Dance and Drama school

Be Taught By The Professionals

All our teachers are professionals or ex-professional dancers and actors, who have worked in the dance, television and performing arts industries for several years. All are highly qualified and DBS checked, so you can rest assured that your child is getting the best training available, in a safe and positive environment.

Be Taught By The Professionals...

Claire Munday

Principal

My name is Claire Munday and I am the Principal and Founder of RISE Studios, and the creator of baby and toddler franchise Tappy Toes. I am a Mother of two and have been dancing all my life (since the age of three!), so you can rest assured that I have many years experience teaching children of all ages, and an in-depth knowledge of dance technique. Not to mention the life experience of dealing with my two small children!

After graduating from Laine Theatre Arts in Epsom, Surrey, I worked as a dancer for 10 years. I performed with Destiny's Child, KT Tunstal, Catherine Jenkins and Geri Haliwell on TOTP's, the Brit Awards and MTV. Also appearing in numerous prestigious venues around the world including the London Paladium and the Royal Albert Hall. I have danced in countless hair, fashion and trade shows for companies like Wella, L'oreal, Levi, Coca Cola and Marks and Spencers, and TV and cinema ad campaigns for companies including Lynx and Sainsburys.

I also worked as a choreographer for a national events company for a number of years, putting on Fashion Shows around the UK, and corporate gigs in Ireland, the UK and Europe. I was one of the choreographers on the musical 'On Eagles Wing', which toured Ireland and Holland, and was also a featured choreographer on ITV1 show 'First Dance'. I have choreographed adverts for Moshi Monsters, LUMI Jewellery and the Olympics 2012, as well as episodes of CBeebies Nuzzle and Scratch and Teacher's TV, which a number of my students had the opportunity to be a part of.

After 10 years of teaching experience in other schools, I opened up Rise Studios, Watford and Rickmansworth,  in 2006. I hope that my passion and enthusiasm for the school, and teaching the art of dance is infectious and this is paramount to the success of the school, which has grown from just 10 students that first week, to over 450 students!

I am also the creator of the toddler Dance/Movement Franchise 'Tappy Toes.' My mission is to get all children into dance as early as possible, as I truly believe it offers life lessons and not just dance technique!

Mandy Davies

Studio Manager

Mandy is our fantastic Studio Manager. She started working for RISE many years ago and in January 2017 she took over the day to day running of the studio. She is friendly, approachable, thorough, organised and very passionate about all things dance, so you can be confident that you will be kept informed and up-to-date with all the events going on here.

Mandy trained at Performers College in Essex. Since graduating in 2008, she has worked as a dancer in both the theatre and commercial industries. She has also worked aboard the Majesty of the Seas, with Royal Caribbean and toured the UK with Spirit of the Dance in 2008. She has performed in numerous corporate events and commercials for companies including Heinz and Cadbury's, and appeared in the BBC series 'Family Business'. She is featured on the computer game Just Dance2.

Mandy was a dancer in the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics.

Whilst attending Performer's Mandy gained her FDI teaching qualifications in Ballet, Tap and Modern, and has been teaching since 2005. She keeps up to date by attending regular courses with the ISTD, so you know your children are getting current and precise exam training, which is reflected in her consistently excellent exam results.

Jasmine Osborn

Musical Theatre and
Events Coordinator


Jasmine graduated from Performers College with a Level 6 Trinity Diploma in Professional Musical Theatre. During her training, credits included: Thoroughly Modern Millie, Urinetown as well as featuring in annual summer shows Livin' on the Edge, Captivated and 30. At Christmas, Jasmine was a Principal Dancer in Sleeping Beauty Pantomime for UK Productions where she understudied for the evil fairy, Carabosse.

Prior to this, Jasmine started her professional training at Evolution Foundation College, and was also a former member of the UKs best known song and dance troupe, West End Kids, performing all across the country at various venues including West End Live, Royal Albert Hall and Move it.

You will find Jasmine teaching singing and drama on Fridays for our Musical Theatre course. She is also our events coordinator so you may have heard from her over email regarding any performances and shows that we have coming up!

Daniel Gee

Hip-Hop Tutor
ELEV8 Choreographer


Daniel trained at the Urdang Academy and graduated in 2018 with a BH Honors in Professional Dance and Musical Theatre. He has since performed at the esteemed Move It Exhibition at the Excel Centre London and numerous dance shows at the Hackney Empire. Daniel was the main dancer in the Olamide Concert at the O2 Forum.

Daniel’s other talents include Beatboxing, Pop/Rock Singing, Afrobeats dancing and the acoustic guitar, amongst others! We are delighted to have him as the Choreographer for our Hip Hop competition crew ELEV8.

Georgia Watts

Street Dance

Georgia Watts

Georgia is new to the Rise team, having graduated from the Urdang Academy just last year! She has danced all her life, loving contemporary, street, commercial, and achieving high levels of ballet too. Performing on a West End stage at the age of 10, sparked her passion. She decided to train professionally, leaving college signed to an agency and a Diploma in Professional Dance and Musical Theatre.

Her talents also include singing, as well as a passion for fitness! She is delighted to now be a new part of the team teaching street to all ages!

Aoife Hosford

Mini and Junior Street Dance and LAMDA


Aoife trained at Momentum Performing Arts Academy and graduated with a Diploma in Musical Theatre. She also qualified as a dance teacher, with her DDE Modern and Tap with the ISTD. Aoife performed in ‘Singin’ in the rain’ with Showtime, 48 hour at the Adelphi. She has worked for ‘West End Worldwide’, performing in Dubai and Saudi Arabia. She has performed in many Pantomimes, most recently Beauty and the Beast.

Aoife's approach to teaching is fun and energetic, you can always hear giggles coming out of her studio! She perfectly represents the ethos of Rise Studios, being both nurturing and enthusiastic. Her aim is to inspire each mini dancer to perform with confidence, and we are thrilled to have her as part of our amazing faculty!

Chrysoula Antoniou

Ballet and Contemporary


Chrysoula is a fully qualified classical ballet and contemporary dance teacher and coach.
She is certified with the Royal Academy of Dance (DDTS), Vaganova style, Limon style, and Progressive Ballet Technique (PBT).

Chrysoula trained from the age of 5 in the Russian ballet style of Agrippina Vaganova.
After starring in multiple roles with her local ballet school in Cyprus including Juliet (from Romeo & Juliet) and the Sugar Plum Fairy (from The Nutcracker), she moved to Athens to continue her professional career. In 2016, after 3 years of intensive training, she graduated with distinction from the Higher Professional Dance School of Niki Kontaxaki. During her time in Athens, she had the opportunity to work with a number of well-respected choreographers including Marco Pelle (a resident choreographer with the NY Theatre Ballet), starring as a lead dancer in his original creation of Maria De Buenos Aires (Opera).

Chrysoula has a strong work ethic and believes in the importance of self-discipline through dance. Her classes focus on the technique, musicality and mechanics of the body. Through attention to detail and individualized feedback, Chrysoula helps her students to use this understanding of the fundamentals of dance to achieve their personal best.

Sarah Robinson

ISTD Tap and Modern


Sarah trained at Stella Mann, passing her Advanced Ballet, Advanced 2 Tap, Advanced 2 Modern and Advanced 2 National ALL with Honours.

She has her ISTD Level 4 Certificate in Dance Education in Ballet, Modern, Tap and National, and RAD teaching diplomas, and has attended several recent refresher courses to keep her fully up to date with the syllabus.

Sarah has been entering candidates for exams for over 20 years with outstanding results. She is First Aid trained and has attended the Level 1 safeguarding children course.

We are thrilled to have her join us for our ISTD Tap and Modern classes on Thursdays.

Beth Higgs

Musical Theatre Dance


Beth graduated from Momentum Performing Arts Academy, achieving her Diploma in Professional Dance and Musical Theatre, coinciding with teaching qualifications in ISTD Tap, Modern and Commercial.

Her experience in Performing Arts has gained her credible accolades such as performances on Cruise Ships across the world, featured in a Bollywood music video, UK Tour and an appearance on The West End stage.

She is delighted that she is a part of our wonderful team and looks forward to watching the students grow.

Our Patrons
Daniel De Bourg
Patron

The London born actor/singer/songwriter started professional life as a dancer.

Daniel has this to say about Rise Studios;

‘The Performing Arts will always be close to my heart and I am proud to endorse RISE. These precious years training are essential if your goal is to become a professional, and the wonderful faculty at RISE, combined with a young performers own drive and desire will give all students/pupils the best possible chance of achieving exactly that.’

TRAINING
Daniel secured a contract with the prestigious Royal Ballet, and then The Rambert Dance Company, after 7 years of training and graduating with honours from The Royal Ballet School at the age of 17. After 5 years of touring worldwide, De Bourg moved his attention to the music industry and was signed to DreamWorks Records, in Los Angeles, by Robbie Robertson.

CAREER
Collaborations with R Kelly, Max Martin and many other Grammy award winning producers followed, and the 1st single from the project, I Need an Angel, hit the top 20 on the Billboard US chart. Daniel then exploded on YouTube after uploading Drake/Miguel/Usher covers, hitting 50 million views and gaining over 245,000 subscribers to date. Operating completely independently, Daniel created DDB MUSIC and his series of DDB Mixtapes (winner of consecutive ‘Best UK RnB Mixtape of the Year’ awards above Jay Sean, Estelle and Daley’s offerings,) have amassed over 200,000 downloads.

WEST-END
Most recently, Daniel turned his attention to acting and in his very first audition was cast in Disney’s Aladdin, in the West End, where he is currently playing the Principle role of Kassim and in the summer of 2018 landed his first role in a feature film as the leading man. ‘Ghost Tale’ is scheduled for release in 2019.

FOLLOW DANIEL
You can follow Daniel on social media, by clicking the links below;

Tommy Franzen

Patron

Some of you may remember Tommy as the Runner-Up of ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ back in 2010. Since then Tommy has gone from strength to strength in the world of Commercial Dance and Hip-Hop and is a leading dancer and choreographer in this field. Not only did he choreograph the amazing Hip Hop routine performed by Charles and Karen on Strictly Come Dancing 2018, he also choreographed the winners, Stacey and Kevin’s, final routine!

We are so excited that Tommy has agreed to act as a Patron of Rise Studios. Having worked with Tommy back in my dancing days, I know first hand, just what a hard worker and dedicated dancer he is, and couldn’t be prouder that he supports what we do here at RISE!

URDANG
Tommy was born and raised in Malmö in Sweden, and started his dance training there. Before continuing his training at the Urdang Academy in London he performed in various musicals in Sweden.

CAREER and AWARDS
In 2013 Tommy won a Critics’ Circle National Dance Award in the “Outstanding Male Performance, modern category” for his role as Simeon in Some Like It Hip Hop with ZooNation, and his efforts in The Rodin Project with Russell Maliphant Company.

In the same year Tommy was also nominated for The Times Southbank Sky Arts Breakthrough Award and in 2012 the Laurence Olivier Award for “Outstanding Achievement in Dance”.

The following year he co-hosted the National Dance awards alongside Royal Ballet Principal Bennet Gartside. Tommy’s other theatre credits include Mad Hatter’s Tea Partyas Ernest (ZooNation, Royal Opera House and Roundhouse), The Five And The Prophecy of Prana(Boy Blue entertainment) as Wang Tang, ZooNation: Unplugged, Goldberg(Kim Brandstrup, Royal Opera House), Flashmob(Sadler’s Wells), Blaze, Sadler’s Wells, Breakin’ Convention (Sadler’s Wells), Bounceand Insane In The Brain(Bounce Streetdance Company).

FILMS
Tommy appeared in the feature films Harry Potter 4, Mamma Mia!, Mamma Mia 2 – Here We Go Again, Aladdin and Cats.

Tommy’s choreography credits include: Strictly Come Dancing-Some Like It Hip Hop performed by Charles and Karen, earning them their highest score of the series! Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, Blaze, Cher Lloyd’s music video Swagger Jagger and ident The Singer Takes It All with Allan Carr.

Tommy also performed at the Beijing Olympics and Paralympics 2008 with ZooNation assisting Kate Prince with the choreography.

In 2015 Tommy set up his own Production Company and performed a solo called Smile for Sadler’s Wells.

FOLLOW TOMMY
You can find out so much more about Tommy and see what he is up to by clicking the links below;