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

Sophie Wojna

Ballet, Tap & Modern

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I am grateful to the BWA Trust, as with the help of their funding, I have been able to achieve the qualifications that I needed to fulfil my potential both as a performer and as a dance teacher.

Since leaving The Betty Wivell Academy I graduated from The Brit School Of Performing Arts And Technology with three distinction stars in dance, drama and singing. I then went on to graduate from Performers College with a level 6 Trinity College Diploma in Musical Theatre. I achieved my DDI qualifications in Modern and Tap alongside my Trinity College Diploma. I am now thrilled to be back at BWA taking my DDE Modern and Tap ISTD teaching qualifications.

Since graduating I have worked as a performer in variety of venues, including Disneyland Paris and Chaplins Pantomimes. However, I have discovered a passion for teaching, dance, drama and musical theatre, whilst working with children in primary schools and dance schools. Many of these have inspired me to make my decision to focus on teaching as a career, in particular:- The Betty Wivell Academy, Diddi Dance, Barracudas Camp, MK Dance and Karen Forbes School of Dance, where I have been able to grow and develop my skills, as an effective dance and musical theatre teacher. I am dedicated to enabling children of all ages to achieve their full potential in Dance and Performing Arts.

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.

Teddy van der Ham

Major Ballet

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Training/qualifications
MSc Dance Science
BA(Hons) Ballet Education
Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Dance (LRAD)
ISTD DDE: Modern, Tap, Imperial Ballet

Originally from the Netherlands, the main focus of Teddy’s training was on ballet. Although she had been teaching different dance styles and body conditioning classes for numerous years, she moved to London in 2012 to study fulltime at the headquarters of the Royal Academy of Dance. After three years, she graduated from the BA(Hons) Ballet Education course and the Licentiate programme (LRAD).

Alongside and during the following few years, she joined the Betty Wivell Academy to gain full ISTD teaching qualifications in Tap, Modern Theatre and Imperial Ballet, and became part of the teaching team.

In 2017-18 Teddy went to Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance to complete a MSc in Dance Science.

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

Kiera Marner

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Kiera first began full time training at Sylvia Young Theatre School, she then continued her training at Bird College of Musical Theatre and Dance, where she graduated in 2015. Alongside her teaching Miss Kiera also regularly performs as well as studying for her Diploma in Dance Education (DDE) from the ISTD.

Professional theatre: ‘Dale Tremont’ in TopHat The Musical on The Queen Elizabeth (Royal Court Theatre), Ensemble and ‘1st cover Julia’ in The Wedding Singer (South Korean Festival), ‘Crystal Lake’ in Burlesque’d (The Aeronaut(, Ensemble and ‘1st cover Tess/cover Gloria’ Flashdance (South Korea Tour), Ensemble and ‘Cover Gloria/Cover Tess’ in Flashdance (UK Tour’Tina Harmer’ and Head Ballet Girl in Billy Elliot (UK and Germany Tour), Babes in Closer To Heaven: A Pet Shop Boy’s Musical (The Union Theatre) and the Sound Of Music (Palladium, West End)

Kiera can’t wait to meet everyone and share her knowledge of the industry with The Betty Wivell Academy!