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Opened in 1996 by its Principal, Loraine Campbell, First Stage Dance and Theatre Academy has become one of Derby’s most successful Dance and Theatre schools.

First Stage offers dance training with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) syllabus which was founded over 100 years ago. This is a well-recognised and respected organisation offering very high standards of dance education. In addition First Stage offers musical theatre tuition (singing and drama) with LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art).

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We offer classes in...


Students are prepared and entered regularly for examinations with ISTD and LAMDA. Both these examining boards have received Ofqual  accreditation for their examinations, which means they are now included on the  Qualifications Credit Framework, providing an equivalence with main stream school qualifications. First Stage is rightly proud of its examinations record and you can view our results on the noticeboard as you enter the studio.


First Stage regularly competes in regional dance festivals across the Midlands and has an impressive trophy cabinet on display in our reception area representing the achievements of our pupils of all ages. Our past success has included East and West Midlands Dance Champions in both Tap, Modern and Ballet.


First Stage provides its pupils with an opportunity to perform in its own shows. These are held at either The Assembly Rooms in Derby, or Derby Theatre, and provide an enjoyable medium for parents, friends and extended family to witness what the pupils have been learning and the progress they are making. The show is a high point of the year for all, pupils and their families, which is extended into the after show party.


First Stage prides itself in giving its pupils every opportunity to perform and regularly has its students successfully audition to appear in professional and amateur theatre productions. These have included National Youth Ballet of Great Britain, English Youth Ballet, Regional Youth Ballet, Tap Attack, professional pantomimes at Derby and Nottingham theatres and various amateur dramatic societies across the Midlands.

First Stage Derby Experience Opportunities - ENB
First Stage Derby Experience Opportunities - Derby Live Pantomimes
First Stage Derby Experience Opportunities - Tap Attcack
First Stage Derby Experience Opportunities - NYBGB
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Many of our students have been offered places at some of the countries most prestigious performing arts schools. Vocational courses at these top institutions prepares students for a career in dance and performance.

Meet our Alumni

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First Stage Derby Alumni - EPA
First Stage Derby Alumni - Urdang Academy
First Stage Derby Alumni - Central School of Ballet
First Stage Derby Alumni - Elmhurst Ballet School
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