All about us

 Who we are

The Betty Wivell Academy was established in 1964. To date over 1000 boys and girls have studied with us. When we started, it was ballet lessons in Miss Wivell’s sitting room. Now, it’s ballet, tap, modern, jazz, drama and singing in over 10 rooms spanned over 4 venues, seven days a week. A total of 75 regular classes, not counting additional tuition and rehearsal time.

 

The School aims

To provide a high standard of training
To develop a sense of commitment
To build self-confidence
To establish disciplines that will serve in all walks of life
To enjoy the freedom of dance, drama and song

 Performing Arts

We are a performing arts school and aim to put on a small production each year. Every five years, the entire school puts on a production at a local theatre. We also undertake a number of outside performances throughout the year, including school fetes, entertainment for local retirement homes, charity events, summer schools, festivals, and choreography competitions.

 Betty Wivell Academy Trust

All funds raised from our productions go to support The BWA Trust, a charity whose aim is to assist former pupils of the BWA to obtain further tuition at a professional level, enabling them to achieve a career in the theatre.

Get in touch if you want more information about any of our classes, the school itself, supporting the BWA Trust or would be interested in us performing at your event.

 Staff

Elizabeth Reeves

Principal

I am passionate about bringing first rate teaching of The Theatre Arts to children of all ages, whether they wish to pursue it as a full time career of as a thrilling hobby learning skills that will carry them through all walks of life. Whilst training in a safe environment with like minded creative people developing theatrical skills and confidence.

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Training/Qualifications
The Betty Wivell Academy
Italia Conti Academy
Royal Academy of Dancing
RAD Teaching Certificate
ISTD Examiner for Tap and Modern and FISTD Tap and Modern.

Teaching Posts
– Italia Conti Academy Guildford teacher training FDI
– Guildhall School of Music and Drama
– Central School of Speech and Drama
– Academy of Live and Recorded Arts
– Italia Conti Academy
– Barbican Centre
– Rosebruford
– Arts Educational London

Professional Work including:
– Cabaret in Cairo & Turkey
– BBC Television The Series “Chelworth”
– Brigadoon Choreographer
– La Cage Aux Folles Germany Tour
– Turn Again Whittington Pantomime, Brighton
– The Boyfriend Canazario Park, Wimbledon Theatre
– ITV Television “The Big E” Series
– Barnum Choreographer
– Hello Dolly Choreographer
– Crazy For You Choreographer

Frank Thompson

Aristic Director

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Training/Qualifications
Laine Theatre Arts

Professional Work including:
As a performer includes
– War and Peace Coliseum
– La Cava Bromley & Piccadilly Theatre
– The Pajama Game Victoria Palace
– Hey Mr Producer Lyceum
– Cats New London & UK Tour
– Sunset Boulevard Adelphi

Choreograhic work includes
– No One in the World, A Chorus LIne, MGM and The Styne Way (all London Palladium)
– The Ultimate Knees Up, Cinderella and Mother Goose (all Hackney Empire)
– The Fleet’s In (Theatre Royal Drury Lane)
– Carousel (Guildhall at the Barbican)
– Resident Choreographer at the Miss Saigon School.
– Resident Choreographer for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (London Palladium)Resident Children’s Director on The Sound of Music and is Resident Choreographer on the UK Tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Gill Miller

Tap, Modern, Ballet

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Training/Qualifications
ARAD Ballet
AISTD Ballet, Tap, Modern, National

Professional Work including:
FILMS:
– Pure Hell at St Trinians
– Wonderful Life
THEATRE
– Music Man (West End)
– Sail-Away (West End)
– Old Time music Hall (Leeds)
– Cinderella (Stockton)
– Summer Season (Blackpool)

Choreography work includes- The Wizard of Oz, Dick Whittington, My Fair Lady and Anything Goes.

Gill has also appeared in various TV Commercials

Sheena Clark

Resident MD

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Theatre Experience

ALRA, TRINITY COLLEGE LONDON 1984 – 1987

NATIONAL YOUTH MUSIC THEATRE 2005-2006
Executive Director to Jeremy James Taylor

ARTS EDUCATIONAL, CITY UNIVERSITY 2009-2011
BA (Hons) Performance Studies

BWA Resident Musical Director/Director
Producer/director: 42nd Street, Bugsy Malone, Godspell, Little Shop of Horrors, The Wiz, Honk, Rock Nativity, Seussical, Into the Woods.

ACTING
Barnum, Anything Goes, Music Man, Le Cage Aux Folles, Brigadoon, Annie Get Your Gun, 42nd Street, Follies, Kiss Me Kate, Oklahoma

BWA TRUST (Charity) 1984 – CURRENT
Chair of the BWA Trust

PROFESSIONAL SINGER 1986
Jersey -runner up to Shane Ritchie for Variety’s “Best Newcomer” Award

Candice Tierney

Ballet, Tap, Modern, Drama, BWA Administration

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Head teacher
The Salvation Army Branch

Training/Qualifications
BWA

Professional Work including:
Nancy in Oliver at the Ashcroft Theatre

Tim Clarke

Major Ballet

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Training/Qualifications
LISTD Ballet
RAD TC
Murilova Ballet School, Bournemouth, Arts Eductaional Schooland ISTD Teachers Course Bedford
RAD Ballet Examiner

Teaching Posts include
Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts
Brit School Croydon
Principal of Italia Conti Associate School Bow
Joy Waite Theatre Dance School
Tiffany Theatre College
Technique Dance Academy Crawley

Professional Performances include
Dublin City Ballet
London City Ballet
Vienna Festival Ballet
Irish National Ballet
ENO London Coliseum
Technique Dance Academy Crawley

Tim Clark is also an RAD Ballet Examiner

Adam Pettigrew

Singing

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Adam was most recently seen in SLEEPING ARRANGEMENTS at the Landor, directed by Robert McWhir. He can also be ‘seen’ exercising his puppetry skills in the movie MUPPETS MOST WANTED for Disney, directed by James Bobin. Other theatre credits include THE MUSIC OF LEE FREEMAN for the Landor, directed by Jennifer Tang; a stint as Boq in WICKED for Playful in the West End, directed by Joe Mantello; PETER PAN for First Family; AVENUE Q for Cameron Mackintosh/Bath Theatre Royal, directed by Jason Moore; A SLICE OF SATURDAY NIGHT at the Upstairs at the Gatehouse, directed by John Plews.

Adam is a graduate of Arts Educational’s Musical Theatre programme.

Adam Trained at The BWA and BRIT before going to Arts Educational

he is currently teaching singng at PPA in Guildford, he has also taught at Urdang, Arts Ed & Reynolds performing Arts Colleges.

Sadie Morgan

Major Ballet

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Sadie’s early training began at White Lodge and later at Bush Davies. Following graduation in 1989, Sadie worked in various pantomimes, dance on-board Q.E.2 for Jean Ann Ryan Productions and was also principle dancer with Opera North. Theatre credits include ‘Carousel’ both at the Royal National Theatre and Shaftesbury Theatre, West End and a year UK tour of ‘Oklahoma’.

Sadie holds the fellowship status of the ISTD Imperial Ballet & Modern Theatre Faculty, as well as Licentiate Tap and Associate National.

Sadie has been teaching for 18 years and has now been appointed an Examiner in both the modern and ballet theatre faculties.

Ezmaii Bulsara-Crosbie

Modern, Jazz, Contemporary, Ballet, Tap

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Ezmaii started her training at The Betty Wivell Academy of Performing Arts where she studied ballet, tap, modern and jazz for 15 years! Alongside BWA she also studied at the BRIT School before going on to LIPA to gain a BA (hons) in Dance.

In her professional career Ezmaii has worked all over the world in countries such as India, Dubai, Italy and Sri Lanka and has extensive experience in stage, film and TV performance. Ezmaii has always had a passion for teaching and is very excited to be back working as a member of staff at BWA.

Ezmaii also teaches at The BRIT School .

Abigail Matthews

Head of Drama
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Training: The Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts Theatre

Credits Include: Cinderella (Wyvern Theatre); Goodnight Mister Tom (West End and UK Tour); The White Feather (Union Theatre); Bye Bye Birdie (Ye Olde Rose and Crown); Citizen Squid (Lyric Hammersmith); War Horse (New London Theatre); Dick Whittington (White Rock); The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Threesixty TheatreKensington Gardens); Peter Pan (Beck Theatre); A Winter’s Tale andThe Hired Man (Landor Theatre); Sleeping Beauty (Civic Theatre) Evita (UK and European Tour).

Workshops Include: Babe the Sheep Pig (Polka Theatre); Six Nights in Naples (Charing Cross Theatre); Downtown (Jermyn Street Theatre) Rebel Song (GSA); Write to PlayWriters Showcase (National Theatre Studio); Buckets (National Theatre Studio); Joybubbles (National Theatre Studio); Once Upon A Time In England (National Theatre Studio).

Cabaret Includes: Gala Concert- The Florence Nightingale Foundation (The Tower Hotel); Concert- The Stephen Sondheim Society (Phoenix Artist’s Club); Proud of Your Boy- A Celebration of Alan Menken (Lost Theatre); An Evening with Matthew Strachan (St James Theatre); Sing But Don’t Tell- The Songs of Carner and Gregor (Leicester Square Hippodrome Casino); Songs I Shouldn’t Sing- Stephen Carlile (The Pheasantry).

Voice Over Includes: Grammar Plus B2 (Kidztalk Ltd); Examination (Kidztalk Ltd).

Daisy Smalley-Nicholson

Modern, Tap Dance
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Sophie trained at the Betty Wivell Academy for 8 years, and 4 of those years were also spent training simultaneously at The BRIT School on the musical theatre course. She is currently finishing her 3 year degree course at the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in musical theatre. Sophie’s passion for performance has always fed her interest in teaching and inspiring young children to love dance as well.

Lucy Chapman

Ballet tap and modern

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Lucy trained at The Betty Wivell Academy, attended The Brit School of Performing Arts and went straight on to complete a three year degree course at London Studio Centre as a Seedtime graduate (musical theatre).

Some of her performing experience includes performing in front of 5000 people at the O2 Academy Brixton for the ‘Carter and The Unstoppable Sex Machines’ final gig, perform in an Anya Hindmarch fashion week show, take part in the Miley Cyrus Madame Tussauds London wax work unveiling trailer and play various characters in a production of Legally Blonde at the Pleasance Theatre.

Lucy has an immense passion for teaching and choreography, in which over the last four years, has taught at various schools in London, back at The Brit School and has choreographed many routines that have entered various festivals, gaining high marks and many medals.

Becky Morley

Acrobatics

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Training/Qualifications:
World of Dance Theatre School
BRIT School of Performing Arts
Bristol Dance Centre
IDTA Associate & Licentiate Teaching Certificates
IASF Cheer Coach
British Gymnastics General and Artistic Coach
British Gymnastics Pre-School Coach

Teaching Posts:
World of Dance Theatre School
TJ’s Gymnastics Club
Dance Express Dance School
DK Gymnastics Club
Tolworth Gymnastics Club
Dancemode Schools of Dance
Lucinda Walsh School of Dance
Future Gymnastics
The Betty Wivell Academy

Ana Ramos

Ballet Teacher

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Training/qualifications:
MSc Dance Science
MSc Neurocognition, Education & Learning
Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies (RAD)
Associate of the Royal Academy of Dance (ARAD)

Originally from Mexico, Ana trained in ballet under the Royal Academy of Dance methodology since she was young, graduating from Advanced 2 in 2007. She danced professionally with Ardentía Compañía de Danza, based in Mexico City. She is very passionate about education and ballet teaching which she has done for over 17 years, having taught internationally across Mexico, Japan, and the UK. She studied a Masters in Dance Science at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, and is also an independent dance science lecturer and mentor for ballet teachers.

Lily Parker

Ballet Teacher

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Lily trained in Cape Town, South Africa, at The Reddam House Academy of Dance. Where she trained in ballet, tap and modern, although ballet was always her primary focus. Moving back to the UK she did a foundation in musical theatre at Performance Preparation Academy in Guildford before moving to London to attend university at The Royal Academy of Dance where she will graduate with a BA (Hons) Ballet Education and the Licentiate programme (LRAD) in the summer of 2022. Lily is excited to be joining the BWA team and using her passion for ballet to inspire that same passion in young children. 

Jennie Abbotts

Tap, Modern, Jazz and Ballet teacher

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After completing all of her ISTD & RAD examinations in Modern, Tap & Ballet, Jennie was awarded a full scholarship to train at Laine Theatre Arts, at the age of 16.

Since graduating has appeared in many musicals, both in Londons West End & around the world. Credits include – ‘WICKED‘ (Elphaba’s Mother/Ensemble) – West End. ‘CHICAGO’ (Cover Roxie Hart/June) – International Tour. ‘THE BODYGUARD’ (Ensemble) – Original German Cast. ‘JOSEPH & THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT’ (Handmaiden) – UK Tour, to name a few, as well as appearing in Marvels ‘CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER (USO Showgirl) – Marvel Productions, ‘SEENLENBEBEN’ (featured soloist) – European Arena Tour & commercials for the likes of ‘THOMSON HOLIDAYS’ & ‘PIZZA EXPRESS’.

In recent years Jennie’s passion for teaching & choreography has really shone through and she has been working hard to gain her DDE in Modern & Tap right here at BWA! She is so excited to be able to pass on her experiences to the new generation of fantastic performers!