Call: 02392 699988

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Dance Class Portsmouth

Meet the staff

Catherine Ingram L.I.S.T.D. Dip CDE Principal

As a dancer, my experience includes training in classical ballet, tap, modern and jazz dance, commencing at age 3 years to vocational level.

I then started working as an assistant teacher in a large school in South London, when I moved back to Portsmouth in 1982 I undertook my teacher training in Classical Ballet.

My qualifications include:
Licentiate Diploma in Classical Ballet
Certificate in Dance Education in Ballet, Tap and Modern
Associate Diploma in Modern Theatre Dance
Certificate in Applied Anatomy and Physiology
Certificate in History and Development of Western Dance
Registered Tutor for I.S.T.D

After working as a freelance teacher in various establishments including Portsmouth University, Portsmouth Arts Centre, Ashcroft Arts Centre, and Adult Education Centres, I established the Giselle Academy of Dance and Theatre Arts to have a permanent base from which to teach children and young people.

I am completely committed to encouraging children of all ages and abilities to enjoy dance and the performing arts, bringing out the best of their talents. To help me do this, I am committed to my on-going professional training, which has included being a member of the Royal Ballet Teacher Link Course, many training courses covering teaching pointe work, boys, challenging physiques, psychological techniques for improving dance performance, bioenergetics, and residential teachers courses with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing.

I also incorporate the teaching of drama into the school curriculum, because not only is it a performing art in its own right, but drama is vital to dancers and singers to help with expression. I studied drama at school and college and take great pleasure in running the junior theatre companies within the school.

Meghann Buckley – Vice Principal

BA (Hons) WBL (In Professional Practise of Dance) ; Level 6 National Trinity Professional Diploma in Dance with Musical Theatre; After Graduating from Laine Theatre Arts, Meghann went on to dance and teach in New York, Long Beach CA and London, teaching recreational gymnastics, dance and circus skills, and taking further training in American Rhythm Tap, and specialist classes in Turns and Leaps! Meghann now teaches at Haslemere Performing Arts, and is very excited to take up her new role as Vice Principal at Giselle Academy.

Liza Carter – FISTD Modern and Tap: Approved Tutor with ISTD for DDI and DDE

Liza studied with Paddy and Susan Hurlings in Portsmouth. She started her teaching career working part time at Victoria School Of Dance and at Emjay School of Dance. Liza also worked free lance across the South, as well as in Portugal, coaching children and teachers. Liza has choreographed for many local shows and her students have won Janet Cram and Star Tap Awards. She enjoys training students to become qualified teachers and many of her ex students have made a professional career in dance. Liza is very pleased to be part of the teacher training team at Giselle Academy, teaching DDI and DDE Modern Theatre and Tap Dance.

Amanda Campion A.I.S.T.D. Dip London Teacher

Having danced as a child locally, I went on to train and study full-time for three years at the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, London College of Dance, where I qualified with a Diploma in the Teaching of Dance and trained up to professional level.

I have performed and choreographed in London and taught in the Portsmouth area since 1993. I am now enjoying being part of Giselle Academy’s continuing success.

Richard Slaughter MA. MA.TH AISTD Dip CECC Teacher

Born in Sussex, Richard trained at the Lower and Upper Royal Ballet Schools and graduated to the Royal Ballet Company at Covent Garden in 1974 after dancing the leading male role in Balanchine”s “Serenade”.

In a career spanning over 30 years, Richard has been an international principal dancer, choreographer and teacher with many companies. He started Ballet Creations of London in 1989 with Ursula Hageli company and schools lasting for 18 years.

Richard is an Associate of the ISTD Cecchetti and has an MA in Dance Studies from The Laban Centre. Richard has been dedicated to generating interest in dance throughout his career and we are very proud to say he is a member of staff at Giselle Academy.

Kate Hudson D.D.I. I.S.T.D Diploma, Performing Arts Teacher

Originally from Portsmouth, Kate went on to train professionally at The Centre Performing Arts College, where she gained her FDI Teaching qualifications in Ballet, Tap and Modern.

Kate’s professional experience includes Costa and Carnival Cruise Liners (dancer), Friday Night Project (dancer), Spooks BBC1 (supporting artist), Bollywood MTV dancer and various music videos, Hair Ott and Toni and Guy hair model as well as film and TV work. Kate has now settled in Portsmouth and is making a career within teaching, using her knowledge and experience as a professional dancer.

Nicola May Bishop D.D.I.

Nicola started dancing at Giselle Academy aged 2 1/2. From an early age she showed an interest in teaching and use to help in classes regularly. She went to Southdowns Collage where she did A Level Dance and Drama and then onto Chichester University for a year. Nicola then trained at Giselle Academy to be a teacher. Nicola has D.D.I in Ballet, Tap and Modern, and is currently working towards her D.D.E’s in all 3 genres.

Emma Weeks D.D.I

Emma started dancing at Giselle Academy aged 5. Emma took part in festivals gaining many awards. She went to Southdowns College where she did A Level Dance and Drama and then onto Chichester University for a term. Emma then trained at Giselle Academy to be a teacher. Emma is currently working towards her D.D.E in Ballet.

Neil Mogridge MRSH, ADTA, Dip Drama in Education, Musical Director / Musical Theatre and Drama Teacher

Neil has been involved with theatre since an early age and has performed in London’s West End. Neil enjoys all aspects of theatre, especially musical theatre. Neil has been involved both as a performer and in the production of a number of musicals such as Oliver, RENT, The Sound of Music, Evita and Guys and Dolls as well various shows with Giselle Academy.

Neil says “I love teaching at Giselle, the sense of achievement is fantastic when you see the children put their best performances into every show”.

Catherine Ward BMus Hons

Born in Portsmouth, Catherine became fascinated by classical music from an early age, with a particular interest in the sound of the orchestra. At the age of seven she began learning the violin closely followed by the piano at the age of ten. She went on to study violin and viola under the tuition of Dr. Devorina Gamalova at South Downs
College and eventually at London College of Music where she obtained a degree in music performance.

She also continued her piano studies under the Bulgarian pianist Valentina Seferinova. Since graduating in 2008, Catherine has enjoyed a varied career both as an instrumental tutor and professional musician. Catherine is an enthusiastic teacher and has worked as a peripatetic instrumental tutor in schools as well as private tuition. She was recently appointed as piano and violin teacher at The Giselle Academy of Dance and Theatre Arts where she is currently settling in to the dynamic welcoming atmosphere of the academy.

Alongside teaching Catherine has performed as violinist and violist in large choral works such as The Messiah, Nelson Mass, Elijah and Mozart’s Requiem and as soloist with the Clacton Concert Orchestra in Bach’s Double Concerto for two violins in D Minor. Catherine also enjoys organising and performing in solo recitals for charity. Recent performances include a production of Fiddler on the Roof in Ferneham Hall June 2012 and a series of charity concerts undertaken on a tour of Bulgaria alongside her own teacher Devorina in July 2012.

Fleur Lesnichiy

Fleur started dancing at two years of age and attended The Johnson School of Dancing. At 13, she was invited to attend monthly classes with the Royal Ballet School. This was the pilot scheme for what is now the Mid Associate programme. She completed two years of Senior Associates and at 16 went to study at Merseyside Dance and Drama Centre. Fleur spent 10 years working professionally as a dancer on ships, in hotels and casinos, working her way from dancer to head girl and eventually company manager. Now “retired” Fleur is working towards her DDI ballet teaching exam and is thrilled to be running The Dance Shop at Giselle.

Student Teachers…

  • Fleur Lesnichiy
  • Eleanor Margaret Burns

Have all been pupils with Giselle Academy since they were pre-school pupils. They are currently training with us towards their Diploma in Dance Instruction in Ballet, Tap and Modern. They also gaining valuable teaching experience, by teaching some of our younger pupils.

Vicki May Bishop – Centre Administrator

Vicki deals with everything from Reception duties to keeping track of pupils and their classes. If you have any questions regarding the school, finances and other matters you can think of, Vicki is the person to see!

Reception Staff

  • Debbie Manghan
  • Eleanor Leslie
  • Vicki Leeming
  • Kate Pescud

Debbie, Eleanor, Vicki Leeming and Kate are our trusted reception staff! They deal with taking your weekly payments, tuck shop and Dance Wear shop. If there are any questions they are the people to speak to first and if they cannot help they will refer you to Vicki Bishop.