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Drusilla Duffill

Artistic Director

 

F.I.S.T.D, D.D.E,

EXAMINER I.S.T.D Classical Ballet (retired)

RAD Registered Teacher

Adjudicator British Federation of festivals

and All England Dance (retired)

Drusilla Duffill trained at The London College of Dance and Drama gaining her Teaching Diploma (Dist) and is now Artistic Director of the Drusilla Duffill Theatre School of which her daughter, Vikki Harris, is Principal. The school, establish in 1957, has recently celebrated its 60th Diamond Anniversary.


Drusilla is a life member of both the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing and The Royal Academy of Dance and is an examiner for the Imperial Classical Ballet Faculty of the Imperial Society. She is an Adjudicator for the All England Dance Competition and for the British and International Federation of Festivals. She has adjudicated the Gradison Clark National Dance Awards and the Classical Greek Dance Competition.


Former pupils have attended both the Lower and Upper schools at the Royal Ballet School and many of her students have progressed to professional training, and subsequently careers, on stage, television, in various Ballet companies, and in teaching.

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Vikki Harris 

Principal

 

A.I.S.T.D DDE Diploma in Dance Education

(Ballet, National, Modern, Tap (Distinction)

RAD Teaching Diploma Children’s and Majors

Diploma Merseyside Dance and Drama Centre 

Polestar Pilates Educator in training and mentor , Mat, Reformer Studio Comprehensive qualified .

Ex Professional dancer.

Role in School: Principal , Junior to Senior Modern teacher and Show Director

 

Early Training:  Burgess Hill School for Girls and Drusilla Duffill Theatre School 

Vocational Training: Merseyside Dance and Drama Centre graduated with Distinction

Professional Theatrical Experience: Dancer at Disneyland Paris productions include: "Beauty and the Beast", "Noel de Mickey", "Reflections" and the "Lucky Nugget Show". Thorpe Park Palladium dancer and Cabaret in Madeira.

Current Interests: Reading, Pilates, Transactional Analysis, Communication and teaching styles, Anatomy and Physiology and the Neuro-Muscular-Fascial-Skeletal and Psychological self in the current climate. Owner of V Pilates Studio Burgess Hill. 

 

Current professional development: Trainee 2022-2025 towards Diploma in Counselling and  Psychotherapy with Homa London.

“ As a dance teacher I continue to develop my skills to ensure the students are supported not only in the art of communication from teacher to each individual, and the successful achievement in learning of steps, but also how their young bodies need to be cared for as they grow and develop. Starting pointe work too young or pushing the body into extreme positions as seen on the internet can limit a dancers career and damage young bodies for life. I support the young students to be individuals and therefore encourage positive experiences, building their self esteem to follow their dreams in which every direction they choose whether it be in the theatre or any profession. Sound training, attention to detail and anatomical awareness is the basis of health in any body and especially the longevity in the demanding athletic demands on dancers in the profession today.

Seeing the students faces and yelps of joy as they hear of their results and achievements, witnessing their self belief and confidence sore and pride in their work . I am incredibly proud of each student and their personal journey"

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Virginia Lewis Jones

Drusilla Duffill Theatre School Patron

'I have always wanted to dance ever since I can remember, and to be able to be a part of the DDTS is a wonderful way for me to be involved in the world of dance and ballet, even if I am not actually performing!  DDTS is the perfect way for children to begin their dance career, or if they feel when they are older not to persue that full time, then the training gives them the confidence and ability to relate to others easily.  I was so thrilled and honoured to be asked to be Patron of the School and will do all I can to forward it's and their pupils  goals.

 

I have had many careers including working in America for Warner Bros Records and in fashion and television, so have always been involved with the Arts in one way or another.  Having been brought up in a theatrical  milieu, it would have been difficult for me to follow any other form of business!

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Lucy Wise

A level Dance, Btec Diploma in Dance

DDE - Diploma in Dance Education in Modern & Ballet 

Level 3 Childcare 

Zumba & Zumba toning instructor 

Role in school: Pre school & Modern /Jazz teacher 

Early Training: Drusilla Duffill Theatre School 

Vocational Training: Central Sussex College, Deborah Lamb Theatre School 

 

Current Interests: trips to the theatre 

 

"Drusilla’s has been a big part of my life and now is a part of my career. I started at the age of 3 in the pre school class and now I have the pleasure of teaching this class on a Monday. Dance isn’t just a job it’s a passion and it is great enjoyment teaching lots of different children on a daily basis. In 2016 zumba with Lucy launched and it has had great success so far and it is just as rewarding. In 2018 I launched to the beat dance camps to give children the opportunity to dance during the school holidays. I look forward to my many more years of teaching and my involvement within the school." 

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Julia Jones

Diploma Margaret Howard Theatre College

DDE Diploma in Dance Education

 Modern , Tap and Ballet

Role in school: Ballet, Tap, Modern and Jazz teacher

Early Training: Adele Academy of Dancing (now A2 Arts Academy)

Vocational Training: Margaret Howard Theatre College

Professional or current theatrical experience: 

Dancer in ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ – The Old Market, Brighton. OCO Productions.

Dancer in ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ – The Watford Palace Theatre, Watford. 

Current Interests: Reading, Swimming, History, Cinema, Binge – Watching series on Netflix!

 

 “I enjoy the challenge of teaching lots of different ages and abilities and seeing the improvement from week to week. I like seeing their confidence blossom as they improve which then helps me with my confidence in my ability to teach. 

 I am currently finishing the last part of my DDE qualification to help further my teaching skills and to ensure that I am up to date with the current work for the students. I’m really enjoying my time being a part of the DDTS family and am looking forward to the challenges of the future.”

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Dr Marilyn Wyers 

PhD in Somatics and Performing Arts Pedagogy

MA in Performing Arts

BA (Hons) in Dance and Music Education

DDE Diploma in Dance Education in Classical Ballet

Role: Classical Ballet, Contemporary Dance and Progressing Ballet Technique teacher

Early Training: Marianne Jepson College of Dance and Drama, Oldham, Manchester

Vocational: Kate Simmonds School of Dance, Trinity Laban Conservatoire, Lancaster University, St Petersburg State Conservatoire (Russia), The Julliard School (New York) and Chichester College

 

Professional Experience: Marilyn began teaching in Liverpool after graduating from Lancaster University with a first class degree in music and dance education, She went on to dance in Egypt and to teach at the British International School in Cairo. She then continued to perform and teach in many different countries around the world including Poland, Indonesia, Germany and Turkey. Marilyn returned to the UK in 2015 to join Balletomane Ballet Company and toured extensively throughout London and surrounding boroughs. At the moment, she is dancing with London Ballet Theatre and Nimble Dance Company and has recently performed solo and pas de deux roles in Sleeping Beauty, The Dream and Bayadere. In 2016 she set up Regis Dance and Wellbeing with the aim of creating an inclusive dance centre that caters for all ages and abilities fostering the idea of intergenerational dance and creative movement classes in a supportive and enjoyable environment.

 

Marilyn is also a qualified Pilates and PBT teacher and teaches regular classes in Arundel and Bognor Regis

Current Interests: Pilates, Progressing Ballet Technique, Screen Dance, Composer Choreographer Collaborations, Research in Dance Pedagogy, Dalcroze Eurhythmics

Marilyn has worked in many different dance and music settings and would love to continue to share her knowledge and passion for ballet and contemporary dance with others interested in developing their dance and performance skills to the highest level of technical precision and musicality with a sense of enjoyment and playfulness.

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Joanna Loxton

Musical Theatre teacher

Masters Degree Guildford School of Acting in

Voice and Singing (Distinction)

Jo studied at the BRIT school of performing Arts followed by The Guildford School of Acting beforej embarking on a 15 year career in the West End. Credits include Phantom of the Opera, The Original production of Marguerite, Les Miserables (25th anniversary tour production and The original West end production), and Dear World directed by Gillian Lynne.

Aside from performing, Jo has taught singing and voice for several years and recently returned to The Guildford School of Acting to take on a Masters degree in the practice of Voice and Singing in which she received a distinction.

She has performed in many concerts including the 25th anniversary concert of both Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall and Les Miserables at the O2 and her voice can be heard on several cast recordings.

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Adele Mason

Mid and Senior School Classical Ballet Teacher

LISTD

Level 6 Diploma in Dance Pedagogy in Modern Dance.

I gained my Associate teaching qualifications with ISTD in 1991, and founded the Adele Academy of Dance where I offered classes in Ballet, Modern, Tap and Jazz. The Academy grew rapidly in numbers and status, and within 5 years had a staff of six highly skilled teaching staff providing a diverse and dynamic programme of classes. As the Academy continued to develop, I gained further teaching qualifications, achieving Licentiate status in Ballet and Modern, together with Advanced 2 Ballet certification. In 2009 I handed over the Academy to a member of my teaching staff in order to focus on my family and other areas of personal development.  In 2018 I graduated from the University of Middlesex with a Level 6 Diploma in Dance Pedagogy in Modern Dance.

I am passionate about Performance, Choreography and Stage Craft, and particularly about young people receiving correct training and educating to be mindful of their own strengths and abilities. Inclusivity and sensitivity are a priority, and I am also experienced in working with young people with additional needs.

I am a full member of the ISTD, and continue to enter students for examinations in all genres.

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Sadie Simmons

Junior, Mid and Senior Ballet, Modern Teacher

 Diploma level 3 in dance

ISTD DDE Ballet, Tap and Modern

Role in School: ISTD Ballet and Acro Teacher

 

Early Training: Glendale Theatre Arts School

 

Professional Vocational Training: Chichester College

After growing up dancing competitively not only in England but in 5 Dance World Cup’s around the world. I always knew that I wanted to pass my knowledge onto others and teaching brings me such joy when doing so.

I am currently finishing my training to gain my Licentiate in ISTD Ballet after already achieving my Advanced 1’s in Ballet, Tap and Modern, all with distinctions. I am so excited to join the DDTS family and can’t wait to meet you all.

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Karen MacKenzie

A.I.S.T.D.    F.D.I

Diploma Drusilla Duffill Theatre School

Diploma Pre School Practice

Role in school: Coaching and Cover teacher for Pre School, Junior Classical Ballet, Modern and Tap teacher

Early and Vocational training: Drusilla Duffill Theatre School

20yrs experience as special needs educational teaching support.

Current Interests: Miss Karen is involved with all aspects of amateur dramatic theatre both on and off stage. Her son works in technical theatre in the West End, so trips to the West End are on the list of favourite things to do.

Miss Karen's main qualification is experience. Having taught in nurseries, primary and dancing schools for many years. Helping children to reach their full potential whatever their ability is her passion. Her plans for the future are to carry on sewing the seeds for the love of dance to girls and boys in their early years. 

 

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Penny Woodman 

LISTD, DDE

Diploma in Dance Education

RAD Registered Teacher Status,

Level 6 Diploma in Dance Pedagogy

Role in school: Coaching and cover Senior Classical Ballet teacher 

Early Training:  Horsham School of Dancing

Vocational Training: Elizabeth Hodgson FISTD

 

Penny has been teaching dance to students both young and old for over 20 years.  She firmly believes in giving everyone the opportunity to enjoy and participate in dance, both for the sheer joy of moving and also the therapeutic benefits it brings. More recently, Penny has added dance teaching to people suffering from Parkinson’s disease to her portfolio and has been inspired by the joy, camaraderie and fun that these classes have brought to participants and teachers alike.

 

"The social skills and discipline that the study of dance brings to young people is invaluable as well as lasting friendships forged during the rigours of dance class and rehearsals".

Mrs Ella Fenwick

 Office Administration

 

Drusilla Duffill Theatre School History

The school was established in 1957 by Drusilla Duffill whilst still in training at The London College of Dance and Drama. Classes were held on Saturday afternoons at The Dene Hollow Hotel in Burgess Hill with approx. 50 pupils. Upon graduation in 1960 with Distinction the school moved to its own premises in Station Road, Burgess Hill and continued to grow. In 1972 the school moved to Oakwood Road, Burgess Hill and offered additional full time student training for teaching or professional dance careers.

 

The Drusilla Duffill Theatre School will mark  its 60th anniversary in 2016  with a celebrated performance featuring the current dance students aged 3 to 19. The shows title ‘ Dance Upon a Diamond  is  indicative of the opportunity the Drusilla Duffill Theatre School has given to many hundreds of children over the last half century.

 

The school has become a family affair with husband Michael, a former dancer, actively involved in the day-to-day operation of the school. Miss Drusilla's daughter Vikki Harris, who graduated from Merseyside Dance & Drama Centre with distinction, stepped in as Principal back in 1999. Her twin sister Lucy is an experienced ‘Running Wardrobe Manager' in the theatre world and a professional costume designer who was responsible for the design of all of the outfits that featured in the July dance spectacular. The eldest daughter Katy is an artistic Director at Disneyland Paris showing theatre truly is in the genes.

 

Commenting on her achievement Drusilla Duffill says: "The last 60 years have flown by and it is only when we look back at them any girls and boys who have passed through our doors that I recall how long it has been. As Artistic Director of the Drusilla Duffill Theatre School I am very proud of our history, our present achievements and our undoubted future in encouraging young people to dance."

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