Since Kirkham Henry Performing Arts Centre was formed in 1989, when Angela Kirkham and Jennie Henry decided to combine their individual teaching talents, our contribution to the Arts in Ryedale and the North Yorkshire area has been immense.
Supported by a team of brilliant teaching staff we have gained a reputation for excellence in all aspects of the Performing Arts and are immensely proud of our students’ achievements over the years. We wish we could name everyone who has given their enthusiasm and hard work – and still do. There are so many. They willed us to fulfill a dream – for their children and for the future.
Why chose Kirkham Henry?
Your child, an individual – The philosophy of the Centre is one of care and concern for each individual, aiming to achieve the personal, and vocational development of each student to the maximum of her/his ability.
Skills for the future – Dance, Singing, Drama and Music (Piano & theory) are taught to the highest level and many students go on to enjoy successful careers in the Theatre.
100% pass rate – Students excel in examinations with the school regularly achieving 100% pass rates in RAD, IDTA, LAMDA,ABRSM.
Nationally acclaimed – They consistently win trophies at the various Stage Dance and Singing Festivals in the North of England.
Friends for life – Success can be measured in so many ways and at Kirkham Henry, it is the rapport between all, a feeling of a family enterprise.
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- Angela KirkhamVocational Ballet & Tap, Musical Theatre M.I.D.T.A R.A.D R.T.S LIFE MEMBER OF ROYAL ACADEMY OF DANCE
Angela began training at 3 and by 12 had won the English Ballet Championship, successfully passing her RAD Intermediate exam – the youngest in the country at the time. She has been an adjudicator for Dance Festivals/ Choreographer on tours, choreographed children’s ballets for summer schools, directed Ryedale Youth Theatre for 23 years, coached ballet children for UK exams and auditions, and coached male dancers for the Billy Elliot School.
Angela has also taught under-privileged children to dance and be proud of their achievements. She also teaches senior citizens to help them stay young and mobile.
She has been teaching for 40 years training thousands of students to professional level. Many are now performing in theatre productions in the West End, on tours, on Cruise Ships, in The Royal Ballet Company and across the world. Others have become professional musicians, theatre technicians, stage managers, teachers of dance, music and musical theatre etc. Angela is life member of RADAlison AungierMusic. BA Honours Music, Psychology & Sociology
Alison started playing the piano at the age four and has since played in Germany, America and the UK as a soloist and accompanist. She played her last concerto in York in 1990. Alison studied music at university with the main emphasis on piano accompaniment. She started teaching in 1988 and achieved 100% pass rate with ABRSM in piano, piano duet, and theory exams. She has also played for many societies, choirs and exams throughout County Durham and North Yorkshire and is currently based in Harrogate where she plays for The Dale Singers – a 4 part choir – and Associated Board exams.
Alison has been accompanying students at Kirkham Henry for their singing and ballet exams since 1990 and currently teaches music theory.Martin DixonVocals & piano GRSM. ARMCM. Post Graduate Certificate Education
Martin studied Piano Accompaniment, Conducting and Singing at the Royal Northern College of Music and subsequently gained a Post-Graduate Certificate in Music Education at the University of Reading.
An experienced practitioner across 40 years of teaching and music making, Martin's priority for his students is to ensure that learning and performing are enjoyable, fulfilling disciplines. Whether engaged in group work or in one to one tuition, he harnesses appropriate technology in support of an on-going quest for excellence.Joanne DawsonFoundation (Bt, Tap & Theatre-craft) AIDTA
Joanne started at Kirkham Henry Performing Arts at the age of four years, taking part in many professional pantomimes and shows. She was a founder member of Ryedale Youth Theatre and performed with them for 11 years, including Crazy For You at the Edinburgh Festival.
Joanne assisted in teaching and quickly realised she would like to make a career out of it. She studied for her Associate IDTA Teaching Examination under Miss Angela and passed with flying colours. Joanne teaches Ballet Tap and Theatre Craft at Malton. She has choreographed Malton Pantomime since 2003.Madeleine HudsonVocals
Madeleine spent her early career in Dublin where she worked as pianist with the RTE Concert Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra on TV, radio and concert hall.
For six years she was Music Supervisor for RIVERDANCE -THE SHOW. She is one of only two women worldwide to be appointed as a conductor for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
She has worked on LES MISERABLES, MISS SAIGON and MARTIN GUERRE. She was pianist for five EUROVISION SONG CONTESTS for Ireland, including the one that launched Riverdance. She has worked with orchestras throughout Scandinavia and Germany as well as the UK’s City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra of Opera North, BBC Scottish Symphony and London Concert Orchestra.
Madeleine has lectured in Musical Theatre at the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin and continues to work as a vocal coach. She recently became Musical Director of Ryedale Choral Union.Catherine RodgersBallet/Head of Speech & Drama RAD, RTS
Catherine trained at ‘The Kirkham School of Dancing’ which later became ‘Kirkham Henry Performing Arts’ under the direction of Angela and Jennie and with Mrs E.L.Game in York for her L.A.M.D.A. Speech and Drama examinations.
To further her training she studied for three years at ‘The London Studio Centre’ under the direction of Margaret Barbieri and Anita Young for Ballet and Marcia Taylor-Brooke for Singing and appeared in ‘Dance Overture ‘91′ for Prince Edward at The Royalty Theatre, ‘92 at The Wimbledon Theatre; ‘93 at Salder’s Wells; Equity ‘91 at The Jeannetta Cochrane Theatre and Best of the Assessments ‘93 at The Shaw Theatre.
Catherine has also worked for Yorkshire Television appearing in ‘Book Tower’, ‘Darling Buds of May’, ‘Emmerdale’, ‘How We Used To Live’, ‘Stay Lucky’ and other productions. She furthered her studies taking a three year Ballet teaching course with ‘The Royal Academy of Dance’.Ali KirkhamJazz, Cabaret and Choreography
Ali began her stage career with the John Hanson musical ‘A Student Prince’. From there she was asked to sing for the birthday of King Kaled of Saudi Arabia in the beautiful ski resort of Gstaad, Switzerland where she performed in a gala along with stars such as Shirley Bassey, Liz Taylor and Roger Moore. In 1977 Ali successfully auditioned for the famous BBC ‘Black and White Minstrel Show’ where she stayed for many years as George Mitchell’s leading lady. She got her first taste of ‘cruising’ in 1984 and has performed on board some of the world’s first class cruise liners.
In 1986 Ali started a double act “Déjà vu” with Roger Green. For many years they worked the act on board Fred Olsen’s ‘Black Prince’ before they expanded to produce and direct the production shows on board Black Prince, Black Watch’ and M/V Discovery for Discovery Cruises, all under the name of Deja Vu & Company. Today Ali runs AC Productions with husband and Musical Director, Chris Hocking.Audrie WoodhouseDrama BA Honours Performing Arts, MA in Theatre and Writing, Studying for PHD in Acting, mask and physical Theatre.
Audrie is a PhD by Creative Practice, candidate researching how mask effects process in theatre making. She runs her own company Woodhouse Theatre Connections and is co-director of Common Ground Touring Theatre Co.
Audrie is in an experienced actress and teacher specializing in Mask and Physical theatre and is proud to have worked with practitioners such as John Wright, Gregory Doran, Paola Cavallin, Toby Wilshire, Luke Dixon and Emily Gray as well as companies including Trestle, Northumberland Touring Theatre Co, Third Party and for The Royal Shakespeare Company as Mask Consultant.
Audrie has just completed a mask theatre tour in collaboration with Trestle and York Theatre RoyalGeorge NeacsuGymnastics coach
George was born in Romania where he began his intensive gymnastic training at the age of 4 with the National Olympic training facility in Bucharest. He showed a natural talent for gymnastics in all the male disciplines and was selected for the Romanian National team at the age of 11. A lack of funding meant that George had to secure employment and at the age of 16 successfully auditioning for a place with Circus Globus – the prestigious National Circus of Bucharest. He further developed his gymnastic skills and mastered the notoriously difficult Russian Bar and Spring Board acts.
George was head-hunted to learn a new skill known as ‘Hand to Hand’. In 2007 whilst contracted for the same cruise company, he met his future wife who we all know as Miss Rebecca. They continued to cruise together and perform in the production shows on-board for the next 5 years.Michaela KempFoundation: Ballet/Tap/Theatre craft. AIDTA
Michaela started dancing at the age of 5 with Miss Angela and worked through all her exams until leaving school and studying for her Associate IDTA Teaching exam and passing with great results. Since then, Michaela has been with Kirkham Henry and has over 20 years of teaching experience behind her, teaching Ballet, Tap and Musical Theatre. Miss "Kyla" has also had more than 6 years professional Gymnastics training and was part of the York Olympic squad for 3 years. She will be assistant to our Gym coach, George.
She has taken many leading roles in local productions over the years and now choreographs for the local pantomime. Miss Angela says: “Miss Kyla is like Super Nanny as she has such an amazing way with the very young children”.Rebecca NeacsuARAD
Rebecca began her training at Kirkham Henry Performing Arts at the age of 3 and took part in many shows, pantomimes, festivals and also attended weekly classes at the Louise Browne Yorkshire Scholarship Centre in York.
At the age of 16 Rebecca gained a 3 year scholarship to Northern Ballet School, taking exams in ISTD and RAD gaining her Advanced II. She was specially chosen to demonstrate at the NATD, BBO and the Molly Lake awards and the Jimmy Carr Live Tour. Rebecca graduated in 2005 as Head Girl.
Her extensive cruise ship career began with Costa Cruise Lines and continued for the next 8 years, working with Costa and MSC cruise companies as a production Dancer, soon becoming Lead Adagio and later Dance Captain and Production Manager.
Rebecca is thrilled to be back at Kirkham Henry fulfilling a love and passion for teaching dance.
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Kirkham Henry Performing Arts Centre , Horsemarket Road