EXAMINER I.S.T.D Classical Ballet
RAD Registered Teacher
Adjudicator British Federation of festivals
and All England Dance.
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.
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 Mat, Reformer
Studio Comprehensive Qualified and Mentor .
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.
“ 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"
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!
Diploma Drusilla Duffill Theatre School
Diploma Pre School Practice
Role in school: 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.
DDE Diploma in Dance Education Classical Ballet
A Level Dance
Diploma Royal Ballet School Winner of The Arnold Haskell Award
Royal Ballet Company and Birmingham Royal Ballet Corps de ballet
Ex Professional Dancer
Soloist with The European Ballet Company.
Role in School: Classical Ballet Teacher
Early Training: Junior, Mid and Senior Associate of The Royal Ballet School
June Mitchell, Elizabeth Hodgson, Jacqueline Storey Theatre School, Shandy Stage School
Vocational Training: The Royal Ballet Upper School (Winner of The Arnold Haskell Award in 1994)
Professional Experience: Whilst a student at The Royal Ballet Upper School I performed with both The Royal Ballet Company and The Birmingham Royal Ballet, as a member of the Corps de Ballet, in Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Cinderella, La Bayadere and A Midsummer Nights Dream. Soloist with The European Ballet.
Current Interests: Spending time with my family, going to the Theatre, Dancing, Skiing, Travelling.
“Having the opportunity to grow as a teacher, whilst the students grow as dancers is a very fulfilling experience.I feel privileged to be able to share my love of Ballet with the students, and am always very proud of all that they achieve. I'm looking forward to developing my teaching skills in the future, and the next DDTS show”.
Diploma in Dance Education
RAD Registered Teacher Status,
Level 6 Diploma in Dance Pedagogy
Role in school: Junior and 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".
BA(Hons) in Dance & Theatre Performance.
ISTD Licentiate in Ballet, Modern and Tap. Body Control Pilates Teacher.
Ex Professional Dancer
Role in School: Senior Modern and Tap Teacher
Early Training: Drusilla Duffill Theatre School
Vocational Training: Bird College first-class honours degree in Dance and Theatre Performance.
Professional experience: Production Dancer and Dance Captain for ten years, which allowed her to work with a variety of choreographers and to travel extensively throughout the world.
Charis also enjoys guest tutoring and choreographing for Dance2Advance in Burgess Hill, The Karen Dempsey School of Dance in Guernsey, and Sussex Youth Ballet Company.
Charis is particularly passionate about teaching tap dance, and has recently had the opportunity to study further in New York. She is looking forward to sharing what she has learnt with the students at DDTS, and to start preparations for this year’s show.
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."
Diploma Margaret Howard Theatre College
DDE Diploma in Dance Education
Modern , Tap and Ballet
Role in school: 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.”
Module 1 Certified Acrobatic Arts Teacher,
Degree in Neuroscience BSc 2:1
DDE Diploma in Dance Education (Modern)
Role in school: Acrobatic Arts Teacher
Early Training: Drusilla Duffill Theatre School
University: Sussex University
Professional or current theatrical experience: Part of tap group ‘Taptastik’ that reached the semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent in 2017.
Current Interests: Trainee Chartered Accountant, adult gymnastics, walks in the countryside, going to see musicals and spending time with my family and friends.
“Having decided not to pursue a professional dance career I went to Sussex University to complete a degree in Neuroscience. During my time here I took up competitive cheerleading. I competed recreationally at both a regional and national level for 6 years and developed a keen interest in the acro and tumbling side of the sport. Wishing to develop these interests further led me to find the Acrobatic Arts syllabus which fuses these acrobatic moves artistically with dance.
I have always been passionate about teaching and helping others. As a dance student myself I would regularly help ‘Miss D’ in her ballet classes. I feel a real sense of achievement seeing students improve and knowing my input was able to influence and help them succeed. I am very excited to be back at DDTS to share the wealth of knowledge I have gained, both myself as a student at DDTS and during my time as a competitive cheerleader. Looking to the future I am about to embark on my DDE qualifications in Tap and I’m excited to gain further skills, knowledge and training as a dance teacher”.
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.
Alyson Hewitt Lock
Pupil Care Manager and Office Administration
Chaperone/Exam Co ordinator
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."