Our Staff

Melanie Dudman

Dip RBS TTC, BIC Dip Int, AISTD (CB, NB Dist.), BBO RTS, RAD RTS

 

Principal

Melanie is the principal of Allied Schools of Dance. Melanie studied dance locally at Allied Schools of Dance and Susan Robinson School of Ballet and was a Junior Associate of the Royal Ballet School at the age of 9. She went on to win many national competitions and festivals, including the All England Dance competition. She was one of 10 students accepted onto the Royal Ballet School's prestigious Teacher Training Course at the age of 16 and graduated in 1991 having been awarded the Jean Bedells prize for gaining the highest marks in her RAD teaching exams. The course was considered to be one of the best in the world for teacher training and included study in RAD ballet, ISTD national, Benesh notation, Classical Spanish, contemporary, Cecchetti ballet, music appreciation, anatomy, character and repetoire. Her teachers included Valerie Adams, Hope Keelan, Denise Winmill, Madame Ana Ricarda, Maria Fay, Valerie Sunderland and Robert Harold. Since then she has taught in Mainz, Germany before returning to Allied Schools of Dance to take up the role of Principal in 2008. 

Melanie is a highly qualified and experienced teacher whose expertise spans the youngest pupils through to senior level training and preparing students for vocational dance training. Currently Melanie teaches and enters students of all ages for RAD and BBO examinations as well as running Allied Schools of Dance, organising shows, festivals and events. She is also a talented choreographer with her work winning awards at the All England National Finals in London.

Jill Baird

Cert Ed (London) AISTD (National, Imperial Ballet, Greek)

 

Ballet Teacher

Jill trained at Betty Pattison College in Coventry and was awarded very prestigious RAD Scholarship at only 10 years old. Her principal training was in Classical Ballet, National, Greek, Singing, Drama and Modern, and she appeared in numerous professional Theatre productions, winning several medals at the Sunshine Competition (now All England Dance). Following an injury at the RBS, she trained for three years as a dance and academic teacher at Trent Park College (now Middlesex University) then worked in academic schools for several years, followed by freelancing as a private dance teacher locally. Over thirty years ago she set up Woodley School of Ballet with just six pupils, later opening branches in Earley, Wokingham and Warfield, and these schools later became merged into Allied Schools of Dance.

Gaining a national reputation for outstanding training in Classical Ballet, National and Greek dance, Jill has sent hundreds of dancers into the profession over the years. Her students have appeared at every Regional and National Finals of All England Dance since its inception, with numerous dances she has choreographed winning medals, including many National Finals winners. Students have been equally successful in gaining places in full-time training as dancers and teachers and winning scholarships; and former pupils can be found all over the world, dancing in the West End, in Dance companies, on cruises and performing in films and on television. Over many years a large number of students have been accepted onto the Royal Ballet School’s courses as Junior, Mid and Senior Associates, and also into White Lodge, The Upper School of the RBS and the Teacher Training Course. Many of her former pupils are also teaching dance at home and abroad, passing on the love of dance to their own students.

Lucinda Belcher

ISTD Tap and Modern Teacher

  

Zoe, Beth and Bekka

Our Head girl and deputy head girls

  

Gemah Sanger

Administration assistant

  

Kathryn Elward

Guest Teacher

Kathryn was a student at Allied Schools of Dance from the age of four and whilst a part of the school completed her Advanced 2 BBO in Ballet, won first place at the All England Dance Finals and performed in the Gala performance at the Peacock Theatre in London.

She went on to study a BA(Hons) Degree in Theatre Dance at London Studio Centre and toured with their Jazz Company in her final year. She was been a cover teacher at Allied for a few years and has taught at the Summer School on several occasions in the past. She became a full time member of staff teaching jazz and ballet for a few years before moving away. 

Kathryn Barnes

Jazz Teacher

Training: Graduating from London Studio Centre with the Sheila O’Neill Award for ‘Excellence in Musical Theatre’, Kathryn has recently finished performing in the UK/Ireland Tour of The Addams Family, a Musical Comedy.

Other Credits include: The Addams Family - A Musical Comedy (The Theatre at Mediacorps, Singapore), The Addams Family - A Musical Comedy (UK/Ireland Tour), Chitty Bang Bang (UK/Ireland Tour), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Cats (West End Revival at the London Palladium), Cats (UK/International Tour), Oliver! (Sheffield Theatres), Sleeping Beauty (Courtyard Theatre), The Boyfriend (Her Majesty’s Theatre) & Footloose (Greenwich Theatre).

Television: Sunday Night at the London Palladium & Tonight at the London Palladium on ITV.

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