The school was established in 1980 by Elaine Milbourne as the Elaine Milbourne Theatre Dance School, the schools development to offer a broader range of Performing Arts subjects has resulted in a change of name and location.
Our school, based at Newburn Old Town Hall is beautifully equipped, we have 4 purpose made studios with sprung wooden floors, barres and mirrors. Since the schools inception we have always been actively involved in the community appearing at events, fetes and local shows. We participate in local festivals, workshops, CYD events, TDCI Championships and have performed in theatres across all regions as well as at Disneyland Paris and Her Majesty’s Theatre in London. Pupils are guided and coached to audition for shows and events externally, such as local pantomimes, professional shows and operatic societies. We have had a previous EMPAS student crowned “Miss Dance of Great Britain” and currently have various students working professionally around the world.
Throughout the year we enter hundreds of candidates with the I.D.T.A. (International Dance Theatres Association) for exams at all levels and we have an enviable reputation and excellent success rate. Pupils are nominated regularly for the I.D.T.A. Theatre Awards, and we have had previous winners in 2013, 2015 and 2017 and 2020 as well as numerous special bursary awards and commendations in all subjects throughout the years.
What makes our school different is that it offers such a vast range of subjects for students of all abilities and ages, there is something for everyone whether they want to go onto a professional career or just come along and enjoy a class. Students at EMPAS are able to train to teaching level and go on to full time performer’s college, our students have been successful in gaining places and scholarships at English National Ballet School, Bird College of Dance, Tring Park School for Performing Arts, Laine Theatre Arts and Phil Winston’s Theatreworks. We also have had and currently have pupils on Associate programmes with Royal Ballet, Northern Ballet, Hammond, SLP, SMB, Tap Attack, Denman and Renaissance Arts. The range of subjects and the success our students is testament to the students themselves and the quality of the teaching enabling each student to develop their own individuality.
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- Elaine MilbournePrincipal
I established the Elaine Milbourne Performing Arts School (EMPAS) in 1980 (formerly Elaine Milbourne Theatre Dance School) and developed it from a couple of nights a week in a community centre offering dance classes into a full performing arts centre operating seven days a week offering all aspects of performance as we do today.
I am very passionate about the performing arts and always maintain the highest standards in behaviour and teaching. The team of teaching professionals who work with me all have the highest level of expertise and range of skills to bring out the best in all of our pupils. Seeing pupils develop their individuality and ability is a pleasure to see as is the increased confidence and teamwork pupils gain from attending the EMPAS.
I am a lifetime member of the International Dance Teachers Association (IDTA) after over 40 years of membership and I am currently treasurer of the IDTA Tyneside area. I have taught dance in the west end of Newcastle upon Tyne for over 40 years and feel the IDTA syllabus offers an excellent training in all areas of dance and musical theatre. The syllabuses are updated regularly the work is always very topical and challenging.Amy NicholsonTeacher/Admin
Being Elaine’s daughter I have danced with the school since being 3 years old, and have trained in all theatre subjects up to an advanced level. I have performed at Her Majesty’s Theatre, London and DisneyLand Paris as well as taking part in numerous shows, amateur dramatic performances and competitions over my youth.
As well as teaching at the school, I also work in the office helping with all aspects of the business. I am a fully qualified member of the IDTA having completed my Level 4 Diploma in Dance Teaching as well as my pre-associate qualifications and my IDTA Anatomy and Physiology Diploma. I am also trained in Paediatric First Aid and I have my safeguarding certificate.
Being part of EMPAS has and always will be a huge part of my life, I love teaching the talented children at the school and achieving a high standard of results as well as having fun!Elena DavidsonTeacher
Elena has danced from a young age and moved to EMPAS when she was 12. As well as training at EMPAS, Elena attended Renaissance Arts in Leeds as part of their Scholars programme.
In 2017 Elena became the IDTA Theatre Craft Grades Winner at the IDTA Theatre Awards as well as receiving various nominations and commendations over the years. She then went on to be the Tyne & Wear IDTA Elsa Wilkin’s Senior Bursary overall winner and was later scouted to be part of Lukas McFarlane’s SEEDS Season 2 in London. In 2018, Elena starred in David Walliam’s ‘Gangsta Granny’ at Newcastle Theatre Royal.
Elena then went on to study Applied Sport Science with Coaching at Northumbria University, followed by a Masters Degree in Digital Marketing. Throughout University she became a prominent figure in the Northstars Cheerleading Team and in her third year became Dance Captain. She has choreographed very successful routines for their squad in pom, hip hop and lyrical and in March 2022 they became ICC Grand Champions.
Elena is a BGU qualified coach in pom, jazz, lyrical and hip hop and has recently completed her IDTA Level 4 Teaching Diploma in Contemporary Modern Jazz achieving a high Distinction. We are thrilled to have Elena ‘back home’ and teaching at EMPAS!Alex MitchinsonTeacher
After graduating from Laine Theatre Arts Alex worked as a dancer in Musical Theatre, TV, Film and as a commercial dancer and model for 12 years. Her credits include Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire- Beaux Baton Student, Miss Perigrine’s School for Peculiar Children – Contemporary dancer for C.G.I. motion caption, Take That – dancer, Gulliver’s Travels – dancer, The Duchess – dancer and dance coach to Kiera Knightly, Ryvita Commercial -Fern Britton’s body, The Charlotte Church Show – dancer, Thomson Holidays Musical Revue – Resident Choreographer, Thursford Christmas Show – Dancer and Swing dancer, to name but a few. Since then Alex has moved into teaching and Choreography, working with the Ballet Lorent company, Northumbria University, Dance City, and delivering Lyrical, Ballet, Tap and Contemporary workshops throughout the North East region. Alex loves being part of the EMPAS team and teaching the talented and hard working students.
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Newburn Town Hall, New burn Road, Newburn
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear