Principal | Samantha Bell, LISTD
Sam started dancing at a young age at the Nancy Bates School Of Dancing in her home town of Nuneaton. At 17, Sam was accepted into Doreen Bird College of Performing Arts in London where she completed a 3 year Musical Theatre course. Upon graduating, Sam gained a job as Dance Captain with Princess Cruises and began an 8 year period performing on cruise ships across the world.
In 2004, Sam returned to the UK and began teaching at colleges and schools across the country. ElliTe Studios was established in 2007 and as it grew Sam concentrated on advancing her teaching qualifications in order to offer a Dance Teacher Training course at the school. Sam gained her Licentiate Modern qualification in 2009 and ElliTe Studios subsequently became an ISTD Approved Dance Centre offering full ISTD teacher training qualifications in Ballet, Tap and Modern.
Sam currently teaches Ballet, Tap, Modern, Jazz, Acro, Musical Theatre, DDI & DDE Modern and Tap, and Tutors all of the DDI and DDE written-work units. She is the Managing Director of ElliTe Productions Ltd and the Principal of the dance school and college.
Head of Ballet | Madeleine Jacques, FISTD
Miss Jacques trained at the Angela Reynolds School of Dance, Wakefield, till age 16 when she went to train at Northern Ballet School (92-95). At the age of 16 she took part in and got a special mention in the RAD Phillis Bedells Bursary. She passed her Advanced 2 RAD Ballet with Highly Commended at the age of 16 and Advanced 2 ISTD with Highly Commended at age 17.
At the end of 3 years training at NBS she had her associate Ballet, Modern, Tap and National and RAD Teaching diploma all with distinction and was also awarded Teacher of the Year.
She has since achieved her Licentiate in Tap and Licentiate and Fellowship in Imperial Ballet. Her first teaching job was in Hereford where she ran a dancing school of approximately 400 students for 8 years, many of which went on to full time training at colleges in London. After leaving Hereford she returned to Leeds where she taught at Dorothy Stevens School, SLP and Centre Pointe.
In 2015, Miss Jacques qualified as an ISTD Ballet Examiner, which is a role she undertakes alongside her teaching. At ElliTe Studios Miss Jacques teaches the ISTD Major Vocational Ballet qualifications, as well as DDI & DDE Ballet and Tap. Miss Jacques also tutors the written-work units of the DDI and DDE qualifications.
Fiona Forfar, DDI
Fiona trained at Northern Ballet School on a 3 year course, gaining a Trinity National Diploma in Musical Theatre. Upon graduation Fiona commenced working for Princess Cruises as a Dancer and Dancer / Singer. In 2012, Fiona returned to Yorkshire, where she commenced her teaching qualifications. Since then Fiona has gained her full DDI qualifications in Imperial Classical Ballet, Tap and Modern and her DDE Unit 4 qualifications in Imperial Classical Ballet, Tap and Modern. Fiona teaches all genres at ElliTe Studios, really nurturing the pupils to reach their full potential. Fiona also choreographs a lot of our festival dances via way of private lessons and has enjoyed taking on this new level of responsibility.
Natalie Meachin, DDI
Natalie started dancing at an early age at the Headingley Dance Centre, Leeds. At 18, Natalie commenced on the ElliTe Studios Professional Dancers and Teachers of Dance course, where she has gained her full DDI dance teaching qualification in Imperial Classical Ballet, Tap and Modern. Natalie has also completed her DDE Unit 3 qualification (Lifespan and Child Development) and her DDE unit 4 exams in Ballet, Tap and Modern. Additionally Natalie has her Advanced 2 Tap and Modern qualifications, both with Distinction. As a professional dancer Natalie has performed in many shows and corporate entertainment events across the region. Natalie teaches all genres at ElliTe Studios and is particularly well-known for her exceptional tap dance skills and choreography.
Leah Evans, DDI
Leah joined ElliTe Studios in Nov 2009, aged 12. At the time, Leah had a background in disco/freestyle dancing, but had no prior training in the technical theatre styles of Ballet, Tap and Modern. Teachers at ElliTe quickly embarked on teaching Leah the fundamentals from Grade 1 upwards and via a solid training route Leah quickly progressed through the grades and into the Majors. In Sept 2015, Leah commenced training towards the ISTD teacher training qualifications here at ElliTe Studios and has since gained the full Diploma in Dance Instruction in Ballet, Tap and Modern, as well as her Advanced 2 Modern qualification with Distinction. In Dec 2016, Leah is taking her DDE Modern and Tap exams, as well as her Adv 2 Tap exam. Later this academic year she is scheduled to take her final practical dance exams and complete the full set of qualifications with her Adv 2 and DDE Ballet exams.
Eleanor trained at the McMahon School of Dance and Musical Theatre, and later at SLP College in Leeds, where she gained a Trinity Diploma in Musical Theatre. Upon graduating, Eleanor went on to work in Theatres and Casino’s throughout Europe and Asia. She has also worked extensively as a dancer/model in hair and bridal shows throughout the UK. Eleanor joined Princess Cruises in 2005 as a dancer. During her time with Princess, she has had the privilege of working with some of the world’s leading choreographers such as Danny Teeson, Liz Imperio and Try Christian to name a few, and has performed in over 40 major scale production shows. Eleanor recently had the pleasure of working on board two flagship vessels within the Princess fleet, the Royal and Regal Princess. In April this year, Eleanor appeared on the ITV documentary “The Cruise” in her role as Company Performance Manager while on board the Regal Princess. Eleanor is now is thrilled to be passing on her knowledge and experiences of working on board luxury cruise liners to young and aspiring performers! Eleanor started studying for her DDI Ballet teaching qualification here at ElliTe Studios in Sept 16.