All our teachers are fully qualified and CRB checked

Sarah Simmons RAD RTS, AISTD, ALAM, Member IDTA

Sarah trained at Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts and later qualified with the Royal Academy of Dance. After 5 years as a freelance teacher, Sarah founded her own school in 1990 with just 10 pupils. In 1993 she took over Twickenham Academy from the late Miss Roberts and from small beginnings the school now has over 300 pupils. Having been approached by the Royal Academy to train for examining, Sarah chose to dedicate her time to her school but hopes to revisit the opportunity in the near future. Sarah is constantly furthering her knowledge with training courses and has recently completed a series of professional development seminars at the Royal Ballet School.

Charlotte Barker DDE

Charlotte began her dance training at the age of 3, being one of Sarah’s very first pupils at Twickenham Academy. Following in Sarah’s footsteps, she went on to win a Dance and Drama Award to attend the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre

Arts, where she graduated with a Higher National Diploma in Dance and Musical Theatre. Since graduating, she has focused on gaining her ISTD teaching qualifications in Ballet, Tap and Modern and continues to further her teaching qualifications.

Charlotte has been teaching at Twickenham Academy for over 10 years now and thoroughly enjoys giving back her love of performance to her pupils.

Louise Thomas DDE

Louise started her dance training at Twickenham Academy and then later went onto complete her training at Millennium Performing Arts and The Centre Performing Arts College. Upon graduation from The Centre Louise gained a Professional Diploma in Performance and her ISTD Teaching Qualifications in Ballet, Tap and Modern.

Roberta McClelland

Roberta trained with the Gillian Cartwright School of Dance on the Isle of Wight, was a Senior Associate of the Royal Ballet School and finalist for Young Dancer of the Year in 1999. She went on to train professionally at English National Ballet School, before continuing her studies at the Royal Academy of Dance where she graduated in 2005 with a 1st class degree in the Art and Teaching of Ballet.

Roberta is an appointed RAD Examiner and distance learning tutor on the RAD CBTS and DDTS programmes for trainee teachers. She also conducts courses on behalf of the RAD CPD and training departments throughout the UK and abroad. She has previously tutored on the RAD BABE, PDTC, PDPTC and LRAD courses as well as freelance teaching for Allied Schools of Dance, Susan Robinson School of Ballet, West London School of Dance, The Ballet School Notting Hill, Arts Educational School and Urdang Academy in London – among others.

Lia Given

Lia began dancing at the age of 3 at Twickenham Academy and then went on to train professionally at Laine Theatre Arts where she graduated with a diploma in Musical Theatre.

Lia is currently at London’s Victoria Palace Theatre with the cast of Hamilton. Her previous theatre credits include Assistant Choreographer for Sunny Afternoon (UK tour), Assistant Choreographer for Spamalot (English Theatre, Frankfurt), Dance Captain in Sunny Afternoon (Harold Pinter Theatre) Assistant Dance Captain in Wicked (UK tour), Viva Forever! (Piccadilly Theatre). Television credits include The Crown, Olivier Awards (2012 and 2015) and League of Their Own. Radio and corporate credits include Magic of the Musicals (Royal Albert Hall) and a private event for Rob Ashford and Baz Luhrman.

We are extremely proud of Lia’s achievements and are delighted that she continues to help choreograph numbers for Twickenham Academy festivals and shows and inspire our pupils.


Twickenham Academy of Dance (the school) collects, stores and uses personal data within the category of “legitimate interests”.

Names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of parents and pupils are required for the school to properly function and therefore provision of such details are a condition of enrolment.

In addition any medical conditions must be advised.

Having supplied your details, on a day to day basis your information will, in the main, be used for the following:

Whilst supply of full contact details is compulsory, the school will allow you to refuse permission of photography of your child. Permission is granted or denied on enrolment and is deemed to be ongoing. If at any stage you would like to update this permission, please email

Information is required and kept by the school for the duration of a pupil’s attendance and thereafter for a period of no longer than seven years. We are always keen to maintain relationships with alumni, especially those who go on to professional performing arts training. In such cases we may request a prolonged saving of your details.

If your child is entered for examinations, their personal data will need to be shared with the relevant board, currently these include Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) and Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) and International Dance Teachers Association (IDTA).

We do not and will never sell or share your personal data to any third party for marketing purposes.

Any information submitted via our website is regularly cleaned and will be held within its content management system for no longer than six months.

At any time you may contact the school to ask what information is being held by emailing

With the ‘Right to be Forgotten’ you may request deletion of your details from all methods of contact. We do reserve the right to hold details on invoices for accounting purposes for the minimum required period of three years. Please note that deleting your information will mean your child can no longer attend the school.

Twickenham Academy of Dance
The Studio
Haliburton Road

Last updated 20 November 2019.