Lynda Blyth-Phillips – Principal
Miss Lynda originally learned dance at the Grove School of Dance and started her professional dance career at the age of thirteen, when she appeared in pantos at the Ashcroft Theatre, Croydon. After further full time training at The Guildford School of Acting & Dance & successfully graduating in 1984, her career has taken her to many countries including Japan, Israel & Greece. Lynda has danced with various troupes which have included two of her own & has also worked as a Rex Grey showgirl/dance captain touring England with the ‘Peter Jay’s Circus’. Lynda has supplied the choreography & costumes for the ‘Minstrel Stars’ as well as dancing in the shows herself. She has also successfully choreographed many musicals for local theatre groups; her credits include Cabaret, Guys & Dolls, Sweet Charity, Puss in Boots & Carousel.
In the past, Lynda has taught GCSE dance at Rosebery School & BTEC dance alongside Sarah & Elaine at the Priory School, Dorking. She is co-author of ‘Cheer Technique’: a syllabus & qualification for the coaching & training of young cheerleaders. The IDTA bought the copyright of this work a couple of years ago & are still using it for their graded exams.
Lynda is married to Richard and Mum to Adam, Maisie and her first baby Phillomena. She wanted to create a dance school that was all inclusive, full of love, happiness, nurturing and understanding – we believe she succeeded and Phillomena continues to grow, flourish and touch the hearts of so many children. Lynda is immensely proud of all the students and teachers at Phillomena and thanks all the lovely parents that bring their beautiful children to their classes. Phillomena Family – you rock!
Elaine Walker – Vice Principal
Miss Elaine started dancing at the age of 8 at the Gina Van Dyke Stage School in Tolworth, Surrey. Starting her professional dance career at the age of 17, she has toured the length & breadth of England, Scotland & Ireland and even on a North Sea cruise! Elaine also travelled with various dance troupes all over the Greek mainland and islands. She joined Phillomena in 1995 and has been teaching at the school for over 20 years now, as well as furthering her teaching qualifications.
Elaine also teaches classes for Mrs Loraine Hastings, IDTA examiner, at the Carlo Rossi School of Dance, Walton-on-Thames and for the last 14 years she has run her own successful Tots Tap & Ballet classes at the Malden Centre, New Malden with the help of student teacher, Emily Hampton. Until recently, Elaine also taught BTEC Dance at the Priory School, Dorking for year groups 10 – 13 and in the past has choreographed for amateur dramatics productions and taught dance to synchronised swimmers!
Elaine has a lifelong partner Matthew and is Mum to George.
Elaine loves everything about Phillomena – the team, the kids and the very supportive parents who all make up the inclusive feeling of our Phillomena family. She bursts with pride seeing her students develop, succeed and find their love of dance.
Sarah Hastings-Holland – Vice Principal
Miss Sarah has been dancing for 40 years and has been part of the Phillomena for 21 years, being taught initially by Miss Lynda at the Grove School of Dance. She is a Fellow and BCA examiner with the IDTA and a qualified secondary school teacher, Head of Dance, running KS4 and KS5 Dance at the Priory School in Dorking. Sarah is responsible for mentoring and pastoral care of some of their more challenging students. She also teaches health and social care and is Assistant Head of Department.
Miss Sarah also owns The Amareece School of Dance, based in Chaldon, Surrey, which has been open since 2005.
Sarah is married to Andy (our show production manager) and Mum to Ollie and Leia.
Phillomena is like a second family to Sarah and she particularly loves how we nurture and support each other at Phillomena, no matter who we are and what position we hold. Each and every one of the students and teachers are very special people and she doesn’t know what she would do without them.
Miss Wendy has been dancing since the age of 3, originally at the Grove School of Dance and took her first teacher’s qualification many years ago in Modern Dance. She has been at Phillomena since 1996 when she returned from University. Her favourite style of dance is ballet, and she loves to pass on her knowledge and technique to students of all ages. As well as teaching at Phillomena, Wendy also works as an HR Business Partner.
Wendy is married to Trevor and Mum to Alex and Pippa.
Wendy loves the friendliness of Phillomena, especially seeing how well the kids get on with their teachers and how they feel safe and happy in their classes.
Miss Holly started dancing when she was 6 years old at the Grove School of Dance and moved to Phillomena over 15 years ago. She originally took classes and became an active member of our ‘Pink Ladies’ cheerleading squad. Holly progressed in various dance disciplines and became a qualified IDTA Freestyle Teacher and Cheerleading Coach. She continues to broaden her knowledge and qualifications in other dance genres. Holly is also Vice Principal at the Amareece School of Dance with Sarah. When not dancing, Holly can be found at Mercer, doing her day job as a Principal Pensions Administrator, or keeping fit at the gym.
Holly loves teaching at Phillomena as it’s not just a job, it’s an extended family. She loves seeing her students grow and become more confident in what they do.
Miss Leanne has been dancing since the age of 2, and now thoroughly enjoys being part of the teaching team at Phillomena. She has loved taking part in a number of Phillomena dance shows, learning new routines and having a big laugh along the way. Leanne has completed many exams over the years, including Intermediate Theatre Craft and Ballet. She now continues to study for her teaching qualifications, to better her knowledge and experience to pass on to her students. Leanne has always really enjoyed ballet and lyrical style dancing as she loves the way this style can convey emotion, however, she loves trying new styles, and since teaching, she enjoys the variety that each class brings.
Leanne considers Phillomena her extended family and has met some of her best friends working and dancing here. She loves spending time working with her students ensuring they have the skills they need to reach their full potential.
Miss Emily started dancing at the age of 2 ½ at Cambridge School of Dance in New Malden. She stayed there until it closed, but had luckily met Miss Elaine at the local leisure centre and so was introduced to Phillomena. Emily continues to work at New Malden Leisure Centre where she now leads the Tots Tap and Ballet classes. She also runs the holiday clubs and because of her love of dancing, she got involved in a synchronised swimming club at which she now coaches.
She loves Phillomena because it’s become her dancing family. It is a brilliant support network and Emily has made lots of friends and just loves having so much fun!
Miss Sophie joined Phillomena at the age of 6, and happily danced her way through the grades. She began teaching at Phillomena in 2006, then took a break to raise her daughter and was then excited to return in September 2016. Miss Sophie now teaches our younger students in ‘Phillomena Poppets’ and has developed our fabulous ‘Phillomena Poppets – Play, Perform, Progress’ pre-school programme along with Miss Lynda. She also worked in Childcare for eight years in a variety of settings and has gained the level four of the Early Years Foundation Degree.
Sophie is the proud Mum of Ava.
Sophie loves Phillomena because of its welcoming feel and how the balance between fun and friendships plus quality teaching and dance is just right!