All our teachers are fully qualified and CRB checked.
SARAH SIMMONS RAD RTS, AISTD, ALAM, Member IDTA
Sarah trained at Italia Conti Theatre Arts School and later qualified with the Royal Academy of Dance. After five years as a freelance teacher, Sarah founded her own school in 1990 with just 10 pupils. In 1993 she took over Twickenham Academy from the late Miss Roberts and from small beginnings the school now has over 300 pupils. Since being approached by the Royal Academy to train for examining, Sarah has decided to dedicate her time to her school.
WENDY O’DOWD Fellow and Examiner for the ISTD, RAD RTS
Wendy started her training at The Dance School of Scotland after being a Junior Associate at the Scottish Ballet. She then continued her studies at Laine Theatre Arts. Her professional career as a dancer took her around the world as well as performing in London. Returning home, she built up her own successful dance school in Aberdeen for six years.
Wendy is currently a freelance teacher, teaching at various vocational colleges around London and selected local junior schools. She is also an Examiner for the ISTD Modern and Tap Faculties, examining at both grades and vocational levels. Wendy also lectures for the ISTD Modern and Tap Faculties nationally and internationally.
CHARLOTTE BARKER DDE
Charlotte started her dance training at the age of 3, being one of Sarah’s very first pupils at Twickenham Academy. Following in Sarah’s footsteps, she went on to win a Dance and Drama Award to attend the Italia Conti Theatre Arts School, where she graduated with a Higher National Diploma in Musical Theatre and soon after signed with an acting Agency.
Alongside working on her career as an actress, Charlotte has focused on gaining her ISTD teaching qualifications in Ballet, Tap and Modern and is currently continuing to further her teaching qualifications. Charlotte has been teaching at Twickenham Academy now for over 7 years and thoroughly enjoys giving back her love of performance to her pupils.
LOUISE THOMAS DDE
Louise started her dance training at Twickenham Academy and then later went onto complete her training at Millennium Performing Arts and The Centre Performing Arts College. Upon graduation from The Centre Louise gained a Professional Diploma in Performance and her ISTD Teaching Qualifications in Ballet, Tap and Modern.
Lia began dancing at the age of three at Twickenham Academy and then went on to train professionally at Laine Theatre Arts where she graduated with a Diploma in Musical Theatre. Since leaving college she has appeared in numerous pantomimes. Lia was also a part of the 50th anniversary UK Tour of West Side Story and was then lucky enough to join the International tour as well. In 2010 Lia was ecstatic to be chosen to join the west end show We Will Rock You where she performed for two years. More recently she has has appeared in Viva Forever!, been Assistant Choreographer and Dance Captain with Sunny Afternoon and is currently with the cast of Hamilton.
Lia started teaching at Twickenham Academy when she was 16 and now helps to choreograph numbers for festivals and shows. She loves coming back to Twickenham Academy to teach as it was where she started out and where she found her love of dancing and performing.
VANESSA HEADLAND BA(Hons), ARAD, LRAD, RAD RTS,
BASI Pilates Teacher
Vanessa is a Royal Academy of Dance Ballet teacher and has been a teacher to the Vocational students at the Twickenham Academy of Dance since 2009. Vanessa donned her first pink tutu at the Centre Stage Theatre School in Newcastle at the age of 3 and since entering the dance world, has never looked back. Vanessa has studied for a Degree in 'Ballet Education' at RAD Headquarters and has also completed the Licentiate programme specialising in the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus. As well as teaching ballet, Vanessa has also fulfilled another passion of her's and has recently qualified as a BASI Pilates Mat Work teacher.