Our Team


Loraine Campbell Principal - AISTD (Diploma) Ballet, Tap and Modern,
Acrobatic Arts Instructor

Loraine, originally from Belper, was trained by Hilda Davies where
she started dancing at the age of 5. She later went on to complete
her teacher training at Bojangles Lichfield. As well as a busy teaching
schedule Loraine has Choreographed many pantomimes and
musical theatre productions in the East Midlands over the years both
amateur and professional. These include Chicago, Barnum, Anything
Goes, Jesus Christ Superstar, Carmen, Funny Girl and many more.
Loraine has also performed in many Musicals and Pantomimes, her
favourites including West Side Story and Seven Brides for Seven
Brothers where she played Ruth, one of the Brides. In June 1996,
Loraine set up First Stage Dance and Theatre Academy in a tiny
Scout Hut in Chaddesden, Derby, with a handful of students. The
school grew from strength to strength and in 2005 Loraine moved the
school to its own premises on Jubilee Business Park. Over the years
Loraine has choreographed hundreds of winning competition
routines, and has won numerous overall/runner up Teachers Awards
at Dance Festivals, as well as highest marks of the festival awards for many dances. Loraine has put hundreds of pupils through ISTD examinations over the years all passing with excellent marks which show her hard work and dedication to all her students and the school as a whole. After recently celebrating its 21st Anniversary Loraine can't wait to see what the future holds for First Stage as the school is improving year on year.

Senior Teacher

Laura Clare- AISTD (Diploma) Ballet, Tap and Modern,

Acrobatic Arts Instructor

Laura Graduated from Performers College in Essex in 2013
qualifying with a level 6 Diploma in Musical Theatre. Whilst at
Performers college Laura also gained her teaching qualifications to
teach the ISTD syllabus. Laura's passion for dance and musical
theatre started at the very early age of 4 when she began to attend
her local dance school. Her passion for dance grew stronger when
she progressed to become a vocational dancer at Abbots Bromley
school for girls. She went on to appear in many shows including a
pantomime at Stafford gatehouse & English youth ballet appearing
at both Stoke on Trent and Wolverhampton (where she achieved a
commendation for her pointe work), She also appeared in the
Musical “The Producers” at the Regent theatre in Stoke on Trent.
Before becoming employed as a professional dancer with Warner
Leisure hotels, Laura appeared in a number of music videos,
pantomimes, TV adverts, fashion shows and also on TV with the
Eastenders cast for Children in Need. Laura currently works for a
number of Clients including Schools, Nurseries and pre Schools where her infectious teaching of Dance & Musical Theatre encourages children of various ages to take an interest and progress their abilities.Laura started working at First stage in September 2015 presenting classes in the evenings and on Saturdays. She is eager to share her passion for dance and musical theatre with everyone who she teaches.

Senior Teacher

Natasha Maguire DDI & DDE Ballet,Tap, Modern

Natasha is a fully qualified dance teacher and
holds three DDE’s in ISTD ballet, tap and
modern. Natasha began training at the age of
3 in Ireland in Frances Ryan school of dance.
Within training in Frances Ryan School of
Dance, Natasha had various roles including
teacher assistant and dance captain when
she was a senior student within the school.
Natasha then decided to train professionally
and begin her training in Merseyside Dance
and Drama Centre. Here is where she trained
for 3 years and completed her DDE’s and
vocational exams in ISTD, up to advance 2 level. In these three years Natasha gained a
lot of teaching experience in various different schools, one including Jelli studios in
Liverpool. Recently Natasha has just completed a years contract of working abroad in
Luxembourg, here she taught a variety of age groups, not only in ISTD Syllabus but also
in Hip Hop, Jazz, Contemporary and Musical Theatre. Natasha is an enthusiastic and
inventive young dance teacher who will teach with an upbeat and positive attitude and
became a member of the First Stage Teaching team during August 2017. Natasha
teaches First Stage students across all disciplines during weekday evenings and all day


Stephanie-Louise Higham DDI & DDE Ballet, Tap, Modern

Having danced from the age of 3, Stephanie furthered her
training at Centre Pointe Vocational Dance College in
Manchester, where she graduated with a Vocational Diploma
and completed her ISTD Teaching Qualifications in Ballet, Tap
and Modern.Stephanie was thrilled to receive her first
professional contract straight after graduation, where she made
her debut with Princess Cruises. After 4 successful years with
the company, having the opportunity to travel the world and
perform in professionally choreographed shows, on one of
Americas biggest cruise lines, Stephanie has now accepted a
contract with Disney Tokyo, to which she is excited to start a
new chapter in her dance career. When Stephanie is home she
is very passionate about teaching and sharing her experiences,
in hopes to inspire young dancers. Stephanie has been a
regular teacher at First Stage for two years preparing students
for examinations and providing choreography for many festival

Teacher - Jazz

Reema Rose Udeshi BA (Hons) Dance and QTS

Reema’s training started at the age of 4 at the Allesley
School of dance and later at Gemini dance academy
Coventry. She studied all disciplines taking part in many
Exams, festivals and showcases. She also danced
professionally with a Dance/cheer squad from the age of
12 to 19. Reema has also performed at many prestigious
places and events over her career including regular
sporting fixtures, corporate events and TV appearances.
SMTV, Noels house party, The London Palladium, Theatre
Royal, The Motor show and Max power show NEC.
Coventry football, basketball, speedway, stock cars, ice

hockey. She was also involved in many Cheerleading competitions UKCA and Future Cheer,
representing my squad and also the UK in dance teams. These opportunities have given Reema a great experience and passion for performance, something she’s very keen to share with the students at First Stage. Her enthusiasm for Dance lead her to study Performing Arts and Dance at college, then to the University of Derby where Reema graduated with a BA Honours in Dance. This lead Reema to complete her Teacher training (PGCE) and is now a qualified Dance Teacher at a Performing Arts specialist school in Nottingham. Reema teaches all Key stages including GCSE and Advanced Level Dance. I’m registered as an examiner for the AQA and also have an Achievement coordinator role within the school. Reema came to First stage firstly as a student 10 years ago. Again studying all disciplines to Advanced 2 level and performing in many shows and festivals. She now teaches Jazz at First Stage and strives for high levels of enjoyment and results in class.


Olivia Lindley DDI & DDE Ballet, Tap, Modern

Olivia Lindley graduated from Centre Pointe Vocational College
in 2015. Dancing has been her hobby since the age of 3 when
she started classes at Gee Cross School of Dance in Tameside,
performing in annual showcases held at Hyde Little Theatre and
taking part in competitions throughout Greater Manchester. The
stage became her second home; Olivia loved performing in front
of an audience and soon realised that she wanted to fulfil a
professional career in dance, hence completing a 3 year
professional Dance and Musical Theatre course at Centre
Pointe. This also enabled her to gain DDI and DDE teaching
qualifications for ISTD tap, ballet and modern, with over 4 years
of teaching experience Olivia has learnt how rewarding it is to
see young dancers she has taught improve and progress. When
she is home form her professional dance contracts Olivia finds it

is always a pleasure to return to teach at First Stage and see how everyone has developed and
blossomed as young dancers. Olivia is currently performing on board the Costa Atlantica cruising
around Asia.


Melissa-Jayne Highman DDI & DDE Ballet, Tap, Modern

Melissa started to dance at the age of 3.
Her passion kept her dancing to 16 years
old where she then wished to persue a
career in dance and therefore went on to
study at Centerpointe Vocational College
for 2 years followed by 1 year at Ellite
Studios. Across these 3 years she gained
her ISTD Teaching Qualifications in
Ballet, Tap and Modern. Melissa found a
new love for teaching and choreography
when she started teaching at First Stage
in 2013. At 19 years old Melissa
managed to successfully auditon for
Royal Caribbean Cruises, where she
continues to grow as an artist with America’s biggest Cruise Line travelling the
world. When Melissa is back from her contracts she continues to teach her at
First Stage.

Student Teacher 

Neve Alexandra Campbell Level 6 Diploma in Professional Musical Theatre and Acrobatics Arts Certified Instructor

Neve Alexandra started dancing just before her 2nd birthday at
First Stage Dance and Theatre Academy in 1999. Throughout her
competition days she won numerous medals and trophies, winning
Age Aggregates and Adjudicators Awards on a regular basis as
well as being chosen as a Bursary Finalist on many occasions. At
the age of 10, Neve gained places to attend associate
programmes at Elmhurst School of Dance every Saturday and The
Hammond School where she gained a full scholarship to attend
one Sunday a month. At the age of 11, Neve successfully
auditioned for a vocational place at the Elmhurst School of Dance
to commence full time training in September 2009. Neve was 1 of
12 girls selected to attend the school and was awarded an MDS
funding award. However, she decided to continue at First Stage
until 2011 when she moved to Hertfordshire to begin full time
training at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts where Neve
studied for 3 years. In 2014, Neve auditioned for The Urdang
Academy, Performers College and Bird College where she was
offered places to complete a Level 6 National Diploma in
Professional Musical Theatre. Neve decided to take her offer from
The Urdang Academy, London, with a scholarship award and
Graduated in June 2017. In the Summer of 2016 Neve signed with
her agency, Link Talent. So far in Neves' Career she has performed with The National Youth Ballet of
Great Britain 4 times, English Youth Ballet 7 times including the lead role of Clara in the Nutcracker at the age of 13, Paul Holman Associates Pantomimes 7 times, Bill Kenwright LTD's tour of Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Big Adventures Production of A Midsummer Night's Dream and she has most recently performed as a backing dancer behind Zara Larsson on the BBC Music Awards 2016. Neve is Advanced 2 level in RAD Ballet and ISTD Tap and Modern, as well as completing her gold medal in ISTD Jazz and LAMDA Musical Theatre where she gained high Distinctions. She is also a qualified Acrobatic Arts Instructor. Neve is currently studying for her DDE exams in Modern, Tap and National to become a fully qualified ISTD Dance Teacher. At First Stage Neve has choreographed many winning dances for our Competition Team.

Head of Singing and Musical Theatre - Contemporary  

Lucy Adams BA (Hons) Dance

Lucy has danced for many years in a wide variety of styles and gained her degree in
Dance from Demontfort University. Her performance experience includes: cabaret
entertainment as part of a dance troupe, performing for the delegates at the
Headmaster’s Conference in both Manchester and Derby, Dancer for I'll Defined's
music video Hit That Floor. Alongside her dancing Lucy trained as a vocalist. She has
performed as part of a Jazz and Pop band across the UK for private and corporate
events. Lucy has now been teaching Musical Theatre and Dance for over ten years
across the East midlands. Lucy has been teaching at First stage for 9 years now and is
a fantastic asset to the school with award winning Musical theatre dances and
outstanding results for the students in LAMDA Musical Theatre examinations. She
also continues to coach our students for Auditions with great success and has recently
taken over teaching of our CONTEMPORARY DANCE classes.

Head of Drama and Acting

Nicholas Furlong BA (Hons) Applied Performance (Community & Education)

Nicholas trained at Birmingham School of Acting studying applied
performance (community and education), graduating with a First
Class BA (Hons) degree. He originally trained at The Melton
Academy of Arts, completing a National Diploma in Acting followed
by a HNC in Performing Arts, specialising in acting technique,
professional practice, theatre marketing and scriptwriting. This time
also included freelance theatre marketing work, in which time
Nicholas is proud to have broken box office records. Having been
acting and performing from a very early age Nicholas has also built
up a wealth of experience teaching drama, including time spent
teaching in the U.S.A. He has taught in various schools in the region
and ran workshops for a number of clients. Nicholas is additionally
trained and experienced in working with Special educational needs
and has utilised this in a number of roles and projects. He has
extensive experience of acting for both stage and screen in both an
amateur and professional capacity. He has applied his trade as an
Actor, Musical Theatre performer, Director, Writer and Musician to
notable success, having previously ran a youth theatre and
managed children's holiday activity clubs, on top of practiced child safeguarding experience as a
professional children’s chaperone. Nicholas also has current experience as drama teacher, head of acting and director and various other roles at a variety of theatre schools further afield across the midlands. Nicholas also has experience as a project co-ordinator and administrator, as well as a number of technical theatre roles including production management, stage management, sound and LX operating and show calling. Nicholas has been teaching at First Stage for over 2 years during which time he has prepared our students for LAMDA acting exams and auditions with excellent results.

Studio Manager

Sally Waldron

Sally will usually be the first person to greet you as you arrive at
the First Stage reception.
A former First Stage student and assistant teacher herself for
many years, Sally is also a dance mum. She has a wealth of
experience and knowledge about dance and the specific activities
at First Stage and will be on hand to field any enquiries and
In addition to covering the Reception desk , Sally will be in charge
of general administrative duties including invoicing, enrolment ,
marketing and booking private lesson or hiring the studios out.

First Gear Dance Shop Proprietor

Julie Dorsett

Contact Julie for any of your Dance wear
needs. Visit the shop at First Stage to order
your uniform, show costumes, exam wear,
festival costumes, dance bags, gifts and
other accessories.

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