Faculty

Lisa Dakin - Founder & Business Director

Lisa has had a passion for dancing and performing all her life. She began dancing at the age of three and dance along with sports acrobatics became her life. After training at Leeds Dance College gaining teaching qualifications in Ballet, Tap, Modern Jazz, National Dance, Greek Dance and Acrobatics, she went on to perform and teach with various professional dance companies including touring with Peter Andre on his very first tour starting at Leeds very first Party in the Park Concert. Lisa spent 6 months teaching vulnerable children dance education in Germany before returning to UK to open her own school. Lisa Marie Performing Arts opened in March 2000 and has gone from strength to strength since opening. In 2017 Lisa qualified as a Special Educational Needs Teacher and now works with extremely vulnerable children alongside running LMPA.

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Laura Robinson - Artistic Director

Laura trained at Phil Winstons Theatreworks and upon graduating gained her first professional contract as a Dancer and Aerialist in a renowned circus touring Italy. She then took on her first ship contract aboard Japanese Cruise Line's Pacific Venus as a Dancer/Singer travelling along the Pacific Ocean. Other credits include a 6 month tour in Cyprus performing with an International dance troupe and numerous UK corporate events. Laura also took on the role as a Magicians Assistant and Choreographer for the Spectacular Magic and Illusion show High Jinx performing nationally and internationally.

Laura who is a full member of the IDTA has taught at Lisa Marie Performing Arts since 2008 and has loved watching the school grow from strength to strength into what it is today. 

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Gabrielle Layla Russell - Artistic Director

Gabrielle Layla from York graduated from Performers College in 2012 where she studied on a full scholarship in Musical Theatre and Dance.

Since graduating she has been lucky enough to combine her passion for travel and performing, working professionally all over the world. Gabrielle has worked on both MSC and Costa cruises as a production dancer, other credits include a 7 month tour around the Spanish islands performing as a featured singer/dancer and also appearing in many corporate events and gigs around Europe.
Gabrielle has been working as full time freelance dance teacher for the past three years. She is honoured to be part of the LMPA family.

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Evie Salkeld - Teacher

Evie starting dancing when she was 3 years old with the Lisa Marie school training in all genres and taking IDTA exams up to Advanced 1. In 2016 Evie moved to Nottingham to train for 4 years at MADD College on the Professional Musical Theatre diploma course and graduated in June 2020 with a distinction. Evie has been teaching since 2014 and is excited to be back teaching regularly and inspiring the next generation of LMPA performers. Miss Evie will be covering all genres of classes and putting her recent Acrobatic Arts qualifications into good practice with a number of Acro classes of all ages and abilities.

Evie runs our Tadcaster branch at the Riley Smith Hall, welcoming many new faces to the LMPA family.

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Jessica Margaret hutchinson - Teacher

Jess started dancing with Lisa Marie Performing Arts at the age of 3 and has loved growing up in such an inspiring school! She has taken IDTA exams in ballet, tap and modern jazz up to Advanced 1, and has been part of the Lisa Marie Dance Company, dancing in competitions nationally. Jess took her passion for performing into her secondary school, receiving an A* in A-level drama and taking lead roles in their musical productions, as well as being the head choreographer. Jess has just started her next adventure joining The Arden School of Theatre where she will commence her BA Degree in Musical Theatre. 

Jess will be in and out of the LMPA studio and is thrilled to be part of the teaching faculty, giving her the opportunity to share her great enthusiasm for performing with the current students of LMPA. She is currently working towards her IDTA pre-associate teaching qualification and has taken part in various teacher training programs since she began assisting in classes. 

Evy Simpson - Acro Teacher

Evy started dancing at 13 years old and did the majority of her training at Nadine’s Dance Company and Adele Taylor School of Dance until moving onto full time training at Bodywork College in Cambridge where she graduated with a level 6 diploma in Dance and Musical Theatre. 

Evy is very excited to be specialising and teaching Acro at LMPA and can’t wait to see what she can achieve with all the students.

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