGN THEATRE ARTS TEACHERS
AILEEN GRAHAM - ARAD RAD RTS (Principal)
Aileen established Graham School of Dance in 1990, initially at one venue, but expanding over 26 years to cover a wide local area in Hertfordshire and Essex. She trained firstly in Manchester, then at The Royal Ballet School before returning to the north-west to complete her training at Northern Ballet School. She worked and taught in Italy and the USA before returning to the UK to set up her own School.
Aileen is extremely proud to have trained the only UK female candidate chosen to take part in the 2016 Prix de Lausanne Ballet competition. This prestigious international dance competition, held annually in Switzerland, is for young dancers seeking to pursue a professional career in classical ballet, and many former prize winners of the competition are now leading stars with major ballet companies around the world. Miss Graham's candidate was also the first UK pupil training at a non-vocational, part-time school to be chosen since 1973, to add to this exciting achievement. Aileen was delighted that the Graham School of Dance candidate was offered 4 scholarship places at European Vocational Dance Schools to continue her full-time training, and accepted the place at the Royal Ballet School in London, where she has now commenced.
Aileen has also trained several pupils, both girls and boys, who have attained full-time places at top UK Vocational Schools, such as the Royal Ballet School, Elmhurst School for Dance, English National Ballet School and Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance.
Aileen also trained the Level 1 winner of the 2015 Royal Academy of Dance UK Genée Dance Challenge competition held at RAD Headquarters in Battersea, and in 2014 she also trained two pupils who won places to represent the UK in the RAD Genée Challenge competition at Level 1 and Level 2, with one pupil then going on to win Level 2 overall in the European Finals in Antwerp! She alsotrained the Level 1 winner of the 2011 RAD UK Genée Dance Challenge.
Aileen has choreographed for and trained All England Dance competition Medalists and Finalists with solos, duets, trios, quartets and groups, with several attaining top 3 places and Gold, Silver and Bronze medals, at successive competitions.
Most recently, for the 2015 Finals, seven of her Classical and Modern Ballet groups won Finals places, and sixteen Classical and Modern Ballet solos/duets/trios, with pieces again attaining Gold, Silver and Bronze medals, including her Senior Modern Ballet group piece, Noir, not only attaining 1st place and the Gold medal, but being requested to dance in the prestigious end of Finals Gala. A pupil trained by Aileen also won through to compete in the prestigious All England Dance Young Ballet Dancer competition at the 2015 Finals.
At the 2015 All Engand Finals, as well as for Noir Aileen's pupils won Gold medals (1st places) for their Classical Ballet group Primrose (age 12 & under), for her Modern Ballet duet age 14 years and also her Classical Ballet trio (age 9 & under), for which tit was a unanimous Gold. Silver medals (2nd places) were attained for her Classical Ballet solo age 11, Modern Ballet solo age 14, Classical Ballet trio age 12 & under and Classical Ballet duet age 9 & under. Bronze medals (3rd places) were won for her Classical Ballet group age 15 & under, Modern Ballet group age 15 & under, Classical Ballet group age 9 & under, Modern Ballet solo age 16, and Classical Ballet solos age 11 and also age 16.
At the 2013 Finals, Aileen's pupils attained several top 3 placings, including Silver medals for their Classical Ballet solo age 11, Classical Ballet duet age 9 & under, and Classical Ballet group age 15 & under, and Bronze medal for her student for her Modern Ballet solo age 14 years.
As well as being Principal of Graham School of Dance, Aileen teaches Classical Ballet and Modern Ballet, and enters pupils at all levels of RAD Ballet Grades, including Vocational Grades up to and including Advanced 2. Students in 2014, 2015 and 2016 havee attained Distinction for their RAD Advanced 2 Ballet exam, thus enabling them to enter the prestigious RAD International Genée competition.
Aileen is fully registered with the Royal Academy of Dance, and has been involved with the RAD Regional Advisory Committee for the Midlands & East of England region, liaising with the Academy, and supporting fellow teacher members and pupils: she organises Scholarship days, meetings and special teaching sessions with Examiners to support pupils as well as teachers in their continuing professional development. As well as running Graham School of Dance, she is married with three children.
JODY SQUIRRELL A.I.S.T.D. - Principal - Tap & Jazz
After graduating from Performers College, Jody went on to pursue her professional dancing career, landing her first role as a dancer and understudy Peggy Sawyer in 42nd Street. Soon after Jody toured in various musical productions in the UK and Ireland and later around the world on the cruise ship Aurora. After returning to the UK Jody has appeared as a backing dancer for numerous artists and music videos. However it was not until she started to teach and choreograph that she found this was her true love. Since she started teaching in 2002, Jody has entered pupils into various dance festivals and competitions, winning countless awards for choreography.
LOUISE HARRISON - Commercial
Louise started dancing at age three at a local dance school in Manchester. Louise studied various forms of dance including Ballet, Tap and Modern, but her passion lay in the street dance/commercial field. Louise moved to London and got her first professional job at just age 17 in world renowned street dance show ‘Bounce’ directed by Anthony Van Laast. Louise got acting parts in commercials and TV shows, but after auditioning and getting the job to dance for Whitney Houston at the MTV awards, Louise’s dance career flourished. Louise has gone on to dance for various artists, including Mariah Carey, Black Eyed Peas, Robbie Williams, Pharrell, NE-YO, One Direction, JLS, Leona Lewis, 50 Cent, N-Dubz, Danni Minogue, Cher Lloyd, Professor Green and danced on TV shows like The X factor, Strictly, MTV awards and The Brit awards. Louise has gone on to choreograph for artists including being assistant choreographer on all JLS arena tours and is a judge at several International street dance competitions. Louise can’t wait to share her experience and knowledge to the students of Dance Design and is extremely happy to be a part of such a talented school.
DENISE ROBERTS - RAD RTS ARAD
Denise trained at the Bush Davies School, and then under Ruth French and Alex Morrow and Brenda Last OBE. She joined Graham School of Dance in 2015, teaching Royal Academy of Dance Classical Ballet Grade and Vocational Grade syllabi, along with Festival work.
Denise danced professionally for over 12 years, including in companies such as Irish National Ballet, Ballet for All, Dublin City Ballet and British Ballet Theatre, performing roles in many classical and modern ballets. She worked with Rudolf Nureyev in Manfred and was chosen to play Giselle and Queen of the Wilis by Sir Anton Dolin and John Gilpin in Dublin and London, as well as many othe rclassical roles, including Sugar Plum Fairy from The Nutcracker. She was was involved in film and TV work, including the Eurovision Song Contest, before setting up and running her own School. She has also taught at Masters vocational college, guest teaches for Chelmsford Ballet Company (for whom she has also produced), and coaches classes for examinations with great success, as well as working in Learning Support at a Junior School local to her home town of Southend-on-Sea.
JO ELLIS - LISTD
Jo Ellis trained at Performers College and later at The Centre under the direction of Karen King to gain her teaching qualifications up to Licentiate status. She is an Approved Tutor for the ISTD and is currently working towards her Fellowship Exams. Jo's passion is Tap and she has enjoyed spending time in LA working with some of America's greatest tappers.
Jo teaches Grade and Vocational Grade classes for Graham School of Dance, both at The Studios and at our Church Langley branch. She has over 20 years teaching experience, working in various dance schools, vocational colleges and secondary schools. She currently teaches Modern, Tap, Ballet and Jazz to children as well as the DDI Modern Theatre and Tap & DDE Modern Theatre and Tap courses at DDTSTT.
MADELINE TUGWELL - AISTD, IBB, NB, MTBdip, TB dip
Madeline Tugwell teaches Tap, Modern, Jazz, Classical Ballet and National Dance at Graham School of Dance, to children aged 3 up through the Grades to seniors at Vocational Grade level. She trained at Stella Mann College, and previously was Principal of her own dance school in Hemel Hempstead; she joined Graham School of Dance in 1991, and has taught winning group and solo Modern, Tap and Ballet dance pieces, including for the All England Dance competition..
TONI DIMMOCK - CDE/FDI (ISTD)
Toni Dimmock teaches Ballet, Modern Theatre, Tap and Street Dance for Graham School of Dance to children from the age of 3 as well as Melody Bear classes for our youngest pre-school children ages 2 - 3. Toni qualified as a Dance Teacher having studied at Preston College Dance Academy, and forerlly trained at Jason Theatre School. She is also a qualified Zumba Instructor. Toni danced professionally for several years, most recently for Princess Cruises on the P & O Pacific Sun, including creating choreography whilst on board ship, and singing and acting too. She also performed for Costa Cruises and Regent Seven Seas.