All of our teaching faculty are DBS checked.

SIAN SANDFORD
Principal, Modern, Tap Teacher & Child Protection Officer
BA Hons Dance, AISTD Modern, Tap, Imperial Ballet

Sian grew up in South Wales and it is here that she started her training and her love of teaching began, helping to coach younger members of the dance school that she attended. As part of La Ronda Summer Ballet Company, which she was a member of for many years, she got to experience a life of performing but decided that her passion was for teaching, so at 18 years of age she came to Bedford to study at the London College of Dance (ISTD teacher training college). She graduated in 1996 with a BA Hons in Dance from Middlesex University, her ISTD Associate Modern, Imperial & Cecchetti Ballet and two teaching awards.

As well as working full time for Chelsea Ballet School, Sian started working at the Sylvia Bebb School of Ballet & Theatre Arts, teaching ballet, modern and Jazz. She soon took over the teaching of the entire ISTD tap syllabus and consequently took her Associate Tap Examination and gained her Associate Diploma with the ISTD shortly afterwards.

Sian was in charge of the Dance Department at Bury Lawn School for over 14 years, organising and delivering Creative Dance classes, extra curricular dance and GCSE & A Level courses to children of mixed abilities.

Sian taught at the Sylvia Bebb School of Ballet & Theatre Arts for over 18 years before becoming the Principal, entering pupils for ISTD Examinations and choreographing dances which reached and were placed first at the Finals of the All England Dance Competition in London. She currently teaches tap and modern classes and she choreographs for Festivals and Shows.

Harriet Quinn

HARRIET QUINN

Competition Choreographer

ISTD DDI National & Classical Greek

ISTD DDI Modern

At the age of three, Harriet began dancing at the Kilburn School of Dance in Wellingborough and whilst training at the school, she took dance examinations in a wide range of genres.  She was very successful at dance festivals, often reaching the finals of the All England Dance Competition and achieving places at the National Finals. Harriet performed at Dance Proms at the Royal Albert Hall on two occasions and she gained further performance experience by participating in local amateur dramatic performances.

Harriet gained further training at the Italia Conti Arts Centre, where she completed her ISTD DDI’s in National Dance and Classical Greek. It was here that she discovered her love of choreography and teaching.Harriet has gained her DDI for ISTD Modern and she is currently working towards her DDE for Classical Greek.

Most recently Harriet has been teaching at various dance schools and choreographing numerous festival dances for pupils of various ages. She was delighted to be introduce Classical Greek classes to Sandford School of Dance as this is one of the genres she is most passionate about.

Natasha King

NATASHA KING
Ballet Teacher

RAD registered teacher, BFA in Dance Performance & Choreography, BSC in Psychology, Masters of Dance program at Sarah Lawrence College.

Natasha began studying RAD ballet in the United Arab Emirates. She later moved to Barbados where she continued her RAD training and expanded her repertoire to include Vaganova and Balanchine ballet techniques, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, Latin, ballroom and Afro-Caribbean dance.

She obtained honours in both her BFA in Dance Performance & Choreography and BSC in Psychology, whilst also performing with the Towson Dance Company. Natasha spent a year teaching ballet and jazz in Vancouver where she also danced with Collab Art Creations and attended workshops with Broadway choreographers.  She then moved to New York for the Masters of Dance program at Sarah Lawrence College.

After becoming a registered teacher with the RAD and a level 1 registered yoga teacher, Natasha taught full time whilst in Canada, as well as directing and choreographing for three student performing companies.

Natasha works with clients as a certified Nutritional Therapist and Culinary Nutrition Expert, and maintains her work as an independent/freelance choreographer.

She was thrilled to join Sandford School of Dance, teaching RAD ballet from Grade 1 to Advanced and after completing her Masters in Dance Science at the University of Bedfordshire, Natasha also joined the faculty at Central School of Ballet in London.

Amy Hubbard

AMY HUBBARD
Rehearsal Teacher, Choreographer & Cover Teacher 
Diploma in Professional Dance  AISTD Modern & Tap

Amy started dancing at the age of 3 and joined the Sylvia Bebb School of Ballet & Theatre Arts five years later. She took all of her dance examinations and was very successful at festivals, even reaching the finals of the All England Dance Competition. At 16, Amy left to further her training at Arts Educational/Tring Park and it was from here that she graduated with a Diploma in Professional Dance, as well as her ISTD Associate Tap and Modern.

Amy’s performing career began as soon as she left Tring Park as she quickly gained a contract with Carnival Cruise Lines and just 2 years later she was made Dance Captain. After 8 years of travelling around the Caribbean, America and Canada performing Broadway Review Shows, Las Vegas Style and themed shows, Amy decided it was time to come home. Sandford School of Dance are fortunate to have Amy choreograph many winning dances for festivals, DWC and other performances.

Sophie Giscard

Sophie Giscard
Ballet Teacher

BA (Hons) English & Theatre Studies

Enrolled on RAD Certificate in ballet teaching studies programme

We were thrilled to welcome back former pupil, Sophie Giscard, who joined our teaching faculty at the end of 2020 as one of our ballet teachers.

Sophie studied ballet at The Sylvia Bebb School of ballet & Theatre Arts and after moving to France, she continued training in ballet and contemporary dance at Conservatoire, La Roche sur Yon.

Whilst returning to England to study for her BA Honours in English and Theatre Studies at the University of Bedfordshire, Sophie also gained performance experience at both Rare Productions and Initiate Youth Dance Company MK. As well as taking lead roles and performing as principal dancer, Sophie was also Dance Captain for Rare productions . During this time, Sophie returned to Sandford School of Dance taking classes in ballet, contemporary, street jazz and tap and it was then that she completed her RAD Intermediate ballet.

Sophie has experience in teaching children aged 7-16 with special needs at schools in Bedfordshire and she has also taught ballet, musical theatre and has led workshops for various schools in Bedford.

As show director and choreographer for Rare Productions, Sophie has experience of producing full-scale musicals, leading rehearsals, directing and choreographing for 70-120 children from the age of 8-21.

In 2019, Sophie travelled to Xi’an and Shanghai, China, to join the faculty of the International College of Musical Theatre, where she taught dance and acting to both children and adults.

She has experience of teaching dance classes online, delivering individual one to one sessions as well as group ballet, modern and tap at Arts1 in Milton Keynes.

Sophie has a passion for teaching, choreography and theatre production and she is delighted to be enrolled on the RAD Certificate in ballet teaching studies programme.

Patsy Izzard-Turton

PATSY IZZARD-TURTON
LAMDA (Speech & Drama) 

BA (Hons) MA

Patsy Izzard-Turton is a freelance dance and theatre practitioner as well as being Artistic Director of Patsy Izzard Company (PIC). Patsy has received multiple commissions and funding grants for her work, working with organisations such as Motus Dance, LutonBid, The Grove Theatre, Beds Fringe and the 2015 Rugby World Cup. She has also been the recipient of funding from Arts Council England through Motus Dance and their Respond platform. PIC strive to create contemporary dance theatre by blending multimedia and physical performance to challenge conventional thinking whilst connecting with the realities of modern day society.

Patsy obtained a First Class Honors degree in Performing Arts at the University of Bedfordshire and has most recently completed her Masters degree in creative practice and leadership in the Performing Arts. She has taught LAMDA for 5 years and is proud to say she has an 100% pass rate.

Patsy has worked with practitioners such as Kevin Finnan, Hofesh Shechter, Rhiannon Faith and Helen Parlor. As a freelance practitioner herself, Patsy specialises in working with schools in order to deliver high quality workshops and arts programs. Schools will bring her in as a specialist, often to create work with either gifted and talented or children from pupil referral units. Patsy has most recently been working with schools in Bedford, to help build and run a wellbeing program surrounding the performing arts in the curriculum.

We are delighted that Patsy has joined the Sandford School of Dance team and that she has introduced LAMDA for our pupils.

Sophie Giscard

HOLLY PARELLO
Dance Teacher (Hip Hop)

National Diploma in Dance

Holly attended the Sylvia Bebb School of Ballet & Theatre Arts, before progressing to Bodyworks in Cambridge where she studied Performing Arts, attending Ballet, Tap, Commercial/hip hop, Jazz, Contemporary, Freestyle, Musical Theatre, Drama and Singing classes.

Holly always enjoyed participating in groups for Dance Festivals and at Bodyworks, there was even more opportunity to perform. She was delighted to be chosen for a hip hop piece which was danced at Move It in London and she was also one of six performers selected for a music video (to be made in Malta) for an up and coming artist, Brooke Borg.

After graduating from Bodyworks with a National Diploma in Dance, Holly joined the girl band Ten and for 3 years they enjoyed success performing all over the UK. Ten were the supporting act for Daniel Johnson’s Butlin’s tour and they also recorded their own EP of 6 tracks.

Holly has taught and choreographed for Sandford School of Dance since 2015 and her senior hip hop dance was chosen to compete in Germany, for the finals of Dance World Cup in 2017.

MOLLY BAXTER
Jazz & Rehearsal Teacher 
Advanced Vocational Level 3 Diploma course in Performing Arts

Molly started her dance training at the age of 3 at what was then Sylvia Bebb School of Ballet later becoming Sandford School of Dance. She trained in Ballet, Modern, Tap, Jazz and Greek.

She was a very successful competitor over the course of 13 years at the All England Dance Festivals, including competing in the All England Finals and ISTD Janet Cram awards. She represented Team England at the Dance World Cup in Jersey and Germany, gaining a bronze medal in the Song and Dance trio section in Jersey.

She has, over the last two years, attended the Urdang Academy London and has now completed her training on their Advanced Vocational Level 3 Diploma course in Performing Arts.

She was successful in recent auditions and was offered a place at Performers College, Bird College, Laine Theatre Arts and Urdang Academy. She has chosen to continue her training on the BA(Hons) Dance & Musical Theatre degree course at the Urdang Academy commencing in September.

Molly is looking forward to sharing her knowledge, her passion and love of dance and performing with the pupils of Sandford.

Kieran Smith

KIERAN SMITH
Arco Teacher 

BA (Hons) Performing Arts,

Cheer Coach

A fun and creative teacher with a background in dance and drama, Kieran has a passion for learning new skills which led him to train in everything from contemporary and hip hop dance to acro and cheerleading.

While at university he joined the cheerleading team, becoming involved in the committee roles during his first year. After leaving university he was asked to return as the team coach, leading the team to first place in national competitions.

He currently teaches for multiple schools, working hard to pass on his knowledge and skills to students of all ages. We are thrilled to welcome Kieran to SSD as our Acro teacher.

Sophie Giscard

DANNI BENTLEY
Singing Teacher 

Danni has been singing professionally since the age of 14, within which time, thousands of people have heard her perform at shows across Europe. She has completed several international tours and critics describe her voice as: effortless, powerhouse and pure beauty.

Danni has taught for Stagecoach, as well as coaching privately for a number of years. Many children and adults have found their voice (and confidence) under her mentoring.

Danni has worked closely with some pupils on audition preparation and has been thrilled to announce that they have gained professional roles in films and musicals. She has enjoyed teaching SSD pupils and Danni looks forward to working with more of our pupils in the future at her purpose built studio in Bedford.

Sophie Giscard

MOLLY DE STEFANO
Musical Theatre & Singing Teacher 

BA (Hons) Professional Dance & Musical Theatre

Molly attended the Sylvia Bebb School of Ballet & Theatre Arts from the age of three. For 15 years she trained in ballet, modern, tap and jazz taking many RAD and ISTD examinations as well as performing in shows and competing in numerous dance competitions.

Molly decided to make this her career and was thrilled to be accepted on a three year course at the prestigious Doreen Bird College at the age of 18.

As part of her course, Molly trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Commercial, Acting for TV and Film, Acting for Song and Stage, Singing (all styles and disciplines) and Musical Theatre and in 2017, she graduated with a First Class BA (Hons) Doreen Bird College of Performing Arts.

Since graduating Molly has undertaken two professional contracts as Lead Vocalist for The Entertainment Department(TED), in TUI Sensatori Resorts in both Antalya, Turkey and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

Molly has choreographed numerous song and dance competition pieces for our pupils and she teaches Musical Theatre and individual singing lessons for SSD.

Laura Backhurst

LAURA BACKHURST
SSD Choir  

BA(Hons) MA, PGCE

Laura has always enjoyed the Performing Arts, having studied ballet and contemporary dance at Bedfordshire Youth Dance Company, The Crescent Academy and the Sylvia Bebb School of Ballet & Theatre Arts.

At age 18 she gained grade 8s in singing, piano and trumpet and took a range of A levels including Music and Theatre Studies. She also plays ‘cello having studied this as an adult. She studied Music and Linguistics at Lancaster university achieving a BA (Hons) whilst also gaining valuable experience working in a special needs school for children with severe mental and physical disabilities, where she worked as a music therapist whilst completing her dissertation on music therapy and downs syndrome.

Following this, Laura took her place at Durham university to study for a PGCE in secondary music teaching. She soon gained her first full time position as Head of Music at Holywell school where she also worked as a form tutor and taught top set English. Laura continued her further education by studying for a part time Masters degree in Music Education at Durham university specialising in management in music. Laura went on to become Director of Music at Newnham school where she also taught RE and become the anti-bullying officer. Laura moved into teaching in the private sector for 9 years as Head of Music at Saint Andrew’s girls school.

Laura is a qualified wider opportunities mentor for Trinity Guildhall and the Open University for which she specialises in wider opportunities whole class instrumental tuition such as whole class violin, ukulele, glockenspiel, keyboard, African drumming, samba, military drumming and recorder.

Laura has a great passion for acting and has appeared as a witch in Macbeth, Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet, a vixen in Dracula and a showgirl in Spamalot. She now works as a private music teacher, where she teaches all ages from 3 years old to adults. She teaches individual piano and singing lessons from home and teaches piano three days a week at Goldington Academy. Laura runs three choirs including her adult community choir ‘Every Voice’, is choir director for the Twinwoods festival, runs an orchestra and teaches whole class music sessions in various Bedfordshire schools. Laura has two young children at Sandford School of Dance and so she was delighted to join in a teaching capacity.

CHRIS HINTON-LEWIS

Strength & Movement Teacher

Chris trained at the English National Ballet school and was a principal dancer with Northern Ballet and Royal New Zealand Ballet. He is currently on ballet faculty at one of the top pre-professional ballet training institutions in the UK.

Chris is currently completing his Masters Degree in Strength and Conditioning through St Mary’s University.

 

 

ASHLEY MILES

Cover Teacher

Before Ashley left Bedford to further his training at Italia Conti, he was a valuable member of Sandford School of Dance, attending all of the classes offered on our student course and he was also a member of the Sandford School of Dance competition team. Ashley has returned for two Sandford School of Dance school shows, performing solo musical theatre numbers and assisting with our finale number.

Having received a full scholarship to train at The Urdang Academy, Ashley graduated from there in 2020 with a Diploma in Professional Musical Theatre. He has performed at Cadogan Hall, The O2 Arena for The Brit Awards 2019 and he was Assistant Choreographer for a sold out musical theatre show at The Palladium in March 2020.

Ashley is excited to join the Sandford School of Dance team.

 

 

ZIKI BUSWELL

Cover Teacher

B.A. (Hons) Professional Dance and Musical Theatre Degree undergraduate at Performers College  

Ziki trained on the student course at the Sylvia Bebb School Of Ballet, later becoming Sandford School Of Dance. She enjoyed performing solos, duets and groups at festivals. She represented Team England at the Dance World Cup 2017 in Germany, performed in the Dance Proms at the Royal Albert Hall 2017 and performed in the curtain raiser for Richard Alston’s Dance Company “Final Edition” Tour 2019.

She was the Face Of Move It 2022, choreographed and performed a commercial quartet on the Move It main stage and also represented Performers College in their Commercial piece. In July 2022, she was thrilled to perform alongside Becky Hill, Ultra Naté and Stefflon Don at the Women’s Euros Final show at Wembley Stadium. Ziki adores teaching and choreographing and has for many years. She is delighted to be back covering lessons at Sandford.

 

SUSIE ELMS

SSD Reception 

Susie has been a parent at the dance school for over 16 years. She is a valuable member of our team helping at school events and on Saturday mornings she welcomes pupils and parents, deals with any queries and takes bookings for dancewear fittings at our on site dance shop.

 

 

CAROL DEWIS 

SSD Reception 

You will find Carol welcoming in pupils and parents and dealing with any queries on a Saturday afternoon at Westfield School. She also assists at school events/performances.

 

 

Siobham Vincent

Uniform Sales 

Siobhan has two children who have attended Sandford School of Dance for many years, so she has often been involved in volunteering at events and performances. Siobhan now also assists with dancewear sales helping our pupils with all of their uniform requirements.