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Collins-McCarthy Dance Academy

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About the Siobhan Collins-McCarthy Dance Academy

Principal and Founder: Siobhan Collins-McCarthy is a Royal Academy of Dance Registered Teacher R.A.D. T.C. R.T.S. (Distinction),
a worldwide Certified Pilates Instructor (Advanced Cert, Level 3), and a Fitness Professional registered with the Register of Exercise Professionals (UK).

Principal and Founder: Siobhan Collins-McCarthy


The principal Siobhan Collins-McCarthy

Ms. Collins-McCarthy's life has been dedicated to the world of classical ballet from the age of three.
She has studied, performed, taught and choreographed throughout Europe and the United States.

1. Her career as a Professional Classical Ballet Dancer began with scholarships to The Dublin City Ballet School, Ireland and subsequently to The Legat School of Russian Ballet, Tunbridge Wells, receiving a prestigious scholarship at age 10.
At the age of 13, Ms. Collins-McCarthy was invited to study under Ms. Dorothy Stevens MBE, and went on to earn her qualifications by the age of 16.
At the age of 16, she was awarded a scholarship to La Manche Academie De Danse Classique, Normandy, France, and subsequently danced with the Ballet De L'Abbaye Company where she continued her training and performed professionally, both as a Soloist and in the Corps de Ballet.

2. As part of her professional ballet training, Ms. Collins-McCarthy was personally invited to train under Marina Pomerantseva, former soloist, corps de ballet, and teacher with the Kirov Ballet Company.

3. Ms. Collins-McCarthy has performed as a Guest Artist with The Sarasota Ballet Company of Florida in the United States under Sir Robert De Warren of The Royal Ballet, and subsequently was invited by Sir Robert De Warren to teach ballet at The Sarasota Ballet School.

4. In 2003,Ms. Collins-McCarthy launched her own ballet school in Santander, northern Spain, having been awarded Distinction in the Teaching Disciplines by The Royal Academy of Dance.

5. In 2006, Ms Collins-McCarthy established her Dance Academy in Harborne Birmingham, West Midlands, United Kingdom after earning her certification as a worldwide Pilates Instructor from the world famous Pilates International Studios, Highgate, London.

6. Ms. Collins-McCarthy has also been engaged as a Classical Ballet Teacher and Pilates Instructor for notable ballet and fitness establishments including The Birmingham Hippodrome: The Cat Momentum Programme and The Professional Development Class Programme; The Birmingham Botanical Gardens; and Ace Dance Company.

Siobhan continues to earn the most recent innovative international accreditations including The Royal Ballet School Inspire Seminars teaching certifications at The Royal Ballet and the Progressing Ballet Technique Programme Teaching Certification accredited by Marie Walton-Mahon.



Ambra Vallo: Repertoire/Pointe Work

Ambra Vallo  

Born in Naples, Ambra Vallo trained at the Royal Ballet School of Flanders. At 17 she became a Soloist with the Royal Ballet of Walloons and the Royal Ballet of Flanders. She joined English National Ballet in 1993 and was soon promoted to Senior Soloist. Ambra joined Birmingham Royal Ballet in 1996 and like all of the Company's Principals has great versatility. She excels in dramatic roles, such as Juliet, Giselle and Roxane in Cyrano, shines as the vivacious Swanilda in Coppélia and Lise in La Fille mal gardée, and the effervescent Titania in The Shakespeare Suite was created for her. Recent creations of great individuality have also included the Wild Girl inBeauty and the Beast, Pimpinella in Kim Brandstrup's Pulcinella, and the high-flying aerial in Faster. Ambra has won a number of prestigious prizes and awards, and is also much in demand as a guest artist in her native Italy. This summer, after five weeks study in Thailand, she became a qualified Ashtanga Vinyasa and Rocket Yoga instructor!

Frederick Ashton: La Fille mal gardée (Lise), The Two Pigeons (Young Girl), Enigma Variations (Dorabella), Symphonic VariationsVoices of Spring and The Walk to the Paradise Garden
George Balanchine: Apollo (Polyhymnia), The Four Temperaments (Sanguine Variation), Concerto baroccoSerenadeSymphony in Three Movements,TarantellaTchaikovsky pas de deux and Western Symphony
David Bintley: Arthur (Guinevere), Beauty and the Beast (Belle, Wild Girl), Cyrano(Roxanne), Edward II (Isabella), Far from the Madding Crowd (Bathsheba), Hobson's Choice (Vickey Hobson, Salvation Army), Carmina burana (Lover Girl), The Seasons('Spring'), ChorosDance House and David Bintley and Galina Samsova's production of Giselle (Giselle)
Kenneth MacMillan: Romeo and Juliet (Juliet), Elite Syncopations ('Calliope Rag') and Solitaire (Girl, Polka Girl)
Hans van Manen: Five Tangos
Twyla Tharp: In the Upper Room
Peter Wright's productions of Coppélia (Swanilda), The Nutcracker (Sugar Plum Fairy), The Sleeping Beauty (Aurora), and Peter Wright and Galina Samsova'sproduction of Swan Lake (Odette/Odile)

With other companies: Don Quixote (Kitri), Cinderella (title role), Bournonville'sNapoli (title role), Le Corsaire, Diana and Actaeon pas de deux, Paquita, La Bayadère, Études (leading role), Graduation Ball and Square Dance

David Bintley: Beauty and the Beast (Wild Girl) The Protecting Veil ('Annunciation')The Shakespeare Suite (Titania)
Kim Brandstrup: Pulcinella (Pimpinella)
Luciano Cannito: Te voglio bene assaje 
Stanton Welch: Powder
Lila York: Sanctum

First Prize Luxemburg International Grand Prix; Gold medal Rieti International Competition; Silver medal at Houlgate (France); Positano Critics' Circle Award, 1991, most talented upcoming dancer; Positano Critic's Circle Award, 2002, best performance; Danza & Danza (Best female dancer, critics' award, 2004).

All the major theatres in Italy, including Arena di Verona; Teatro di San Carlo, Naples; Teatro alla Scala, Milan; Opera di Roma; and in Bordeaux and Cuba. 

We are delighted to have Miss Ambra Vallo join the Collins- McCarthy Dance Academy.


Laetitia lo Sardo: Repertoire

Laetitia lo Sardo  

Born in Aix-en-Provence, Laëtitia Lo Sardo trained at Studio Ballet in Marseille before winning a scholarship to the Royal Ballet School. She joined BRB in 1997; First Artist, 2002; Soloist, 2003.

Frederick Ashton: Dante Sonata (Lead Child of Light), Enigma Variations (Winnifred Norbury)
George Balanchine: Agon, Apollo (Calliope), Serenade Theme and Variations andSymphony in Three Movements,
David Bintley: Beauty and the Beast (Wild Girl), Edward II (Tomboy), Hobson's Choice (Vickey Hobson, Salvation Army), The Protecting Veil ('Incarnation'), The Shakespeare Suite (Kate), Galanteries , The Dance House , Sylvia (Neptune) and David Bintley and Galina Samsova's production of Giselle (Moyna)
Oliver Hindle: The Four Seasons ('Winter', 'Spring', 'Summer', 'Autumn')
Kit Holder: Small Worlds
Michael Kopinski: Dumbarton Oaks
Kenneth MacMillan: Romeo and Juliet (Harlots) and Elite Syncopations ('The Golden Hours', 'Calliope Rag')
Hans van Manen: Five Tangos (pas de quatre)
Marius Petipa: Paquita (Fourth solo)
Jerome Robbins: Fancy Free (Passer-by)
Twyla Tharp: Nine Sinatra Songs ('All the Way') and In the Upper Room (Stomper)
Ninette de Valois: Checkmate (Red Queen)
Stanton Welch: Powder
Peter Wright's productions of Coppélia (Swanilda, 'Dawn'), The Nutcracker (Sugar Plum Fairy), The Sleeping Beauty ( Grand pas de deux, Fairy of Modesty) and Peter Wright and Galina Samsova's production of Swan Lake (Hungarian Princess, Cygnets, pas de quatre)

Kim Brandstrup: Pulcinella (Rosetta)
Nahid Siddiqui: Krishna (Radha)

Prix Bourse, Prix de Lausanne, 1996; finalist, Paris International Competition, 2000.

Whilst dancing, Miss lo Sardo completed an M.A. in Dance with Birmingham University and taught ballet for Elmhurst School of Dance, Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Department for Learning and The Centre for Advanced Training.

In 2013, Laetitia assisted ballet mistress of BRB, Miss Marion Tait to rehearse the Birmingham Royal Ballet’s production of “Giselle”.

As a freelance classical ballet teacher since August 2014, Laëtitia continues to teach ballet for the Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Department for Learning, and The Centre for Advanced Training."
We are delighted to have Miss Laetitia lo Sardo join us at the Collins- McCarthy Dance Academy.


Adam Rutherford: Contemporary Dance

Adam Rutherford: Contemporary Dance  

Adam Rutherford is a choreographer, dancer and artistic director of RDC (Rutherford Dance Company) and the award winning RDC Youth. Adam trained at the Laban Centre for Movement and Dance and has gained a wealth of experience in performance, choreography and rehearsal direction around the world.

As a dancer Adam has performed works by Henri Oguike, Ben Wright, Luca Silvestrini, Matthew Bourne, Tamsin Fitzgerald, Hofesh Schecter, Enrique Cabrera, Wayne Sables and Helen Parlor.

Adam has extensive experience as a Rehearsal Director with internationally renowned contemporary companies and was assistant choreographer to Gary Clarke for a pilot project entitled ‘Birmingham Dancing’ which featured in the ‘4 Squares Weekend’ to mark the opening of the new Library of Birmingham in September 2013.
Most recently Adam was Assistant Choreographer/Rehearsal Director for a BBC and International Dance Festival Birmingham (IDFB) 2014 dance film entitled #brummoves

Adam has also been commissioned to choreograph numerous works for children and young people as well as professional dancers, such as South East Dance, North East Wales Dance (NEWDance), Solihull Physical Theatre Group, MK Arts and West Midlands Boys Dancing Alliance.

In March 2013 Adam founded RDC Youth, a professional youth contemporary dance company dedicated to the training of young dancers and performers and the distribution of high quality original dance. RDC Youth is currently supported by an Arts Council England, Lottery-funded Grants for the arts award.

In a mere year RDC Youth has embedded itself in the dance infrastructure of Birmingham, won ‘Show Of The Festival’ for their appearance in the non-youth specific Birmingham Fest and were one of only nineteen companies selected from the UK to appear at the inaugural Commonwealth Youth Dance Festival in Glasgow this past July 2014.

We are delighted to have Adam Rutherford teaching Cunningham based Contemporary Dance at the Collins- McCarthy Dance Academy.


Lucy Evans: Modern Dance & Tap Dance
I.S.T.D. (Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing)

Lucy Evans, Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing  

ISTD LogoLucy trained at Kate Simmons Dance LTD in Warrington and holds the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing teaching qualifications in Modern and Tap Dance. Lucy enters students for examinations with the I.S.T.D.

Having performed in workshops with Siobhan Davies Dance Company and also with the Allegro Dance Tour performing in La Sylphide as well as a full length version of The Taming of the Shrew and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Miss Evans also teaches for Summer Schools in Wales and Guernsey. Choreographing for the Guernsey Dance Festival, Channel Islands and the Janet Cram Competition Awards in London.

Lucy has also participated in Master Classes with Shirley Graham
(The Royal Ballet School) and Jordi Guitart (West Side Story).

We are delighted to have Miss Lucy Evans teaching and entering students for examinations in the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing I.S.T.D. syllabus in Modern and Tap Dance.


Lei Zhao: Guest Teacher Summer School


Lei Zhao Guest Teacher Summer School


Lei Zhao was born in Shanghai, and trained at the Shanghai Dance School and Northern Ballet School in Manchester. Having danced professionally with the Birmingham Royal Ballet Company from 1995 to 2011, rising to the rank of First Soloist in December 2003.
Lei became an MA in Applied Studies in Dance and received the Professional Dancers Teaching Diploma from the Royal Academy of Dance.

Miss Zhao’s repertory with Birmingham Royal Ballet included:
FrederickFrederick Ashton: Dante Sonata (lead Child of Light) and Birthday Offering.
George Balanchine: Apollo (Calliope), Concerto barocco.
David Bintley: Beauty and the Beast (Belle, Vanité),
Hobson's Choice (Salvation Army), Allegri diversi (lead role),
The Nutcracker Sweeties (Volga Vouty),
The Seasons ('Autumn'), Tombeaux (lead role),
Les Petits Riens and David Bintley and Galina Samsova's production of Giselle (Moyna, peasant pas de deux)
Kim Brandstrup:Pulcinella (Pimipinella)
John Cranko:Brouillards ('Les Fées sont d'exquises danseuses')
Milicent Hodson and Kenneth Archer's reconstruction of
The Rite of Spring (Chosen One)
Kenneth MacMillan: Elite Syncoptations ('Calliope Rag') and Song of the Earth (Fourth song)
Peter Wright's productions of Coppélia ('Dawn'),
The Nutcracker (Sugar Plum Fairy, Clara, Rose Fairy,
Snow Fairy, The Sleeping Beauty (Fairy of Honour, pas de quatre, Songbird, Enchanted Princess), and Peter Wright and Galina Samsova's production of Swan Lake (Polish Princess, pas de trois).

Lei has also been a guest lecturer for the International Dance Teachers Association and guest ballet teacher with Singapore Dance Theatre. Guest teacher with Shanghai Dance Academy and Shanghai Ballet Company. Choreographer with Midland Theatre Ballet Company and a member of the Artistic Faulty for the
Royal Academy of Dance Associate Programme.

Lei has also worked with the Genée Dance Challenge Classical Ballet Competition held at Birmingham Royal Ballet and is now a full time teacher at Elmhurst School for Dance.

Miss Zhao also had the opportunity to teach company class at Birmingham Royal Ballet and has been involved in Elmhurst School for Dance summer schools as ballet teacher and choreographer.

Lei Zhao has taught for our Dance Academy 2012/2013 summer school.
We are delighted to have Miss Lei Zhao as guest teacher for our Dance Academy Summer School.


Juliana Moraes: Guest Teacher


Juliana Moraes            Juliana Moraes
Professional Dancers Teaching Certificate, The Royal Ballet School, London


Juliana began classical ballet training at an early age having won scholarships to both prestigious ballet schools,
The Royal Ballet School and The English National Ballet School, London.

As a Professional Classical Ballet Dancer Juliana has Performed in many Ballets with major Classical Ballet Companies throughout the world;
Ballet Capitole de Toulouse, France, Zurich Ballet Company and
The Birmingham Royal Ballet Company.

Juliana has worked under the Directorship of David Bintley C.B.E. of The Birmingham Royal Ballet Company.

Juliana teaches our introductory pointe work classical ballet class including repertoire from some of the most popular classical ballets including:
The Nutcracker Ballet, Coppelia, La Fille Mal Gardee and Swan Lake to name a few...

Juliana Moraes completed her teacher training at The Royal Ballet School and holds The Professional Dancers Teaching Certificate from The Royal Ballet School, London.

Juliana's experience from Performing Professionally gives her the ability to work with our students in a highly knowledgeable and disciplined manner.


Jenny Murphy: Guest Teacher

Jenny Murphy (Birmingham Royal Ballet and The Royal Ballet Associate Programme)  

Born in Hull, Miss Jenny Murphy trained at The Royal Ballet School, London. Having toured Japan with The Royal Ballet School. Jenny has performed a leading role in La Valse in the School performance in 2000.
Jenny joined the Birmingham Royal Ballet Company in 2001.

Miss Murphy also continues to teach The Royal Ballet Associates at
Birmingham Royal Ballet and also leads workshops for both
The Royal Academy of Dance Associates and The Royal Ballet programme in Birmingham.

Miss Murphy’s repertory with Birmingham Royal Ballet included:

Frederick Ashton: The Two Pigeons (Gypsy) and Dante Sonata
George Balanchine: Western Symphony (Second Movement) and Concerto barocco
David Bintley: Beauty and the Beast, Hobson's Choice, Carmina burana, The Seasons and 'Still Life' at the Penguin Café
Hans van Manen: Five Tangos
Kenneth MacMillan: Romeo and Juliet (Juliet's Friends)
Peter Wright's productions of Coppélia (Friends), The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty and Peter Wright and Galina Samsova's production of Swan Lake

We are delighted to have Miss Jenny Murphy join our Summer School teaching faculty incorporating Body Conditioning into our Dance Academy Programme.

Rachael Hester: Guest Teacher Summer School

Rachael Hester  
Born in Nassau, the Bahamas and having lived in Kenya Rachel Hester trained at Rona Hart’s School of Dance and the Park-Grahame Ballet School.

Having won the Cyril Beaumount scholarship to the Royal Ballet Upper School, London. Rachel danced with The Royal Danish Ballet Company from 1988 – 1993. Highlights included representing Denmark at the Eurovision Young Dancer of the Year competition, 1989, in Paris with a pas de deux choreographed by Michael Corder.

Miss Hester performed worldwide, repertory included: 1ST pas de trios in Agon, a leading sylph in Las Sylphide, Cobweb in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Dark Angel in Serenade, Balabile in Napoli and Taste in Thrymskviden.
Rachel joined The Birmingham Royal Ballet Company in 1993 having been promoted to First Artist in1997.

Miss Hester has taught at Elmhurst School for Dance 2004 – 2007 and continues to teach The Royal Ballet Associates held at Birmingham Royal Ballet.

Rachel is also engaged on the Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Dance Track Programme, Department for Learning and has completed a teacher’s course with the Royal Academy of Dance.
We are delighted to have Miss Hester join our summer school teaching faculty.


Ana García: Guest Teacher Summer School

Ana García: Spanish Dance  
Born in Valdepeñas, La Mancha, Spain. Ana started her dance studies at an early age when she attended classes at her local dance school. Ana took examinations in Classical Ballet and Spanish Dance at Malaga's Conservatoire.
Flamenco became her career and Ana embarked on committed studies with some of the great names of Flamenco: Maria Magdalena, La Chiqui de Jerez, Adrian Galia, Rafaela Carrasco, Eva La Yerbabuena in Madrid, Seville and Jerez.
Ana has been teaching successfully in England since 1993 and has a wealth of experience teaching adults and children. 

Ana is in great demand as a teacher and performer and she has been a regular guest teacher in Birmingham, Chester, London, Banbury, Gloucester, Bristol, Nottingham and continues to teach at Elmhurst School for Dance.
At present, Ana has started performing with her new Flamenco Dance Company, "Alma", alongside 'Felipe de Algeciras' one of the best Flamenco performers of our time. Ana currently tours Europe performing and giving workshops both in England and Abroad.

We are delighted to have Miss Garcia teaching for our Academy.

Karen Kelly: Modern Dance Guest Teacher

Modern Dance with Karen Kelly  
Karen began dancing at an early age having studied at the prestigious
Elmhurst School For Dance Ballet School, Camberley, Surrey.
Karen was fortunate to train under David Wall of The Royal Ballet.
Karen continued her training at The West Street School, Convent Garden, London.

Professional performing experience include The Nutcracker Ballet, Paco Rabanne Catwalk, British Gas Oscar Awards, The Clothes Show Live and A Chorus Line.

As a Professional Dancer, Teacher and Choreographer Karen has also Choreographed many Recitals and Performances.

Karen's passion for teaching and choreography has led her to construct dynamic and energetic Modern Dance classes, based on Matt Mattox Technique, encouraging students to grow technically and creatively.

Ian Richards – Pianist

Ian Richards  
Ian Richards is a graduate of Birmingham Conservatoire. He has worked extensively as an opera repetiteur and vocal coach and directed many musicals. Ian is in much demand as a pianist for dance as he is experienced in the nuances of accompaniment for classical ballet classes.

Ian works with Birmingham Royal Ballet's dance track programme department for learning on a regular basis, accompanying both technique and creative workshops for all ages, he also sometimes accompanies company class.

Ian plays for The Royal Academy of Dance Challengenee classical ballet competition held at Birmingham Royal Ballet, Royal Academy of Dance Associate Classes, Elmhurst School for Dance summer schools and The Royal Ballet Associate Programme held at Birmingham Royal Ballet.

Mr Richards is a truly inspirational pianist for ballet. We are delighted to have Ian play for our Pointe work classical ballet class and our Repertoire classical ballet class.


Helen King: Pianist

Helen KIng  

Helen performed Mozart's Piano Concerto No.20 in D minor with the Southwell Orchestra in 2000, and won an entance scholarship to study at the Birmingham Conervatoire gaining a BMus (hons) in piano performance.

Here she was taught by Simon Nicholls, and performed in masterclasses to pianists such as Peter Donohoe, Vanessa Letarche, Vladimir Tropp and Peter Hill. 
She was a finalist in the Beryl Chempin Beethoven Prize and David Brookes Competition and in her final year performed Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 with orchestra in the Adrian Boult Hall. 
She was chosen to work with Birmingham Royal Ballet on the Pianist for Dance scheme. 

In 2007 she began her studies at Trinity College of Music, graduating with a PGdip in piano performance. She studied with Elena Riu and won the Piano Diploma class of the Hatfield Music Festival. 
She has worked as a freelance pianist and teacher in London, playing for The Royal Ballet School, 
London Children's Ballet, English National Ballet School, and Chelsea Ballet Schools. 
In 2006 she gained a position of piano teacher for Borough Music School and taught privately in south east London, before moving to Birmingham. She also accompanied exams, recitals and concerts. 
We are delighted to have Miss King play for our Royal Academy of Dance examination ballet classes.


Asty Allen: Pianist

Asty Allen  

Asty Allen, Astghik Aghuzumtsyan) studied Piano and Musicology at the renowned Yerevan Conservatoire in Armenia (One of the Republics in the Former Soviet Union), having followed a full-time musical education in theoretical studies from the age of fourteen.

From studying at the Conservatoire Asty became an accompanist in ballet classes at The Yerevan School of Choreography.
As the only professional ballet school in Armenia since the Soviet time, they continued the traditions of the Russian ballet school. The repertoire focused on Russian, European and particularly Armenian balletic composers such as Khachaturian.

In addition Asty has worked with Armenian Folkloric ensembles focusing on Armenian composers such as Komitas.

It is a big pleasure for Asty to be able to combine her knowledge in the Theory of Music and accompanying ballet classes, which gives Miss Allen the opportunity to enjoy classical ballet, which she has always appreciated.

We are delighted to have Miss Asty Allen play for our Repertoire classical ballet class and our Pointe work classical ballet classes at the Collins-McCarthy Dance Academy.

Dance Academy

The Moorpool Hall
The Circle
West Midlands
B17 9DY

Mobile: 0789 631 5199
Email: enquiries@ballet-birmingham.com

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