President, Patrons & Ambassadors

All England Dance is supported by a wealth of industry professionals cherishing the past, celebrating the present and inspiring the future generation.

Vice-Presidents

Cynthia Carr

Brenda Last OBE

Wayne Sleep OBE

Patrons

Shevelle Dynott

Lizzi Gee

Bonnie Langford

Stephen Mear

Laurretta Summerscales

Ambassadors

Natasha Agarwal

My AED journey started at age 4 via Manchester Dance Festival as a pupil of the Elizabeth Hill School of Dance. I first qualified for the National Finals in the Baby Song & Dance section, where I placed 3rd. Between 2003-2013 I was lucky enough to compete at the Nationals in all solo categories and various ensemble sections, culminating in me achieving my dream of winning All England Young Dancer of the Year, as well as the Molly Tanner National Award for my Indian dance solo.

I went to university to study maths (where I continued singing and dancing) and then trained in classical voice at the Royal Academy of Music. I’m now working as an opera singer with companies such as Opera North, Welsh National Opera and Opera Holland Park – and dance is still a big part of my work and life.

My AED experience was very special and it gave me the confidence, dedication and inspiration to follow my dreams and pursue a life on stage!

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Chrissie Bhima

Hello my names Chrissie Bhima. I danced at AED since I was 7 years old with Glendale Theatre Arts. It was the best experience to come from my little home town in Worthing to travel to London for the competitions. My last song and dance in 2017 was “Your Daddy’s Son” from Ragtime and had the beautiful opportunity to be apart of the AED Gala before going off to ArtsEd for my training at Sixthform and Degree. So thankful for my time at the festivals in my childhood and the experiences that it’s given me.

Currently I am going to be going on the UK Tour of The SpongeBob Musical playing Sandy Cheeks. This was a role I had done for my third year show at ArtsEd in the same character, so excited to be a part of it and share the character to more audiences around the UK.

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Stephanie Billers

Stephanie trained at the Jayne A Coleman Academy of Dance and loved performing at AED Festivals when younger with her team. She found that the opportunities pushed her both as an individual artist and working as a team. Being able to perform on a London stage amongst lots of other amazing talent from around the UK was an invaluable experience that inspired her, and gave her confidence and brought lots of excitement.

Stephanie’s last AED Finals was in 2007, finishing with a highlight, where she came 3rd in the All England Young Dancer of the Year Competition. Dame Beryl Grey awarded her a certificate and bursary towards further training. As an original cast member of Matthew Bourne New Adventure’s The Red Shoes in 2016, Stephanie actually created and based her role on Dame Beryl and her life as a ballerina in the 1940’s.

At the age of 16, Stephanie went on to full time training at Laine Theatre Arts. She had previously also been an Associate of Royal Ballet School for 8 years alongside her training with Jayne Coleman.

Currently, Stephanie is performing with Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, where she has loved living her dream since 2013, telling stories through dance in many of his incredible productions. These include: Edward Scissorhands, Sleeping Beauty, The Car Man, Nutcracker!, The Red Shoes, Cinderella and Swan Lake.

Other Career Highlights Include:

Best of Musicals Gala (2012 Arena Tour Germany, Stage Entertainment); London Olympics Closing Ceremony (featured dancer, Kim Gavin); Dancer for Take That and Cliff Richard on The Royal Variety Performance 2008 (Kim Gavin); Thursford Christmas Spectacular (2012 & 2015); Dancer, Singer and Aerialist on Regent Seven Seas Voyager (JAR Productions, 2010); Eugene Onegin & L’Italiana in Algeri (2016) & Amadigi & Eugene Onegin (2021) for Garsington Opera

Film: Amazonian Warrior in Justice League (Zack Snyder, Warner Bros.); Featured Artist in Rose Betts – I Can Never Give My Heart (music video)

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Daniel J Brian

Daniel started dancing at the age of 4, he began his journey at his aunties dance school and certainly had a flair for performing even at such a young age. He did his first pantomime age 10 and then joined Splinters where his dance and performing career flourished! Daniel had overcome a lot of obstacles along the way, being teased at school for dancing, but he never gave up on his dream and infact encouraged many other young males to take up dancing at school and won an award for being so inspirational at Baxter College.

During his time at Splinters, he took part in many dance festivals winning many medals and trophies and qualified for the AED regional and national finals on several occasions winning medals. Daniel feels that his experience of competing at such a level as AED has stood him in good stead for the career path he has chosen.

Daniel has also taken part in Master Dance finals on 3 occasions, coming 2nd place for the males and winning the Ross Wicks Bursary award for most vocal potential in 2019.

At the age of 18 Daniel successfully gained a place at GSA, where he cemented and progressed his knowledge and performing skills as a triple threat to be ready to go out into the industry. Daniel played the lead role of Cry Baby in Cry Baby in his final year musical. He graduated with a first class honours degree in musical theatre in July 2023.

He is now performing in Mamma Mia in the West End and living his dream.

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Ben Cullerton

I feel extremely privileged and proud to be an ambassador for All England Dance as it is an organisation that has a special place in my heart and has hugely shaped who I am today as a performer, so this is a huge honour.
I would like to thank my incredible mum and dad who have supported me every step along the way, without them none of this would have been possible.
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Caroline Deverill

Having discovered her love of the stage at the tender age of 3, Caroline has been fortunate to have had a career in theatre for the past 24 years.

She originated the role of Mother in the world premier of the play “A-Typical Rainbow” at the Turbine Theatre last summer, as well as having played alongside a host of big names in “Whodunnit (Unrehearsed) 2” at Park Theatre earlier in the year.

Her West End theatre credits include Alternate Donna in Mamma Mia! , Alternate Mrs. Wilkinson in Billy Elliot The Musical, We Will Rock You, and Footloose. Other credits include Sweet Charity, Jesus Christ Superstar, Vampirette, The Roy Orbison Story and Annie Get Your Gun.

Having started in dance festivals when I was 3, I managed to get into the finals of AED for the first time when I was just 5! I remember it being a big occasion, and loving every minute! I was lucky enough to continue to take part until just before I went to college at the age of 17. I even won with my song and dance solo one year – it was an incredible feeling!

The experience of being on stage, in such a gorgeous theatre, performing with and against the top talent in the country was unforgettable and definitely set me up for heading out into the performing arts industry professionally. It’s one of the best training grounds, and such a fantastic community to be part of. I am hugely grateful to AED for all of that.

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Thomas Edwards

Thomas was born in Worcester and began training at Harlequin Stage School from the age of 2 1/2. During his time at Harlequin Thomas was an associate at The Royal Ballet through their Junior, Mid and Senior associate program and took part in several local festivals from Baby to Senior, which qualified him to take part in the Semi-Finals and Finals of the All England Dance in London.

During the Finals at the Peacock Theatre Thomas was fortunate to win 1st place in a number of categories over multiple years, from 2005 (B Modern & Intermediate Classical and Modern Duets), to 2007 (C Ballet & Intermediate Classical Trios) and 2009 (Senior A Classical & Modern Duets and D Character, Ballet and Modern Solos which granted Thomas a place in the Finals of the Young Dancer of the Year).

Following this and at 16, Thomas moved to London to start his vocational training at Central School of Ballet. During his time there, Thomas was the first 1st Year to win the Central Friends Trust Award and was a Finalist in both the Young British Dancer of the Year 2012 and the prestigious Prix De Lausanne 2013. Upon graduation, Thomas Joined Scottish Ballet under the directorship of Christopher Hampson, performing works by Pite, MacMillan, Dawson, Bourne, Bruce and Van Manen. In 2016 Thomas was promoted to First Artist, and in 2018 Promoted to Soloist.

During his time at Scottish Ballet Thomas has engaged extensively with the Education Department over the past 9 years, through his passion for education and accessibility to dance delivering workshops and classes to disadvantaged youths and vulnerable adults and supported the training of pre-professional dancers embarking in a career in dance.

Away from Scottish Ballet Thomas became the Technical Lead of Ballet for Scottish Gymnastics in 2020 working with their Artistic, Rhythmic and Acrobatic Gymnasts on technical skills, artistry, and performance all towards competition and began a Masters Degree in 2022 at St Mary’s University in Twickenham in Strength and Conditioning.

Most recently Thomas took some time away from the stage to restage ‘Dextera’ by Sophie Laplane for the Ballet Central tour 2023, assisted Sophie Laplane in restaging ‘Le nozze do Figaro’ for the Paris Opera, and was in Poland restaging ‘Elsa Canasta’ by Javier de Frutos for Opera Wrocławska.

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Jennifer Ellison

Jennifer competed at AED from a young age with Elizabeth Hill School Of Dance, winning multiple genres including Ballet and Modern.

Her leading lady West End credits include Chicago, Singing in the Rain, Boeing Boeing alongside numerous No 1 UK tours Chicago, Legally Blonde, Calendar Girls and more recently The Greatest Days.

Jennifer has had an expansive career in TV and Film which saw her Play the role of Meg Giry in Andrew Lloyd Webbers Hollywood movie adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera.

Jennifer is now the Principal of Jelli Studios Performing Arts College in Liverpool and has has the great achievement of her students becoming AED champions.

Jennifer would like to say how honoured she is to be an AED ambassador. It really is a stand out moment after travelling the length and breadth of the country with her Mum competing in the competition for most of her childhood.

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Ike Fallon

The All England system put me in a good place, gaining a lot of valuable lessons and morals.

At Harlequin Stage School I was introduced quite late to AED, but after only a few festivals I could feel my confidence and demeanor enhancing for the better. I gained so many wonderful friends across the country from different AED events, many whom I am still connected to today. Once done competing in the finals in 2015,

I moved on to Urdang on a Scholarship, Toured the Uk, Europe and Australia whilst currently being in my Third West End Show with Guys&Dolls. All this immediately commencing after that final festival, where I really began to make strides as a dancer.

I’ve always been keen on giving the lessons I’ve learned back, and help preserve the incredible standard of dancers that come through AED.

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Megan Ferguson

Megan started dance at the young age of three, training at Kilburn School in Wellingborough. Miss Amanda and all the amazing teachers taught and encouraged Megan’s love for dance and a confidence and belief in herself and her performance.

Kilburn School participates in AED and Megan is grateful to those days, she said “Doing my training at Kilburn and having their support and belief in me gave me the encouragement and confidence to take part in the AED competitions. I learnt so much from the competitions, participating taught me, performance, presentation and confidence, I have so many amazing memories of wonderful moments of success and friendship doing them”

Megan also had additional training in Ballet with Graham Fletcher, ex Royal Ballet School principal, at his ballet school in Leicester. Graham also supported Megan and encouraged her to work on her technique and grow her love for dance.

When Megan was thirteen, she was confused about which direction to take for her further training, whether to train at the Musical Theatre universities or to go down a more Classical route. One night, her mum took her to the theatre to watch Matthew Bourne’s ‘Car Man.’ it was the first production that Megan had watched that made sense to her and she knew, from that moment, that she had to be part of Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures.

To further her training, Megan auditioned successfully for the Rambert School in London. Megan was so happy to be studying at her number one choice and after three years of training she gained a First Class Degree, graduating in 2019.

Since graduation, Megan is living her dream as she was successfully cast in Matthew Bourne’s Company. So far, Megan has performed in Matthew Bourne’s adaptations of ‘Romeo & Juliet’, ‘The Nutcracker’, ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and is currently performing in ‘Edward Scissorhands’.

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Maria Garrett

Maria started her training at Harlequin Stage School and was encouraged, almost straight away, to compete in AED competitions. Since she was 11 she has competed in annual AED finals winning numerous sections in groups duets, trios and solos. Harlequin has also been lucky enough to have picked up the choreographic award and been invited to perform in the competitions gala night on several occasions. She believes the ethos of the competition is such a great stepping stone for anyone in training and wanting to go into the theatre industry.

Training: Harlequin Stage School, Royal Ballet Associates and Laine Theatre Arts

Theatre credits: Mrs Doubtfire (Opera House Manchester); Mary Poppins (Prince Edward Theatre); 42nd Street (Theatre Royal Drury Lane); Cabaret (UK tour); Mrs Henderson Presents (Toronto); Mary Poppins (UK tour); Mamma Mia! (Novello Theatre); Jack and the Beanstalk (Wyvern Theatre, Swindon); My Favourite Year (Studio Theatre, Epsom).

Other works: Masters of the Air (Apple TV); All Star Musicals 2019 & 2021 (ITV); dancer for Hard-Fi at FA Cup Final 2012 (Wembley Stadium); Giselle (Birmingham Royal Ballet, Birmingham Hippodrome

Maria is currently appearing in the original London Cast of Mrs Doubtfire at the Shaftesbury Theatre.

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Rachael Gillespie

Rachael is currently a First Soloist with the UK’s leading touring ballet company, Northern Ballet. Born in Swindon, Rachael’s training and love for dance began at ‘The Judith Hockaday School of Dance and Drama.’ Whilst achieving her grades, she also won various prizes at the AED, Tap and Janet Cram Awards, and was granted both first place and the musicality prize at the ISTD Ballet Awards. To further her training, she attended the Royal Ballet School associate programs before joining Central School of Ballet, where she gained a First-Class degree in Professional Dance and Performance. During her final year with the school, Rachael performed with Scottish Ballet in their autumn/winter season of ‘Cinderella,’ and was offered a contract with ‘Northern Ballet’ upon graduation. Since joining the company, she has performed a wide variety of leading roles for over 16 years. During this time, she has also worked with choreographers such as; Drew McOnie, Mthuthuzeli November, David Nixon, Cathy Marston, Stina Quagebeur, Jonathan Watkins, Christopher Hampson, Ashley Page, Kenneth Tindall, Lar Lubovitch, Mark Godden, Jean-Christophe Maillot and Gillian Lynne, and has been fortunate to tour both nationwide and internationally. Rachael has also adjudicated at the Baines Hewitt Awards, the ISTD Ballet Awards and the Yorkshire Ballet seminars.

With over 20 years of professional training and performance experience, I am excited to contribute as a knowledgeable, passionate and supportive representative to the AED. Dance competitions such as these, provided me with the tools from a young age to develop as a performer and artist, with a curiosity to learn and to be inspired by other dancers and to share in each other’s experiences! I am eternally grateful for the path of which such competitions have led me to. They are a wonderful platform for gaining experience and self-confidence, and as a result have helped me to pursue a career as a professional ballet dancer. Above all, I have been privileged to make many lifelong friends and wonderful connections along the way! I am thrilled to be an ambassador for the next generation of AED!

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Issy Khogali

Growing up, AED festivals played a huge part in my life. Throughout my childhood I competed with Academy Theatre Arts in a variety of dance disciplines. My time at these festivals gave me so many opportunities and helped me build my confidence for which I am very grateful.

After finishing my A-levels I attended the foundation course in musical theatre at Guilford School of Acting before starting the BA in Musical Theatre at ArtsEd the following year. In my third year at ArtsEd I had the wonderful opportunity to play the iconic role of Cassie Ferguson in ‘A Chorus Line’. Having just graduated I am very grateful and excited to soon be starting my first job ‘Flowers For Mrs Harris’ at the Riverside Studio’s Hammersmith. Thank you to everyone who has helped me get this far!

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Bethany Kingsley-Garner

Bethany Kingsley-Garner was born in South Devon. She studied the Cecchetti Method of ballet with Monica Furneaux and the Royal Academy Syllabus with Louise Knapman.

At the age of 11 Bethany gained a place at The Royal Ballet School, White Lodge. After completing the full 8 years of classical ballet study she graduated with Honours after winning the Wyre Drawer Company Leavers Prize and the April Olrich Award for Dynamic Performance. During this time she danced with the Royal Ballet Company in several performances such as Swan Lake and The Nutcracker.

In 2007 Bethany was offered a contract with the Scottish Ballet company where she was promoted to Principal Ballerina. Having performed leading roles in major ballets both in the UK and on the international stage, she was nominated for Outstanding Classical Performance by The Critics Circle.

Bethany is actively involved in Dance Education and has received certification for teaching from The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where she is an Ambassador of Dance. Fondly know as ‘The Peoples Ballerina’ Bethany continues to inspire, motivate and encourage dancers and is a regular coach on the faculty at many international workshops and summer schools, was a ballet mentor on the ‘BBC, Young Dancer’ and enjoys being involved in competitive dance events in addition to her private coaching, mentoring and charity work.

Bethany is delighted to become an ambassador for All England Dance. The All England Dance Festival has contributed to the early development in my journey leading up to becoming a professional dancer. Firstly, It provided an opportunity to perform solo on a stage with an audience. It’s a place to meet dancers from other schools, make new friends and share experiences. Having an independent adjudicator watch your performance then give a constructive report on your strengths and weaknesses is a valuable lesson in learning to accept corrections. This becomes essential in preparation to reach the levels of excellence required to become a professional performer.

You never stop learning. I really enjoyed the excitement of performing at dance and drama festivals for so many reasons. There is a particular poignant moment in my career where I was performing the role of Juliet at the Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London, the same place I received my gold medal after winning the Ballet section at the All England Dance National Finals. A pivotal event on both occasions.

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Christian Knight

Christian began his AED journey at 7 years old competing with Dupont Stage School at West Midlands Dance Festival culminating in 2019 as a Finalist in the Young Ballet, Modern and Tap Dancer of the Year.
His work in Theatre, Television & Film including The Prince Of Egypt; Romeo & Juliet – Matthew Bourne New Adventures; Dance Proms; Evita the Musical; Joseph & the Technicolour Dream Coat; Taking the Next Step (CBBC); Dancing On Ice 2020 Special Performance (ITV); A London Dream with director Richard Wilson (SKY TV).
Christian Knight Currently Swing, Assistant Dance Captain in the hit west end musical ’Wicked’ Apollo Victoria Theatre.
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Lily Laight

Lily attended Totnes School of Dance and competed at the finals from age 7 through to 17 winning numerous gold medals in modern ballet, song and dance and character! Recently Lily played Lou Ann -first cover Amber in Hairspray (London Coliseum) Gypsy (Alexander Palace) and has just completed filming on the Barbie movie with Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling.
She will be returning to the west end at the end of the year for her forth musical which will hopefully be announced soon!

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Harry Lake

Harry started his performing journey at @weymouthdancestudio where he stayed for over 15 years! He competed in local festivals from a young age and at the All England Regional and National finals towards the end of his time with WDS where he found success in the Musical Theatre categories. In 2019 Harry was selected to performed his musical theatre trio ‘Hello!’ as the opening number for the All England Finals Gala.

Harry then went on to train in Musical Theatre at the @guildfordschoolofacting . During his third year at GSA Harry played the leading role in ‘Holiday Inn’ as well as being selected as one of only 12 students across UK drama schools to compete in the Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year! In July 2023 he graduated with a first-class degree and the BA Musical Theatre award for highest achievement that graduating year.

Shortly after graduating, in September 2023, Harry made his West End Debut in @lesmizofficial as Jean Prouvaire and 1st Cover Marius!

Harry said “My many years of dance training at WDS as well as competing at All England festivals taught me not only how to be a resilient and confident performer but also so many important life skills and lessons which have helped me grow and become the person I am today. I am so grateful to have my family, for the wonderful teachers who have guided me along the way and for the experiences and opportunities I have been given. I am so lucky that I get to do what I love with such a wonderful support system of family and friends around me! I can’t wait to see what the future holds as I keep growing and learning.

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Dex Lee

Dex is currently starring as Bear Sylvester in BBC’s Doctors, for which he was nominated for an Inside Soap Award.
Theatre: Bill Calhoun in Kiss Me, Kate (Sheffield Crucible); Curly McLain in Oklahoma! (Grange Park); Know Moe in Five Guys Named Moe (Marble Arch) – WhatsOnStage Awards Nomination; Jackie in The Wild Party (Other Palace); Danny Zuko in Grease (Curve, Leicester); Fourth/Odyssey
Dog in Father Comes Home From The Wars (Royal Court); Benny in In The Heights (King’s Cross), after Jose in the Original London Cast (Southwark Playhouse); Seaweed Stubbs in Hairspray (National Tour); Billy in Carrie (Southwark Playhouse); Charlie/Victoria in The Scottsboro Boys
(Garrick).
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Maria Myatt

Maria studied at the Riley School of Dance from the age of 5 to 19. It was through doing competitions like All England Dance she got to express herself and her talent.

In 2015-2018 Maria studied Musical Theatre the University of Chichester and went straight into a 1 year cruiseship contract in 2018 as a lead vocalist for Peel Talent.

She then went on tour in 2022 round the UK doing a show called 80’s Live with Entertainersuk. Alongside this she performed in a Motown tribute group and an ABBA tribute group. In her spare time, she teaches children singing lessons at the Riley School of Dance.

Maria is currently in rehearsals for her west end debut in Priscilla the Party where she is ensemble, onstage swing and 1st cover for Diva 1,2 and 3.

She thanks her friends, family and teachers for their continued support through her career.

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Sophie Parris

Sophie competed at many South Region festivals, Regional finals and also reached National finals as a soloist in 2015, 2017 & 2019. In Tap, modern lyrical, character, Greek & global. Sophie won gold medals for her Tap solo and Tap duet at the finals and was in Tap Dancer of the year in 2017 & 2019. She attended the Yasmin Taylor academy of dance and Abigail Talmondt Academy of dance.

Sophie has now gone on to work professionally – mostly as a commercial dancer. Backing dancing for artists such as Nicole Scherzinger and appearing in music videos for various artists. She has recently been asked to perform as part of the cast of Adam Garcia’s ‘Emerald Storm’ at West End Live. Alongside various West End casts.

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Harry Robinson

Harry starting his training at Freedom Dance & Performance in Nottingham from the age of 12. During his time at Freedom he had the opportunity to compete for many years at the All England Northern Regionals; competing in a variety of genres such as modern, tap and ballet. He then further went on to compete at the All England Finals representing Freedom against some of the countries best dance schools.
Harry is currently in rehearsals for the International Tour of the world famous production of Cats where he will being playing the role of Mungojerrie. Harry will be touring top European arenas throughout 2022 and early 2023.
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Jak Skelly

Whilst training with the DuPont Dance Stage School in Leicester I was a part of the festival scene from the age of 8 and continued to compete until I was 17.
Competition was a major factor in my growth as a performer and the All England Finals allowed me to focus my training to a point where I was ready to enter the industry as a professional.
I have since been working on of some of the industry’s most prolific musicals, including, West Side Story, The Addams Family and CATS to name a few. I am currently performing as Oaken in the Original West End cast of Disney’s Frozen the Musical. I believe that my journey to becoming a pro has been connected by my time as a performer on the festival circuit and for that I am very grateful.
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Grace Swaby-Moore

I was a competitor in the All England from the age 5, all the way through until I left for college at 16. I was trained by my mum at Swaby Dance Centre and then went on to train at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts.
Throughout my time at the All England I was fortunate enough to win gold, silver and bronze medals both at the regional and national finals, and later went on to win the Molly Lake Award and appear as a guest performer at the 2015 Finals at the Hackney Empire.
At 18, the summer after my 2nd year at Tring, I went to an open call and successfully auditioned for the international tour of CATS the Musical as the role of Jemima (understudy Victoria and Rumpleteaser). I stayed with the show for 2.5 years and went on to perform in Saturday Night Fever and ‘To Gillie, With Love’ at the Gillian Lynne Theatre. I am now currently touring the UK as ensemble and 1st cover Belle in Beauty and the Beast, and am thrilled to be performing at the London Palladium this summer.
I’m so pleased to be in the UK for the All England this year. I can’t wait to watch the next generation of my mum’s pupils and all the talented competitors at our northern regionals and of course the finals in London.
I hope everything runs smoothly for you all!

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Miriam Teak-Lee

After leaving school, Miriam made her London stage debut in Leonard Bernstein’s musical On the Town at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre in 2017. Two months later she made her West End debut in the original London production of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical Hamilton at the Victoria Palace Theatre.
In Hamilton, Miriam was a member of the ensemble and the understudy for the leading roles of Eliza Hamilton, Angelica Schuyler Church and Peggy Schuyler. In 2019, she was chosen to play the eponymous protagonist in the juke-box musical & Juliet at the Manchester Opera House and then at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London’s West End. For her performance Lee won critics’ praises and the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical.
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Amelia Thompson

I started my All England Dance journey at Academy Theatre Arts with Helen Sears and competed in lots of different dance genres. At my first AED Finals in 2015 I was lucky enough to win the ‘Anne Tyrer Greek Award’ with my Classical Greek solo. I realised soon after this that I would like to focus more on my classical ballet training as it was the genre that I enjoyed the most. I also came runner up in the final Molly Lake Award competition in 2016 which was an honour! I was both a Royal Ballet School and Elmhurst Ballet School associate until I joined Elmhurst Ballet School full time at 16 for 3 years.

Whilst I was a student I was lucky enough to experience working with Birmingham Royal Ballet in their productions of Giselle and Nutcracker in which the skills that I learnt whilst competing at All England Dance really aided me with performing under pressure and my ability to portray a character on stage – two elements which I had previously really struggled with. During my graduate year I was incredibly grateful to receive an Artist contract with Birmingham Royal Ballet which is where I am currently dancing! Dancing with such a prestigious and international ballet company was something I could have only dreamed about when I was younger. I think that the fire that All England Dance initiated in me to work hard and always strive to be better and the support that Helen and Academy Theatre Arts has given me has paved the way for my future in the arts.

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Ivano Turco

I was very late to the idea of a career in the industry and I had never received any training until the age of 16 when I attended ‘Arts1 6th form’ in the preliminary year. In the second year of that I then joined and trained under Leanne Hughes Theatre School where I discovered and competed in the All England dance competition.

In 2017 I was awarded runner up for “young modern dancer of the year” which was amazing and surreal and something I didn’t think would happen. Following that I received a full scholarship to train at The Urdang Academy in London. I was fortunate enough to work professionally along side my training – and in my third year I was cast in the returning West Side Story as “Baby John”. Unfortunately that was halted due to COVID 19 but following on from that was then cast as “Prince Sebastian” in the then upcoming new musical “Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella” to which I am currently playing.

Working in the industry so far has been made easier due to the connections from All England Dance! And I’m so happy it’s been a proud part of my journey thus far.

Ivano is now playing Alternate Bob Marley in the West End production of Get Up Stand Up at The Lyric Theatre.

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Tara Yasmin

All England Dance festivals were a massive part of my life growing up as a performer, and I’m very lucky that I received a bursary from them to further my training at Laine Theatre Arts.

Now in my first professional job, Susan Stroman’s ‘Crazy For You’, I am delighted to continue my connection with All England Dance as an ambassador, and to give back to them after all their support over the years.

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