© Gems Performing Arts 2019

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MEET   THE   TEAM

All of our team are highly trained and experienced performers and teachers. Our mission is to provide children with an enjoyable learning experience that they will never forget and where each individual can fulfil his or her potential. All the Gems Performing Arts team are young, local, full of energy and passionate about teaching.

(All teachers covered by Insurance and have a Full CRB Police Check, First Aid & Safeguarding Training)

EMMA   DRYSDALE
Principal

Emma graduated from the prestigious Central School of Speech & Drama famous for producing the likes of Dame Judi Dench! She has performed in the West End at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Phoenix Theatre, Criterion Theatre,  Fortune Theatre and the Royal Albert Hall. Emma has big ideas and dreams ahead for the school. Going to a similar theatre school every single Saturday and every holiday for ten years, Emma understands the importance and the positive effect that Theatre and the Performing Arts can have on a young person. Not just the opportunity to make new friends and learn new skills, but also to learn about yourself and to come out of your shell in a safe and supportive environment. Emma has experience working in Nurseries, Primary, Secondary and SEN Schools, PRU's and Youth Centres.

MELISSA McKEIGUE
Gems Manager
Holiday Club leader & Saturday Manager

Melissa trained at KSA Academy of Performing Arts graduating with the ATCL diploma in Musical Theatre. As a youth, she was a competitive dancer with major successes including ISTD National Set Dance Champion and ISTD Rock and Roll Champion. As a performer, Melissa's credits include the tour of S4K's A Midsummer Night's Dream (UK and International tour) Willy Wonka The Musical (Centrepoint Theatre, Dubai) The Sixties Show (UK tour) Festival Voices- The Ecstasy's Within (Southbank Centre and Latitude Festival) West Side Story (The Savoy, Prince's Trust Gala Night). Her choreography has featured on many platforms including Sadler's Wells, Disneyland Pairs, Shaftesbury Theatre and Her Majesty's Theatre. Teaching allows Melissa to pass on her enthusiasm for performing and with her positive attitude hopes to turn each of her students into a confident performer. When not teaching Melissa works behind the scenes Stage Managing for shows and often fronts London's top Ceilidh band A Licence To Ceilidh both Internationally and at home in the UK.

RACHAEL OWENS 
After School Club Co-Cordinator

Rachael studied Drama at Royal Holloway University of London and trained in Musical Theatre at The Kent Stage Academy of Performing Arts.  She has performed in musicals, live music events and stage plays in London, UK tours and locally at the Sydenham Arts Festival. Rachael has been teaching drama, singing, and musical theatre for over 10 years. She believes in the importance of teaching performing arts to children, as it allows them to grow in confidence, take risks, and have fun! Rachael now runs our sister company Stars Performing Arts Clubs and is in charge of overseeing all our after school clubs. 

scott  turner
Gems Manager
After School Club, Holiday & Saturday Drama teacher

Scott trained in Acting, specialising in Musical Theatre. He has performed in a variety of Plays & Musicals in London, Regional and European Theatres. He has 8 years experience in teaching Acting, Singing and Musical Theatre technique. Scott believes in the importance of these art forms, how they can be used to develop young performers on stage and how they translate/ benefit our life skills set. He enjoys encouraging people to expand their imagination, allowing young people to express themselves and grow confidence in who they are and their abilities. Outside of Gems he uses theatre to engage with those living with dementia & also regularly works with SEN children using drama and music to develop communication. Scott is now in his 3rd teaching for Gems. If there’s one thing you should know, above all else about Scott, he likes to have a lot of FUN!

ELANA    MARTIN
Singing & Drama Teacher
Holiday Club leader 

Elana trained at The Central School of Speech and Drama and has since performed in the West End, UK Tours and lots of plays in the land of Shakespeare. Elana has taught drama and singing for over ten years and believes it is vital for children to have the freedom to express themselves within their peer group in a safe environment, where they can grow in confidence and push the boundaries to discover their abilities.

MICHAELA CISARIKOVA
Saturday Street Dance Teacher

Michaela is our latest addition to the Gems team and already her street dance classes are full! We are very lucky to have Michaela with us, teaching all the different styles of street dance including breaking, popping and contemporary. Michaela is a physical theatre and dance practitioner. In 2012, she completed her first class BA (HONS) Degree in Dance Education at Canterbury Christ Church University. She runs her own dance company, Michaela Cisarikova Dance Company, check it out!

ANYA WILLIAMS
Saturday Singing Teacher & Holiday Club Leader

Anya has lots of experience working with children aged 3-18. She has taught singing for many years as well as working as a TA in a primary school working with large groups of children and one to one. Anya is a workshop facilitator with The Music Workshop Company and The Drama Hut, providing workshops in schools. Anya has a BA in Acting from Exeter University and is frequently performing everything from musicals to opera around London. Anya has a stunning singing voice if you ever get the opportunity to listen to her lessons!  

DESLIE THOMAS
Saturday Drama Teacher Assistant 

We are very lucky to have the multi-talented Deslie assisting with our groups on Saturdays! Deslie Graduated from Drama St. Marys, specialising in Drama and Physical Theatre and has since then she formed her own theatre company, where she wrote and toured a play also acting as movement director and production manager. In addition to this Deslie took on the role as education and participation co-coordinator leading Drama and Dance workshops across various schools and age groups. Deslie has perfomed in various musical concerts, gigs and festivals as a backing singer. Deslie has a passion for Arts Education and has worked as dramaturge for the international dance and drama competition "Rock Challenge" and formed her own Gospel Choir in 2 secondary schools after being a part of PixL Choir for 2 years ran by London Gospel Community Choir.

JODIE   MEYER
After School Club & Holiday Club Teacher

Jodie Beth has been teaching dance, drama and singing for over 5 years at various schools around the UK, (ages 3-18) She is also a care, activity and support worker with learning disabled children and young people for the charity Norwood. This has given her a wide range of experience and understanding when it comes to teaching and supporting all ages and abilities. Jodie trained at Sylvia Young Theatre School and Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and has since perfomed in numerous UK Tours, television, radio plays, commercials, voice overs and has sung at Buckingham Palace!

ANNA  SOBOLEVA
Saturday Ballet & Contemporary Teacher

Anna is originally from Latvia and has a Bachelor's degree in Modern Dance and a Master's degree in Choreography. She has over 10 years of experience teaching ballet, creative movement and contemporary dance to children of all ages, and has collaborated with many choreographers and dance companies. Her lessons are vibrant and filled with positive energy and fun! Anna can speak five different languages!

SOPHIA  SINCLAIR
After School Club Teacher

Sophia is one of our most positive and bubbly drama teachers!  She is a versatile and enthusiastic teacher having studied Drama, Theatre and Performance at Roehampton University. Her CV includes the National Theatre, National Theatre Studio, RADA, Hackney Empire, Soho Theatre,  The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, working with Professor Green and Doritos! Sophia has worked as a TA in many different schools,  PRUs and Youth Centres across London. Sophia teaches a range of creative workshops from confidence-building and communication through drama, conflict resolution, anti-bullying through role-play, dance and cheerleading.