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 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 Louise started dancing at the age of 6, here at the Phillomena. After many years of taking part in dance shows, exams and being an active member of the Pink Ladies Cheerleaders, she decided to further her studies in dance at Guildford college. Having recently graduated from Kingston University with a First class BA honors in dance, she was delighted to be chosen to teach the novice Jazz dance society team. Louise now teaches dance and cheerleading in schools across London, as well as recently coming back to teach with us here at Phillomena. Miss Louise is loving being back at Phillomena because of the many years of happy memories made growing up here – even after leaving to further her studies, she loves that Phillomena is always an open door for ex and new students.
Rowena started dancing at 5 years old with the Phillomena Dance School and has been with us ever since! She joined the Pink Ladies Cheerleaders shortly after and has completed several grades in different disciplines. She has also performed with the Pink Ladies Cheerleaders in competitions and events all over the UK.
Rowena left Phillomena at age 18 to go to university to study physics at Imperial College London. She started up the university cheerleading team, the Imperial College Titans, becoming their secretary first, then assistant coach in her final year. She was a part of the Titans for three years, competing in university competitions throughout the year and loved every minute. She then studied for a further year at Royal Holloway to gain her Masters in Information Security and during this time, returned to Phillomena to take Saturday classes again!
Rowena began to get teaching experience after returning by becoming an assistant initially and has now progressed to teaching her own street and Prep classes. These classes constantly make her laugh and she finds it to wonderful to see the students progress year after year.
When she is not teaching, you will find Rowena working as a security consultant at NCC, hacking into IT systems and giving advice on how to stop the bad guys to companies across the UK.
Megan joined Phillomena at the age of 11, having started dance at the age of 2. She has completed IDTA grades in ballet, tap, theatre craft and street to Intermediate level and has just started working towards her teaching qualifications through Phillomena. Miss Megan started being a class assistant 4 years ago and loves working with the varied classes on a Saturday. She is currently studying Primary Education at St Mary’s University Twickenham to become a primary school teacher. Megan also works as a playworker at an Out of School Care Club and during the holidays. She absolutely loves Phillomena because of our passion for dance and the friendships she has made.
Miss Anna has been dancing with Phillomena since the age of 4. She has taken IDTA exams up to Intermediate level in tap, ballet, theatre craft and street. Having begun to assist teaching in classes at the age of 14, Miss Anna is now working towards her dance teaching qualifications with us at Phillomena. She loves teaching alongside Miss Holly on a Saturday morning & is looking forward to her own street class with the ODT’s from September 2019. Miss Anna finds that dance is a great break from studying for her A-levels & she gets to spend time dancing with all of her lovely friends that she has made at Phillomena.
Megan is currently training at Laine Theatre Arts. She started dancing at the age of two at Marron Theatre Arts in Newcastle Upon Tyne. During those years at Marron, she danced as a babe in six pantomimes at Newcastle Theatre Royal and also took part in national tours of Never Forget and Circus Hilarious, also staged at the Theatre Royal. At Marron Megan completed all the IDTA student performers exams and she is also a qualified teacher with her Pre-Associate Tap.
Megan is very excited to start working with us here at Philomena Dance and we are excited to have her on our team.