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Teachers

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Helen Cole
 Principal, Dance Teacher

I have been dancing since I was 5 and loved working through all the grades and passing exams in Tap, Ballet and Modern. I also helped teach, for many years, at the dance school where I trained.

As a dancer I have taken part in a large variety of shows, including many at the Queen’s Theatre, my favourite being Beauty and the Beast. I have choreographed many children's shows including Phantom of the Opera and Barnum. 

I now work full time in dance, running my own dance fitness business: Dance Energy.
In October 2012 I was approached by the Barnstaple Musical Comedy and Dramatic Society with a fabulous offer to teach at Centre Stage School.

I love giving everyone the opportunity to learn different styles of dance, from a complete beginner to an accomplished dancer, and watching them grow in confidence, co-ordination and performance.

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Billy Buckingham
Drama Teacher

I have been an active performer since a very young age.
My first appearance on stage was in the North Devon Gang Show in 2002 which gave me the confidence and passion for performing arts and since then, I have appeared in over 100 productions ranging from musical theatre, dance, Shakespeare, comedy and even a one man play!
I make regular appearances at Fringe Theatrefest in Barnstaple and I have been proud to direct and tour a few shows there also.
I hold a BA (Hons) in Theatre and Performance from the University of Plymouth and I am also a qualified primary school teacher.
I have always been passionate about working with children and inspiring them to be confident and unique individuals who aren't afraid to be who they are.

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Thomas Spencer
Singing Teacher

I am an award-winning singer, performing as a soloist internationally from live televised sporting events and large-scale outdoor events to intimate recitals. I have performed in many of the UK's concert halls including the Royal Albert Hall, Symphony Hall Birmingham and Birmingham Town Hall. As a session singer, I have performed on over 20 blockbuster films, including Mamma Mia, Pirates of the Caribbean and Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and has featured on BBC Radio and Classic FM, alongside regional radio.

I started singing as a child; progressing from chorister to youth choirs, to adult choirs and solo work. I studied voice at Trinity College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music in London, where I attained my music degree, post graduate diploma and advanced teaching qualification.

I am also a music producer and regularly work with teams behind artists such as Celine Dion, Michael Bublé, Josh Groban and Andrea Bocelli. 

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Jo Collins
Musical Theatre Teacher 

I have been singing and tap dancing as long as I can remember, I started singing in the church choir and went on from there to take part in competitions and festivals all over the country!

I trained at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama and have my certificate of teaching from The Royal Schools of Music as well as my Guildhall performance Diplomas.

I have performed at The Royal Opera House and The Royal Albert Hall amongst many other fantastic venues taking part in concerts and shows.

I moved to North Devon 5 years ago and have been teaching music in local primary and secondary schools as well as teaching individual singing and musical theatre classes and preparing students for their graded exams with London College of Music.

Singing is about having fun and helping a child to find their voice is the most rewarding part of my job!

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Sophie Kerslake
Singing Teacher

Music, dance and drama have played a huge role in my life since I was small. I grew up in a very musical household where concerts, shows and performances were part of my everyday life.

I have performed in many productions over the years in various guises - orchestras, bands, theatre groups and dance shows. I teach singing and all aspects of music in many local schools and establishments and am so grateful that my background has enabled me to work in this fun and exciting field.

Centre Stage is great fun and it’s amazing to see the children shine!

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Sophie Lavercombe
Tuesday group Co-ordinator,
Dance Teacher

I started dancing at the age of 6 where I took part in ballet up to grade 8 and tap up to grade 5 until I was 18.

I am still passionate for dance but it took a back seat as I started a job working in childcare.

Here at Centre Stage School I can put both of my interests together by getting to teach children dance.It never fails to put a smile on my face when I see the students giving everything a go and having the confidence to perform.

Alongside the Stage School I also Co-Direct and choreograph the North Devon Gang Show which I have done for the past 6 years.

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Shannon Wayborn
Dance Teacher, Assistant

I started dancing when I was 6 Years old and I never stopped. I took lessons in ballet tap and modern and did exams for those lessons.

I then took more of an interest in musical theatre and joined Centre Stage School as a student when it started 7 years ago. Now, 7 years later, I am into my third year as a teacher/teaching assistant. I have performed in shows in the Queens Theatre since I was 9 including 42nd street, Cats and Carousel.

I have always had a love for dancing and performing and it gives me great pleasure to be able to pass that love and passion onto the children I teach. 

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Trevor Wayborn
Business Manager

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Emily Edwards
 Assistant