Bright Sparks performers & Theatre Agency

Teacher Biographies

 

Marina Rova

Marina Rova is a Ballet Teacher (RAD RTS) and Dance Practitioner (BA Hons) and has recently also qualified as a Dance Movement Therapist (RDMT PGDip). Marina started her RAD ballet and teacher’s training in Athens, Greece. In 2002 she moved to London to continue her studies in the art of dance, on both practical and academic levels, covering areas such as contemporary dance, theory of dance, choreography, anatomy and technique. Marina then entered an intensive two-year vocational Dance Movement Therapy training programme which involved clinical practice in mental health, community and educational settings. Over a period of more than ten years Marina has worked with children, adolescents, adults and the elderly in a variety of health and educational settings promoting movement, dance and creative expression. Over the last six years Marina has prepared students for their RAD Vocational Grades Examinations (Intermediate Foundation to Advanced 1) with a 100% success rate. Marina Rova currently teaches ballet in private dance schools and facilitates dance movement therapy sessions in a Healthy Ageing Centre in South London whilst conducting her post-graduate research towards her MA thesis at Roehampton University

 


Dani Grant

Dani has been dancing in Tower Hamlets since she was a child studying the three principles of ISTD tap, modern theatre and RAD ballet, and excelling in all. She participated in many school shows, festivals and dance competitions around the country, in group, solo and pas de deux. She was privileged to have performed for the late HRH Princess of Wales, attend the Royal Ballet School in Richmond and go on to gain a Ballet Education degree at the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) at the London HQ in Battersea.

Dani holds registered teacher status of the Royal Academy of Dance and is able to enter students for exams. She believes that continuing professional development is important and continues to study in the chosen dance genres offered to her students.


Mandy Montanez

Mandy began dancing at the age of 11 and since has trained under scholarship at some of the best dance schools in the USA, to include; Broadway Dance Centre, Steps on Broadway, Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago and The Edge. Mandy gained a BA in dance from Point Park Conservatory for the Performing Arts in Pittsburgh in 2000.

Having travelled the world as a dancer for cruise-line Royal Caribbean, Mandy moved to London to further her professional career.
Since moving to London Mandy has made a number of TV appearances, these include: “Dancing in the Streets” (BBC1); A large ad-campaign for “Sanex” (UK, and worldwide); J&B’s huge viral ad-campaign; and most recently a £million campaign for “Orangina” to be aired UK Cinema and France.

Mandy has made numerous worldwide TV appearances include “The White House Christmas Tree Lighting” (NBC- USA); “ Higher League” (TV1- Russia). For the “Higher League” programme, Mandy taught a high profile dance lesson with Girl-Band Fabrica (The Russian version of Girls Aloud) and was also interviewed by the Russian media.

Mandy is a highly sought after teacher and in addition to a number of master classes, Mandy has lectured at Bird College, The BRIT School for Performing Arts, and The Urdang Academy. Mandy is regularly invited to Moscow, Russia where she teaches master classes in commercial street dance to Moscow’s rich and famous: This has also included the production of an instructional dance DVD for The Drive Dance Project in 2007.

Mandy’s goal is to raise the profile of dance in the UK whilst expanding what the UK dance scene has to offer, appearing on So You Think You Can Dance and Pineapple Dance Studios.

 


Nikki Kelly

NIKKI KELLY trained at the ROSE BRUFORD COLLEGE where she graduated with a Teachers Diploma, and gained much early theatre experience in Reps all over England, and on extensive tours abroad which included NO SEX PLEASE, WE’RE BRITISH in Sweden, CONFESSIONS OF A WINDOW CLEANER in Zimbabwe and WHO GOES BARE in South Africa. She toured the UK with John Inman in BEDSIDE MANNERS for seven months to rave reviews and is grateful to have worked with some other classic comedians such as Paul Shane, Charlie Drake, John Cleese, Kelly Monteith, Derek Nimmo, Lenny Henry, Julie Walters, Michael Palin, Faith Brown, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, The Chuckle Brothers and Rory Bremner, to name but a few.

Other theatre credits include MEDEA, BLEAK HOUSE, LORD ARTHUR SAVILE’S CRIME, MURDER BY SEX, THE MATING GAME, NOT NOW DARLING, DIG, VOLLEY, SPIKE, THE HAPPIEST DAYS OF YOUR LIFE, SNATCH 69, THERE GOES THE BRIDE, MIXED DOUBLES, THE ONLY WAY OUT & STRIP POKER.

On television, Nikki has appeared in THE UPPER HAND, THE SWEENEY, THE LIFE OF SHAKESPEARE, LIFE BEGINS AT FORTY, THE LENNY HENRY SHOW, THE KELLY MONTEITH SHOW, THE RUSSELL HARTY SHOW, THIS MORNING, THE BIG BREAKFAST, THIS IS YOUR LIFE and STARS RE-UNITED, amongst many others.

Nikki is, of course, known to millions of television viewers for her role as SYLVIA in eight series of the top show HI-DE-HI for the BBC.

At Christmas, Nikki can usually be found playing The Wicked Queen in SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS – a role she has made her own for the past twelve years – or The Wicked Witch in THE WIZARD OF OZ.

Nikki is also a Presenter of Note and has featured in the DUBLIN ARTS FESTIVAL, THE EUSTON ARTS FESTIVAL and the BALLANTYNE ROADSHOW which she compered in French. Her distinctive Voice has enabled her to work extensively in the voice-over field.

Nikki loves sports and is an accomplished Horsewoman, Scuba Diver and Sailor. She is a qualified Teacher of Speech and Drama, which combined with her acting talents, has given her a richly rewarding and fulfilling career.

BACKGROUND

Nikki’s great uncle, SIR JOHNSTON FORBES-ROBERTSON was married to GERTRUDE ELLIOT. He opened R.A.D.A. with SIR GEORGE BERNARD SHAW and SIR HERBERT BEERBOHM TREE in 1904. In 1913, he was knighted for his portrayal of HAMLET. One of the great Actor/Managers of all time, he has gone down in Theatre History as a revered contributor. His daughter, JEAN FORBES-ROBERTSON was famous for her role in PETER PAN.

 


Gemma Sloley

Gemma discovered her passion for the arts at the age of 13 when she joined Brightsparks Theatre School in South London. She began her formal dance training at the age of 16 at Lewisham College, moving onto London Studio Centre where she was awarded a full scholarship. She graduated with a BA (Hons) Degree in Theatre dance. Since graduating, Gemma has enjoyed travelling and dancing across the world with 'Celebrity Cruises', followed by 'Spirit of the Dance' (UK Tour) then 'Spirit of Christmas' (Germany).

In between contracts she appeared in various music videos, events and performance projects as well as teaching cheerleading, street dance and musical theatre in various schools across London. Gemma also works closely alongside artistic director Kate Lauridsen (Dancers for Events) as assistant choreographer for various events and performances in the UK.
Gemma is currently appearing in her West End debut We Will Rock You

 


Matt Stevens

Matt trained at Arts Educational and at his local dance school in Leicester where we took the IDTA exams. Since graduating college he has been involved in the the UK Tour of South Pacific, Aladdin, Chicago, Dick Whittington and Future Dreams Charity Concerts. He is currently in Priscilla Queen of the Desert at the Palace Theatre.

Whilst being at Arts Ed he taught at both the Summer and Easter schools and also at many London theatre schools and colleges. He has also taught for Dance and Cheer 69 and at Urdang, Bodyworks Cambridge, LSMT, Pineapple and choreographed shows at LSMT as well as doing Priscilla and Chicago workshops around London.

 


Ricky Loftus

Ricky started training at Bright Sparks Theatre School when he was 6 years old. Starting off as a part timer, where he realised his thirst for dance and musical theatre.He then went on to become a full time student where he would stay for the best years of his life!!

Ricky trained at Bright Sparks for a total of 10 years and never regretted a single day, his whole live has always involved dance.
Whilst at Bright Sparks Ricky had the opportunity to perform in pantomimes up and down the country, but his favourites being the Hackney Empire where in his opinion the best panto is held every year and always involves the Bright Sparks babes!
He has also appeared in television series such as Footballers Wives and Family Affairs, whilst also appearing in Mizz magazine and other campaigns such as the Banardos trust and NSPCC adverts.
After finishing his training at Bright Sparks Ricky went onto one of the best colleges in the country, Performers College under the influence of Brian Rogers, where he trained in musical theatre, and also again had the opportunity to do what he loves which is perform in musical shows such as "smile" where he gained the lead role as Bob Freelander.

Ricky has just recently got back from a cruise for P&O Australia, where he saw some amazing sights but now has his sights set firmly on the West End. Ricky is delighted to teach at Bright Sparks, and give children the opportunity to do what they love just like he did when he started.

For all his success he thanks his mum and of course Bright Sparks, because without them he wouldn’t have had the best start in this career!


Gloria Berry

One of Ken Dodd’s original Diddy Men, Gloria was first taught to dance by Doremy Vernon an ex-Tiller Girl.  She then went on to appear in the film Oliver with Ron Moody, Jack Wilde and Mark Lester. Other film credits include; The Battle of Britain, Best House in London and Dr Zhivago. She was fortunate enough to be chosen to be one of the first children ever to appear on the Royal Variety Show and was a regular in the pantomimes put on at the Palladium Theatre.

Over the years she has worked with the likes of Jimmy Tarbuck, Bruce Forsythe, Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdinck plus many more, in fact far too many to mention. Teaching is her passion and she is very proud of every single one of her pupil’s past and present!

 


 

Michaela Kelly

Michaela had been in the entertainment industry from day one. Born into a showbiz family she began her career in photographic and modeling work, quickly moving onto commercials and television such as A Touch of Frost, Up Pompeii, The Bill, Casualty, Return to Oz, Absolute Beginners and Deceptions.

The Westend was just a short step away with leading roles in iconic musicals such as Les Miserable and Annie, plus numerous tours and cabaret. But the highlight of her career was performing for HRH Queen Mother in the Royal Variety show with Ken Dodd and Roy Castle.
Michaela also achieved her childhood dream and became a redcoat spending 2 summer seasons in sunny Bognor Regis, where she entertained 1000’s of holidaymakers per week. She now wholeheartedly enjoys running Bright Sparks, teaching children and seeing how they develop into young performers and beyond.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Past Pantomimes

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