STAFF

FIONA DEAR, HEAD OF BALLET | M.R.B. soc & P.D.T.A

Fiona Melvin (Dear) is Vice President of The Russian Ballet Society and Head Coordinator of The Russian Ballet Awards. She was trained at The Legat School of Russian Ballet, from where she graduated age 17 into The Scottish Ballet Company. During her twelve years as a professional ballet dancer, she danced solo roles in all the major productions including Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet and Giselle. The Telegraph newspaper acclaimed Fiona's portrayal of Juliet in "Such Sweet Thunder" at the Sadlers Wells theatre and she was one of the four cygnets in Swan Lake that the Dancing Times wrote "were the best they've ever seen!". Alongside her dancing career Fiona made her name as a professional choreographer. Three of her pieces, Highland Clearances, Ragtime and Skazka (a three act ballet for children commissioned by the Scottish Arts Council) became part of the Scottish Ballet repertoire. Fiona also choreographed Operas, stage shows and even a Royal Variety Performance. She was the Burberry and House of Fraser in house choreographer and was commissioned to put on a private fashion show for Princess Diana during Glasgow's year of culture. When Fiona left Scotland she joined the Russian Ballet Society where she gained her teacher and examiner status as well as the ISTD Ballet and most recently the Progressive Ballet technique qualifications. Fiona travels all over the world, to places such as Japan, Slovenia and Italy, examining and teaching and is looking forward to many happy years developing the young stars of North Star Academy!

MAXINE PERCY, HEAD OF MODERN & TAP | CDE & A.I.S.T.D Diplomas

Upon leaving Northern Ballet School, Maxine performed professionally in The King and I (Topsy), West Side Story (Graziella) both at The Leicester Haymarket, Cabaret at The Sheffield Crucible and Her Benny at The Liverpool Empire. Whilst at college she performed on numerous occasions at The Manchester Opera House and The Palace Theatre appearing alongside Elaine Paige, Richard Harris and Bernard Cribbens to name but a few. Maxine currently performs as a singer with Soulfish; credits include The Golden Jubilee (Buckingham Palace), Last Night of the Proms (Hyde Park), The Big Breakfast (Channel 4) and Night Fever with Suggs on Channel 5. Maxine founded Dance Design in 1996, which went on to be one of the UK’s most successful schools under her reign. She completed her CDE certificates in ISTD Ballet, Tap and Modern in March 2009 and is very much looking forward to taking on her role as Head of Modern Theatre and partner at North Star Academy.

LOUISA LANDON BARR, HEAD OF MUSICAL THEATRE & DRAMA | ADVDIP

Louisa trained to advanced level in Ballet, Tap, Modern, National and Greek and appeared in numerous pantomimes and plays, before at 16, joining The London Studio Centre to study theatre arts, having won the prestigious Dame Anna Neagle scholarship and full county bursary. Graduating a year early she was awarded the alumni medal for her performance as 'Charity' in the Fosse musical “Sweet Charity”.  Louisa was spotted by the late great Harold Fielding and recommended for a role in a national tour of “Singin’ in the Rain" and promoted within months to play Lina Lamont (the silent film siren!) After touring for 6 months. Louisa took up a role in Blackpool's magnificent Tower Theatre as Jill in “Summer Holiday the musical”. She then made her debut as in the film “Essex Boys” alongside Alex Kingston, Tom Wilkinson and Sean Bean playing 'Gemma' a gangster’s girlfriend. The same year performing at the Brit awards as a backing dancer for Simply Red. Louisa then joined Effective Theatre Productions as Alice Fitz Warren in Dick Whittington with Jim Davidson at the Hammersmith Apollo. This role she continued to play each Christmas for 7years around different cities of the country. Louisa has also toured with the redoubtable Tommy Steele as his lead female singer in “A Night with Tommy” for a 6 month tour of Great Britain. She then played the part of Agnetha in an Abba Tribute Band and performed as a solo singer with Warner's Leisure, Butlins and Havens Holidays as well as in cabaret in girl duo Evoke. Louisa is very much looking forward to passing on her eclectic knowledge and experience in musical theatre to the very talented pupils of North Star Academy, and feels privileged to be working alongside such a wonderful and skilled teaching team at this amazing school. ‘What is Dance, but the sunshine of our days and the north star of our nights...’

SOPHIA MELVIN, HEAD OF JAZZ & CONTEMPORARY

Sophia is a Choreographer and Movement Director based in London. From large dance productions, to nuanced movement coaching, she has worked with award-winning directors and photographers for international clients, delivering exciting and complex work on brief. Sophia trained at The Arts Educational School, Tring Park and Laine Theatre Arts. Her performance credits include dancing with The English National Ballet Company and dancing in the Olivier Award Winning Drew McOnie’s contemporary dance film “A Twisted Tale”. ​ Her choreographic accolades in Theatre include winning the Joanne Marden Blackwell Choreographic Award at The All England Dance Finals, winning The Barbara Sharples International Choreographic Award twice, and various other recognitions at competitions like CYD?, The Dance World Cup and That's Showbiz. Sophia has also recently joined the Creative Team of The National Youth Ballet of Great Britain for their 2019 season at Sadlers Wells. Sophia's credits for screen include choreographing commercials for crocs, Avon, Pringles and Highland Spring, as well as numerous music videos, live shows and print work for Vanity Fair’s Suspiria-themed September issue. Sophia is excited to be teaching and choreographing for North Star Academy and their talented students.

DOUGIE MILLS, RHYTHM TAP

Douglas is lucky enough to have been performing in the entertainment industry for over 18 years. During this time Douglas has had the opportunity to perform in many different roles. His career started off in the well know Australian show “Tap Dogs” and he quickly went on to play the lead role and became resident director. Douglas has also appeared in some amazing Television shows which most recently included “Strictly Come Dancing”. Douglas was also a featured dancer in the Take That Circus tour, Tap dancing live to crowds of up to 90,000 people. Choreography has also played a large part in Douglas’ career. This has included corporate events for companies such as Toyota and Mercedes. In theatre some of Douglas’ choreographic credits include several Royal Variety Performances, Tap choreographer for Darcey Bussell and Katherine Jenkins in Viva La Diva and Strictly Gershwin at the Royal Albert Hall. His most recent choreographic credits include choreographing Adam Garcia and Kimberley Wyatt for the TV show Got To Dance and Tap Choreographer for the West End Production of Revolution.

YASMIN CROTCH, COMMERCIAL

Yasmin Crotch is a triple-threat performer. She graduated with a diploma from the Urdang Academy after studying there for three years. From 2012 to 2013 she was the lead female artist in the dance group Four Corners. From 2013 to 2017 she was a dancer, singer and rapper in the urban pop group Alien Uncovered. Yasmin has extensive experience in music videos and high profile event performances, including Strictly Come Dancing, Britain’s Got Talent, X factor and Olympics to name a few. She is excited to pass on her experiences to the next generation of dancers at North Star Academy.

FAYE GEORGE, JUNIOR STARLETS | BA HONS  

 

Faye began her dance career when she was just 4 years old, attending irish dance classes at the local community centre. At the age of 9 she successfully auditioned for a youth theatre group, and that same year joined Maxine Percy's Dance Design. She threw herself into studying all genres of dance, including ISTD Ballet, Modern, Tap, RAD Ballet and Jazz. As her passion for dance grew she decided to study Russian Ballet from the age of 12 and attended Easter/summer associate intensive courses at The Royal Academy of Dance between the ages of 12-16. For almost 10 years she represented Dance Design in both regional and national competitions all whilst progressing through her graded dance exams. As a youngster Faye was chosen to perform as a junior dancer with the English Youth Ballet in their production of ‘Coppélia’ as well as several musical productions based at the Gordon Craig Theatre. Performance credits include Annie, Children of Eden, Fame, Pinocchio, West Side Story, Hair, Vagina Monologues, Parade, The Ice Queen and The End of the Pier Show. She was also represented by performing arts agency Sylvia Young Theatre School London and featured in a handful of BBC productions throughout her youth. Aged 16 Faye successfully auditioned for a featured role in English National Ballets’ ‘The Canterville Ghost’. At school she undertook GCSE Music and Drama as well as studying Dance and Theatre at A-level. After graduating secondary school Faye earned a place at the prestigious New English Contemporary Ballet Company as a student dancer, touring with them around the UK. Faye also has a BA honours degree in Drama from the University of Lincoln and holds a teaching certificate in Russian Ballet endorsed by the The Legat Foundation.

MAKIKO FUKUDA, RAD BALLET

Makiko was born in Kawasaki, Japan. She trained at O-i Seiko Ballet School in Kawasaki. Makiko has danced in many classical ballets with the Japan Ballet Association including Swan Lake, Giselle, Coppelia, Graduation Ball, Le Corsaire grand pas de deux and Tchaikovsky pas de deux. After moving to Europe she began dancing in Musical Theatre including the Phantom of the Opera, West Side Story, Kiss Me Kate, Evita, the King and I, Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame, and more. In the West End she performed with the Lion King. Makiko teaches classes and workshops in colleges and dance companies in the UK, Germany and Japan.

DAWN BAKER, DRAMA | LLAM, CDE

Dawn received her initial training with Joy Spriggs, Tereza Theodoulou and Elizabeth Harrison gaining the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) Associate Teaching examinations in Imperial Ballet, Modern, National and Tap as well as the Advanced 2 examinations in Modern, Tap and National dance. After training, Dawn was a member of a Theatre In Education company touring schools in London with theatre workshops and performances based on youth and contemporary issues. On gaining Diploma status with the ISTD, Dawn went on to widen her credentials by choreographing musicals including Singing in the Rain, Return to the Forbidden Planet, The Merry Widow, the Wizard of Oz, Ruddigore and was later offered the position of Drama tutor for the Millfield Theatre, North London devising pieces for local amateur and professional productions and developing holiday workshops and dance and theatre programmes. Dawn later studied speech and drama with LAMDA gaining the Licentiate Diploma in 2006. She now teaches freelance including her long relationship of over twenty years with Jacqui Ison School of Dance & Theatre Arts. Dawn continues to extend her knowledge of dance and theatre arts and is involved with the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, National Operatic and Dramatic Association and the National Theatre Teachers Centre. Many pupils are currently working in television and film, the West End, Globe Theatre and at the National Theatre. Dawn become a drama examiner for New Era Academy in 2019. 

ELLOUISE WILSON, ACROBATICS | BA HONS

Ellouise started her training at the age of 4, in the Bishops Stortford area, learning genres such as Ballet, Tap, Modern, Irish, National, street, Jazz, Singing and Acting. She had the opportunity to take part in multiple performances, exams and dancing competitions, where she became an All England finals gold medalist. Ellouise was lucky enough to gain a place at the prestigious Laban conservatoire in London at the age of 13, where she learnt the art of Contemporary dancing, as well as performing with the Royal Ballet School. She then advanced her training when she gained a place at Bird College at the age of 18. From there, she then went onto gaining her ISTD and Gymnatics teaching qualifications. Ellouise is excited to pass on her knowledge and passion to the pupils of North Star Academy! 

RHIANNA BOLTON, MT JAZZ | BA HONS

Rhianna trained at the Urdang Academy. Before her professional training she danced at the Morgan Aslanoff Dance School, where she was also lucky enough to participate in many competitions including Dance World Cup, All England Dance National Finals and being invited to perform at the inaugural Dance Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. Rhianna also performed with the London Children's Ballet, as one of the principal roles, in their tour of The Little Princess. Since graduating Rhianna has been in Germany workshopping a new show. Most recently she has performed as a dancer on the Britt Awards, featured as a dancer in music videos and recently travelled to Saudi Arabia to perform. Along side performing Rhianna loves teaching and choreographing. Helping the students improve in their dance ability and watching them grow into the best versions of themselves is what makes teaching so special.

JORDAN CROUCH, RHYTHM TAP | BA HONS

Jordan studied BA(Hons) Musical Theatre at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, graduating in 2019. He made his professional/West End debut as Onstage Swing and Cover Mike in White Christmas (Dominion Theatre). Other credits include Ensemble/Mr T Impersonator in the Wedding Singer (Troubadour Wembley Park). Jordan will be appearing in Stephen Mear’s 42nd Street at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris this winter. In January 2020, Jordan was seen as a competitor on BBC1’s The Greatest Dancer as a tap soloist, advancing to the callbacks. He has competed across the country and internationally with the England Tap Team and at the age of 16 he won a world title for his solo at the Dance World Cup. Jordan regularly teaches all over the country at various dance studios including Pineapple Dance Studios and BASE Studios.

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