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


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.

Amy Butterfield

Commercial Street

Commercial Street Dance

After training professionally in performing arts at London Studio Centre, Amy continued her training at Pineapple Dance Studios with the legendary Jimmy Williams, which is where she found her groove and passion for street dance!

Amy quickly began teaching and now has over 20 years of experience, working with children and adults of all ages and abilities.

As a performer, Amy's love has always been for the stage and live performance. She combined all her experience when becoming a dancer, Dance Captain and ultimately Resident Director of the international touring show ‘Bounce - The Street Dance Sensation’. Amy then joined ZooNation becoming a creative cast member in the original production of ‘Into The Hoods’.

Amy has taught at various studios and schools including Pineapple Dance Studios, Pineapple Performing Arts School, London Studio Centre, Italia Conti, SoEl Dance Academy, Rise Studios, The Vyne Theatre & Dance Company, Culture Shock UK, and outreach programmes for the MET Police.

Amy is passionate about creating a nurturing, positive atmosphere for children and young people to learn and thrive within. Amy's approach is encouraging, consistent and caring, ensuring every student feels supported and limitless... which is exactly the ethos here at Rise Studios, so we know she is going to fit in perfectly! 

Sarah Robinson

Adult Tap

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.

Sarah's adult tap classes are known for being amazing fun, with a great sense of community. Why not give them a try?

Aimee Hipson

Mini/ Junior Street
and ISTD Ballet

Mini & Junior Street Dance

Aimee graduated last year with a Diploma in Professional Dance Performance from Hamilton Theatre Arts in Glasgow, as well as having trained in dancing, singing and acting from a young age. Aimee recently toured the UK as a dancer in the show 'A Christmas to Remember' starring Janette Manrara and Aljaz Skorjanec, previous professionals from Strictly Come Dancing.

Aimee was cast in Pantomimes in the Pavilion Theatre, Glasgow, at a young age, for three consecutive years. Following her pantomime success, Aimee has also performed in various countries across the world; including as a featured dancer with Dance Illusion (as seen on Got to Dance) performing on live television in Italy on Tù Si Que Vales. Aimee has also performed in various cabaret shows across the UK. As a versatile performer and being committed to her craft, she has trained in many styles across the board; including jazz, ballet, tap, commercial, hip hop, contemporary, Latin and ballroom, which has led to her training briefly at Broadway Dance Centre in New York.

Aimee has also been teaching dance for three years at many different dance schools and teaches various styles including ballet, jazz, hiphop, lyrical, tap and commercial. Aimee is passionate about passing on both her knowledge and experience, as well as incorporating proven skills into developing dancers technique.  Increasing confidence in students for them to apply to their everyday lives and creating a fun and positive space.

Liana Smith-Weir

Teen/ Adult Hip Hop
and ELEV8 Crew

Elev8 and Hip Hop

Ever since the age of 8, I wanted to dance and I never stopped to look back. My training consists of years in and out of any and every dance club I could find, even performing art schools. I used to be in an all female dance crew before studying dance in college. For the last 6 years, I have taught in and around London to those aged 3 all the way up to young adults.

One of my most memorable achievements would have to be the three week dance programme I took in Los Angeles In 2019.

My future aspirations would be to choreograph and perform for inspirational artists.

Alex Bree

Musical Theatre Drama
and Singing

Musical Theatre Drama & Singing

Hey, my name is Alex and I’m so grateful and excited to be teaching you guys very soon! I graduated from the prestigious drama school that is The Urdang Academy (London) with a BA Hons Degree in MT and Professional Dance. I am a professional singer-songwriter and have performed live gigs and Musical Theatre shows since I was 13 yrs old. Recent professional shows include: EVITA UK Tour, Copacabana, Cinderella and UrineTown The Musical at the Bernie Arts Theatre (London). Film credits include: Sedulous and Gone But Not Forgotten.

I am thrilled to be apart of Rise Studios as well as working along side Claire and her amazing team. I look forward to all the fun and magic that has yet to come!

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.

Our Patrons
Daniel De Bourg

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.’

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.

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.

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.

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

Tommy Franzen


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!

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.

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).

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.

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