All the tutors and artists involved in training our students have rich professional histories as performers and educators.
“The student and tutor relationship at Wac Arts is beautiful. Students are given the pastoral care and life skills to thrive”
Sheila Attah, Wac Arts Tutor and Dance Professional
The Diploma Principal and Wac Acts Chief Executive
Karen Napier: Dance Specialist
Karen trained originally as a dancer, moving to London to study Performing Arts, before a professional career working in national and regional theatre, film and television. Karen took her first management role at Rambert Dance Company in 1992 working with Christopher Bruce as Artistic Director. In 1999 Karen joined Southbank Centre, where she led the £111m Transformation Campaign which enabled the re-opening of the Royal Festival Hall in 2007. As a consultant, Karen has acted as a strategic advisor for some of the countries leading cultural organisations, for example, the Royal Shakespeare Company, Tate and Northern Ballet. Karen is a trustee of Hofesh Shechter Company.
Key Members of the Diploma Team
Ingrid Mackinnon: Head of Dance (MA Movement: Directing and Teaching, RCSSD; BA Kinesiology, Western University; Musical Theatre, Broadway Dance Center)
Ingrid is a movement director, dance teacher and performer. Her UK performance credits include Tavaziva Dance, Disney’s The Lion King, Royal Opera House, Green Candle Dance, English National Opera and Uchenna Dance. As movement director her credits include #DR@CULA! (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama), Kingdom Come (Royal Shakespeare Company), The Headwrap Diaries (Uchenna Dance – assistant choreographer) and Fantastic Mr Fox (Nuffield/Lyric- associate movement). She holds a BA in Kinesiology from Western University and an MA in Movement: Directing and Teaching from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
Stephen Medlin: Drama/Physical Theatre (BA Theatre Arts)
Stephen trained at Rose Bruford Drama School and is a founder member of Unclassified Arts, a specialist in physical theatre and a regular actor / teacher at the BBC. Stephen has appeared in TV and film productions such as Sweeney Todd, Jungle Run, Pump it up, The Nutcracker, Moth, Amar, Acbar & Tony and Sticks and Stones. Movement Director credits have included: The Young Vic, The Theatre Royal, The Tricycle, The Sheffield Crucible, The Liverpool Everyman, WYPH, and The Hackney Empire. Stephen has been theatre consultant to Nottingham Arts, Physicality and Visual Connection and is currently the Drama Module Leader. Stephen also heads up the Sunday Senior Programme that all Diploma students are encouraged to join.
Cathryn Robson: Head of Singing and Vocal Health (MA Voice Studies RCSSD, PGCHE, CT ABRSM Singing, FHEA)
Cathryn Robson has been providing vocal training to aspiring and professional singers, actors and dancers since 2002. Her vocal coaching experience spans theatre, contemporary dance and musical projects in the UK and Europe. She has taught at the University of Westminster, Trinity Laban, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, The Musical Theatre Academy, Ravensbourne College and London Metropolitan University. Her qualifications include an MA Voice Studies, PGCHE and CT ABRSM (Singing). She is an Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework® and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
“Tutors will help you to discover what you can do and use this to help you develop to the best of your abilities.”
Jade, Diploma Alumni
Sheila Attah – BSc (Hons) Psychology Degree
Sheila Attah is a Dancer and Teacher specialising in Afro-House. Sheila has worked extensively as dance tutor and workshop facilitator, with a specific focus on community and social change, and is the co-founder of Poverty Kickz, a not-for-profit organisation which provides the less fortunate with footwear. Sheila collaborates with Uchenna Dance, working with a variety of dance styles: African, House, Waacking, Vogue and Contemporary.
Heather Benson, an Atlanta, Georgia native, received a BFA in Dance from The Florida State University (USA) and a MA in Culture, Policy and Management from City University, London (UK). She is a former company member of Dallas Black Dance Theatre II, Urban Bush Women and Philadanco! (The Philadelphia Dance Company). As well she has taught the Lester Horton Technique and other dance forms around the world whilst touring with Philadanco! Now residing in London, Heather teaches Horton Technique weekly at Base Dance Studios, serves as a resident instructor for Artistry Youth Dance and is a regular tutor at WAC Arts Diploma and Italia Conti Academy.
David Blake – Horton Director of Artistic material/ Master class Artist/ Conference and Q & A member (BA California State University)
David Blake is an international performer, instructor and choreographer with more than 15 years experience in the entertainment industry. David has appeared in commercials, TV shows, film and print, and is currently performing in Disney’s award winning musical The Lion King in the role of ‘Banzai’ and understudying as ‘Mufasa’. A former principal dancer of the internationally renowned National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica (NDTC), David has toured extensively throughout the Caribbean, United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
Sundeep Saini – Musical Theatre Dance, Choreography (BA Dance and Drama)
Sundeep Saini is a dancer and dance teacher with experience in Musical Theatre, Film and commercial. Sundeep has studied at Roheampton University and at the Broadway Dance Center (New York).
Ben Bennett – Text (BA Honours Drama)
Ben Bennett is an ex- Wac Arts student and graduated from The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in 2001. As an actor Ben has worked for BBC TV, Radio, ITV and at The Birmingham Rep, the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Manchester’s Contact Theatre, The Tricycle and Theatre Royal Stratford East. He recently began a career as a director with ‘Last Man on The Heygate’ as part of the ‘Chavs’ night at The Hammersmith Lyric and ‘Bredders’ for SoundBites at Rich Mix. Among other renowned directors, he has assisted: Paulette Randall (‘Cat B’ and ‘Fences’) and ex-Tricycle Artistic Director Nick Kent (‘The Riots’).
Martina Laird – Text (BA French and Drama and Drama, Webber Douglas Academy)
Martina Laird has worked extensively in the industry as an actor for almost 20 years. Credits include The Royal Shakespeare Company, The Royal National Theatre, The Almeida and the Donmar Warehouse’s award winning production of Othello. Martina is probably best known as the popular character Comfort Jones on BBC’s flagship drama Casualty. In addition to her acting, she has directed productions for stage (Sunshine, Fly Me To The Moon, Glen Gary Glen Ross).
Daniele Lydon – Voice (MA Voice Studies)
Daniele Lydon is a voice and dialect specialist and professional actor. Daniele has trained at Webber Douglas and has an MA in Voice. TV credits include ‘Holby City’ ‘A Touch of Frost’, ‘Lawless’ ‘Bad Girls’. Recent performances include ‘All My Sons’ and ‘Curve’ at The Manchester Royal Exchange. Daniele has taught for Wac Arts for 7 years, and is currently the resident dialect coach for ‘Billy Elliot’ and ‘The Lion King’.
Indra Ove – Text (BA Acting, Royal Centre School of Speech and Drama)
Indra Ovéis an English movie and stage actress who hasworked in theatre with names like Trevor Nunn in Timon Of Athens, Poliakov in Blinded By The Sun (National Theatre), has played Hermia in Robert LePage’s wet and muddy Midsummer Night’s Dream (National Theatre), Henry Fonda’s part in the female version of 12 Angry Men on the fringe and Bianca in Laurence Fishburn’s and Kenneth Branagh’s Othello.Indra starred infilms likeThe Fifth Element, Resident Evil and Interview With The Vampire alongside Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt, as well as doing a lot of short and independent movies both in the UK and the US.
Vik Sivalingam – Director Master class Artist/ Conference and Q & A member (MFA Theatre Directing, Birkbeck; PG Teaching Shakespeare, RCS/Warwick University)
Vik Sivalingam trained on the Arts Council/ Birkbeck, University of London MFA in Theatre Directing and was Director in Training at the New Wolsey Theatre. Vik has worked in theatres all over the UK including the Almeida, the Old Vic, the Royal Court, Tricycle Theatre, Southwark Playhouse, Sheffield Crucible, the New Wolsey Theatre and Headlong Theatre, and has been Resident Assistant Director at the Royal Shakespeare Company. He has worked extensively at drama schools including LAMDA, Rose Bruford College, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Birmingham School of Acting, Arts Educational Schools, East 15 Acting School and WacArts.
Jan Van den Bosch – (MA Acting, RITS Brussels)
Jan Van den Bosch is a Flemish actor for stage and screen. Jan worked for several stage and TV productions, includingthe Royal Flemish Theatre and VTM, the main commercial television station in the Flanders.
Jacqueline Tate – (BMus, Royal Northern College of Music; Diploma, London School of Musical Theatre)
Jacqueline Tate is a singer and actress. Among others, she has performed on Evita’s international tour, as Sylviane and Margot in The Merry Widow, with the London Symphony Orchestra, and in Pirates of Penzance, touring to America with the Carl RosaCompany. Jacqueline has played the part of the Princess in The Phantom of the Opera produced by CameronMackintosh, and as the Head Nurse, covering and playing Bloody Mary,in South Pacificas produced by Ambassador Theatre Group.
Christie Valeriano – (MA Vocal Performance, Boston University)
Christie Allen-Valeriano is a former professional opera singer, music supervisor and vocal coach. After studying at Boston University, she went on to apprentice as a young artist at the Utah Opera and the Santa Fe Opera. Christie is a two-time Metropolitan Opera National Council Regional Finalist and has performed opera and music theatre throughout the US, including work with the Boston Lyric Opera, NYU Tisch School for the Arts, and the BMI Music Theatre Writers’ workshop.Christie is also a credited music supervisor (In the Land of the Free, Mob Films, among others) and most recently headed up the internal music department for the EMEA region of ESPN.Throughout her career she has taught voice both in the private studio setting and in group workshops, to members of NYC’s La Guardia School and singers from all genres, including classical, music theatre, rock and pop.
Upswing came into life in 2004 when Vicki Amedume founded the company to expand her solo work as an aerialist and choreographer. She yearned to explore the potential of circus to tell stories relevant to our society and develop her directorial skills, working with other practitioners and make work that had a broader cultural resonance. Since its inception, Upswing has developed a substantial reputation in the world of circus and aerial theatre. It has gained a foothold in touring networks, festivals, events and the commercial sector with its unique combination of highly physical work that profiled Vicki Amedume’s cultural perspective with her interest in narrative, story and journey. Word of the company’s expertise and professionalism has spread to the worlds of traditional theatre and musical productions where our consultancy services are regularly thought after. A self funded enterprise at first; the company recruited and grew to become a regularly funded client of Arts Council England (ACE) in April 2008, and was made a National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) from April 2012 www.upswing.org.uk
“Upswing demonstrates the real possibilities that emerge when circus, dance and theatre meet and meld.”
Vicki Amedume, Upswing
Kevin Mark Trail
Kevin Mark Trail is a singer, MC and producer, drawing his musical influences from Hip Hop, Electronica, Raggae folk, Indie, Rock, Jazz and world music. Kevin’s first album, “Just Living” was released to wide critical acclaim in 2005. Kevin’s musical collaborations include MC/Producer Mike Skinner (The Streets), Estelle, Massive Attack and many others. TV performances include Jools Holland, Allan Carr Show, Top of the Pops and J Leno.
Professional Development and Contextual Studies
Celia Greenwood – Voice (PGCE, MA Performing Arts)
Celia Greenwood is co-founder of Wac Arts. She has taught drama extensively for many years in schools, colleges and universities, including on the Wac Arts courses as an Arts Mentor, where she gives career advice and support to many Wac Arts students. Celia has also run a number of training programmes in Drama teaching and workshop leadership skills and was the external examiner for the Drama PGCE course at Middlesex University.
Nandi Bhebhe – (Dance, Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts)
Nandi Bhebhe has performed in a variety of shows and venues, proving versatile ability and technique. Credits include: Vocab Dance Company ‘KwendaKwenda’, Southbank centre, ‘Climate for Change’ Fashion show, Fact, Liverpool, Strike Dance, Salsaroja Dance Festival, Liverpool, Cooperative International Netball Series, Sky Dome, Coventry, House of Suarez,’Spice’ Attackalari Biennial Dance Festival, Bangalore, India and National Theatre Live: Fela!.
Vicki Igbokwe – (BA Dance Studies, Middlesex University)
Vicki Igbokwe is the creative director, choreographer and founder of Uchenna Dance, in addition to working as an independent Choreographer, Teacher, Lecturer and Curator with a wide range of educational institutions, people, venues and companies. These include: Kingston University, Middlesex University, The University of East London, Rafael Bonachela, Luca Silvestrini, Jeanefer Jean-Charles, Sadler’s Wells, The South Bank Centre, TanzhausNrw Dusseldorf, Germany, Nike UK, Ireland and Europe, Jack Morton Worldwide, Five Currents and World Wide Shows.
Alesandra Seutin – Artistic Director / Choreographer Vocab Dance – African Dance (BA Hons Dance Studies, Artistic Director Vocab Dance)
Performer, choreographer and teacher, Alesandra Seutin was born in Harare, raised in Brussels and trained in London where she has made her residence. Alesandra’s work has toured nationally and internationally and she has founded Vocab Dance Company (VDC), a company created with the vision of fusing African traditional dance with contemporary dance and Hip-Hop to explore contemporary issues. Alesandra was commissioned to create work for Phoenix Dance Theatre, and has recently choreographed for 12º North Dance Company’s tour. Alesandra has built strong connections with the international dance centre Ecole des Sables/Jant-Bi in Senegal, where she was chosen by Artistic Director Germaine Acogny (‘The mother of contemporary African Dance’) to become the only UK Acogny technique teacher.
Oliver Smart – Puppetry (Bachelor of Visual Arts (Sculpture), Auckland Institute of Technology, New Zealand)
Oliver is a puppeteer, puppet maker, stage designer and teacher of puppet theatre.
The expressed relationship between the performer and the puppet is a central poetic concern within Oliver’s personal performance practice.Oliver is the founder of Folded Feather, a company formed in 2006 to forward the collaborative and expressive potential of movement design within the performing arts and creative industries.
Martha Stylianou – Pilates Tutor, Dance Assessor and Production Choreographer. (OCR Certified Instructor Pilates Institute, Diploma London School Contemporary Dance)
Martha Stylianou trained at Weekend Arts College and the Laban Centre and went on to graduate from The London School of Contemporary Dance as well as the Pilates Institute. She has performed extensively both in this country and abroad with companies such as Ludus, David Glass Ensemble, Lumiere& Son, and Bullies Ballerinas. Martha has taught at a number of London Dance Schools including Central School of Ballet and Lewisham College, as well as running INSET training for dance teachers both in the UK and as part of the British Council cultural exchange in Southern Africa and Azerbajian. She currently runs her own Pilates studio where she focuses on ‘rehabilitation’ and ‘injury prevention’, www.marthastylianou.com. Martha is currently the Dance Module Leader.
Ashleigh Trezise – Jazz (FRSA)
Ashleigh Trezise began her dance training aged 10 years old at Pineapple Dance Studios under the tutelage of West End choreographer Arlene Phillips. As a professional dancer and choreographer, Ashleigh has worked extensively in South East Asia and throughout the UK on stage, TV and touring with recording artists and performance companies. Freelance producing and arts management credits include: Outspoken Dance at Sadlers Wells Wells/Hackney Empire, Festival of Youth Arts, Dance Dialect, Classically British, Dance Showdown and currently dance projects producer for Brent. Ashleigh has studied Mattox Jazz technique directly from Matt and Martine Mattox and has a teaching diploma with Dance Arts International. She continues to travel regularly to France to develop professionally and train with Martine Mattox. Ashleigh is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and is member on the board of trustees for Portobello Dance School.
Che Walker – Text (Drama – Webber Douglas Academy)
Che Walkeris an English actor, playwright and theatre director and the recipient of the Peter Brook Award (Mark Marvin Rent Subsidy Award) for his plays Crazy Love and Burnt up Love. Che’s musical version of Been So Long is a nominee for The Ned Sherrin Award for Best Musical in the Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2009. He studied acting at the Webber Douglas Academy in London and at WAC, and has worked with Edward Bond, Dennis Potter, Philip Ridley, Mark Ravenhill and Ricky Gervais, among others. Ché has taught acting at RADA, Central, E15 and the Arts Project for Socially Excluded Youth, and writing for the Royal Court Young Writers’ Programme, in the Feltham Young Offenders’ Institute, at the Centre Point Homeless Shelter, and for Hampstead Theatre Youth Project.
Diploma Master Class Tutors
Akosua Boakye is a dance artist choreographing and delivering African and Contemporary dance. Akosua regularly works in casting and training kids for The Lion King musical in London West End.
Jeroboam Bozeman (Brooklyn, NY) is a gold medal recipient from the NAACP ACT-SO Competition in Dance. Jeroboam performed in Elton John and Tim Rice’s Broadway musical Aida (international tour in China).
Jonathan Butterell is an English stage director who has worked extensively in the West End, on Broadway, and Off-Broadway.
Mary Hammond is an English singer, actress,voice coach and voice researcher. She was Head of Musical Theatre at the Royal Academy of Music from 1993 to 2012.
Nichola Hytner is an English theatre director, film director, film producer and former Artistic Director of the National Theatre. He directed West End hits such as One Man, Two Guvnors and Miss Saigon.
Carrie-Anne Ingrouille is a performer, teacher, choreographer and director who works closely with ZooNation Dance Company.
Kevin Leo is a singer, songwriter, producer and vocal coach. He has released 5 Solo Albums and founded the label Quirky Soul Records.
Katy Lipson is a young Musical Director, Composer, Vocalist and Producer of theatre. Katy is the Company Director and Producer of Aria Entertainment.
Owen Teale is a Welsh actor best known for his role as Ser Allister Thorne in HBO TV series Game of Thrones, and Torvald in Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, for which performance he won a Tony Award on Broadway.
Aaron Vickers trained at Laban and completed a degree and Masters in Dance Performance. Aaron toured internationally with Transitions Dance Company.
Ché Walker is an English actor, playwright and theatre director. He is the recipient of theGeorge Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright, 2003 and Arts Council England Writer’s Award for Drama, 2003.