The Laird Academy of Dance and Drama | 07816 008969

Ellis Fitzherbert - I.S.T.D. Modern and Tap (Seniors)


Ellis studied the ISTD + RAD syllabuses from the age of 3. After completing her examinations up to the Advanced level she continued her dance education at Italia Conti Arts Centre where she attained a DDI certificate in both Tap and Modern Theatre. Ellis has recently taken her DDE Tap and Modern at Dance Teachers Inc all the while teaching at 4 different professional dance schools during the week.


Alongside this she appeared in numerous professional productions. These include the UK tour of Evita, Spiller’s Pantomimes (Junior and Senior dancer), Paper Moon Company (Music Hall at Leicester Square Theatre and Trafalgar Square), Kingston International Youth Arts Festival and the 100th anniversary gala performance of Wimbledon Theatre.


Ellis loves teaching with a passion and the Senior Tap and Modern classes at the Laird Academy of Dance and Drama are a delight to teach.

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Stephanie Mico - Jazz


From an early age Stephanie competed in many competitions, always winning awards and gaining in stage experience. At the age of 11, she became an Associate at Central School of Ballet and went on to complete her training at London Studio Centre, gaining a B.A. Degree in Dance and Theatre from The Jazz Company 2012.


Since leaving London Studio Centre, she has performed for various cruise lines and a contemporary company whilst studying for her DDI examinations.


Stephanie is delighted to join the renowned Laird Academy of Dance and Drama.




Alice Oakley Jones BA (hons) ARAD RTS LRAD


From a young age Alice's passion for dance was nurtured at her mother's dance school. Alice trained in classical ballet (RAD and Cecchetti styles), modern, tap (ISTD) and contemporary. She was an associate with the Norfolk Scholars. Later, gaining a place at the Royal Academy of Dance she undertook her teacher training, BA in Ballet Education and the LRAD Teaching Certificate, whilst also achieving her Adnvanced 2 RAD Ballet and studying for the Solo Seal award.


Alice then went on to establish her career as a dance teacher, whilst simultaneously continuing her professional training under Cuban National Ballet ex-professional Miss Heredria. She has since began to fulfil her professional dance career; performing as a soloist dancer with The London Ballet Company.


Alice has entered numerous children for successful RAD examinations. She has trained advanced students up to a pre-professional standard, some of which have gone on to gain places at established vocational schools such as The Royal Ballet School. She also teaches non-syllabus ballet and contemporary technique, and has choreographed for shows and competitions such as the prestigious International 'Genee Challenge', where her student won as finalist for her age division.


Alice was also selected to develop the education department of The London Ballet Company, which has been an exciting role for her. She believes her current experiences in the professional industry hugely influences her teaching of young talented dancers.


Beth Cooper-Roberts - Musical Theatre


Beth's early training began at The Italia Conti School followed by a further two years of study at The Brits.

She then succeeded in gaining a place on the four year course at Laine Theatre Arts, from where she graduated with a degree in Musical Theatre along with ISTD and DDI  teaching qualifications.

Beth then entered the professional entertainment industry, appearing as Wendy in 'Peter Pan' for two seasons performing alongside Craig Revel-Horwood.

This was followed by eight months touring the Caribbean as a Principal Singer for Carnival Cruises.

Beth is thrilled to have been invited to bring her skills and professional experience to the Saturday Course students at the Laird Academy.


Deirdre Laird (A.R.A.D) - Principal


Deirdre's career has spanned every facet of theatrical performance; a formative training in Brighton led to a scholarship to Arts Educational, London, followed by a scholarship to the Royal Ballet School. Numerous West End appearances ensued including the original London

production of CABARET directed by Hal Prince, THE GREAT WALTZ, PHIL THE FLUTER, MY FAIR LADY directed by Alan Jay Lerner, MACK AND MABEL and Stephen Sondheim's FOLLIES. Cabaret work also included principal dancer at THE TALK OF THE TOWN, principal dancer at the exclusive Savoy Hotel and many Royal Variety performances and shows at the LONDON PALLADIUM. Specials for American and British TV also followed as well as regular appearances in THE COMEDIANS, DANGER UXB, DEAR JOHN and BLUEBELL choreographed by Anthony Van Laast. Film Credits include Ken Russell's TCHAIKOVSKY and Steven Speilberg's INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM.


Deirdre has been the owner and Principal of the Laird Academy of Dance and Drama for over 20 years and the Academy now enjoys increasingly successful branches in both Surrey and London


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Luke Bennett - Drama


Luke is delighted to be joining The Laird Academy to head the drama department. He is currently studying Musical Theatre at the prestigious Laine Theatre Arts, and is working towards a career in West End Theatre. He has recently gained a Level 3 Diploma in Musical Theatre, achieving the top mark of Triple Star Distinction, and has also gained Distinction in Intermediate Modern Dance.


Luke is a passionate performer, having performed from childhood in over 30 amateur and professional musicals and plays. Memorable experiences as a performer have included Peter Pan (QDOS), To Sir with love (Touring Consortium) Nick in FAME, Link Larkin in Hairspray and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. Luke looks forward to sharing his knowledge, experience and passion for acting with the students of The Laird Academy!

Verity Penn - ISTD Tap & Modern


Verity commenced her dance training at a young age, and became an associate with the Urdang Academy at the age of 14. She continued on the full-time course, graduating in 2010 with a National Diploma in Professional Dance. Verity has also studied at Italia Conti Arts Centre, gaining her ISTD teaching qualifications in Ballet, Tap and Modern. More recently, Verity has furthered her teacher training and has gained Licentiate Tap and Modern qualifications.


Professionally, she performed for two years with Co_Motion, a contemporary ballet company, which proved a valuable and most enjoyable experience. Verity is delighted to have been invited to join the teaching staff of the Laird Academy and hopes that her knowledge and passion for dance will be passed on to the students so as to further devlop and enhance their understanding of performance technique

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