Achievements

Luke Fairless

Luke Fairless started Musical Theatre at EMPAS as a boy, when teachers spotted potential in Luke, he then began training in dance. He has succeeded in many competitions, festivals and bursaries within EMPAS from a young age. In 2017, Luke was scouted by Lukas Mcfarlane at NE Dance Live and began training in London on his SEEDS Programme. In 2017, Luke received 3rd commendation for Tap Grades at the IDTA Theatre Dance Awards. In 2018, he received Runner Up in the IDTA Theatre Dance Awards for Theatre Craft Grades and was a finalist in the Tap Grades. In 2019, Luke received the Veronica Tweedle Award after receiving runner up in the Ballet Grades class at the IDTA Theatre Dance Awards, Luke also received a special commendation for the Modern Jazz Grades and was a finalist in the Theatre Craft Grades. At the age of 14 Luke was offered a full MDS Scholarship and a boarding place at Tring Park for Performing Arts and commenced full time study in September 2018. In 2020, Luke won the IDTA Ken Dodd award in Tap, Tap Performers and Theatre Craft Performers at the IDTA Theatre Dance Awards and will represent the IDTA in the TDCI Scholarships in Performers Ballet & Performers Tap.

Samantha Varty

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Samantha Varty started at EMPAS from a young age. She achieved many successes as a child and into her teenage years she continued to succeed within the IDTA with Theatre Award Scholarship nominations and making it into the Grand Final of Miss Dance of Great Britain after winning the Newcastle Heat in 2012. In 2012 she received a full DADA scholarship to attend Bird College of Dance in London. In her third year she was awarded the ‘Most Improved’ award from the college. After graduating in 2015 Samantha secured herself her first job working for P&O Cruises Australia. The following year she began working in Disneyland Paris in the production of ‘Mickey & The Magician” and she was then asked back to perform with P&O Cruises Australia. Samantha has worked as Show Cast Manager on the Marella Explorer 2 and has secured a job as manager onboard P&O Cruises Australia for 2020. In June 2020, Samantha was successful in securing a job with Gandey’s Circus.

Kathryn Hitchcock

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Kathryn Hitchcock started at EMPAS from a young age, having a passion for dancing, singing and performing she put her heart into everything she did. She was successful throughout her time at EMPAS with various Theatre Award scholarship nominations at a performers level. At the age of 18 Kathryn secured herself a place on the degree course at Bird College of Dance in London. Following in Samantha’s footsteps, Kathryn went on to receive the award for ‘Most Improved” student after her second year. After three years Kathryn left Bird with a 1st Class Honours Degree and was awarded the prestigious ‘Doreen Bird Award” upon completion. Kathryn was offered her first job immediately and starred as the part of ‘Ali’ in Mamma Mia on Royal Caribbean Cruises. After completing her first contact Kathryn has worked as a performer on P&O Cruises and is now on board Oriana.

Bethany Whittle

Bethany Whittle attended EMPAS from a young age and has always achieved many successes over the years, performing in local shows, competitions and receiving scholarship nominations. Bethany attended Phil Winston’s Theatre Works in Blackpool and in 2011 was crowned ‘Miss Dance of Great Britain’. 2011 was a busy year for Bethany, as she was selected to perform in ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ on BBC One as a reserve for the show, after making it to the final round, she also auditioned for ‘Got to Dance’ on Sky One with dance partner James and after receiving 3 gold stars made it through the final round. In 2012 Bethany performed in the famous Thursford’s Big Christmas Spectacular show and in 2013 was offered a contract with P&O Cruises. Bethany is currently living in London and working full time, often travelling to work in various cities around the country to perform. Bethany was recently dance captain in Cardiff over the pantomime season and accepted a job as a Resort Director for TED Productions for the summer.

More Achievements

2020 – Lara Wisby was successful in securing the place of Gretl and Lily Wallace and Ruby Nicholson both secured the part of Marta in WEOS performance of The Sound of Music at the Tyne Theatre, Newcastle.

2020 – Luke Fairless won the IDTA Theatre Dance Award in Tap Performers, Theatre Craft Performers and the Ken Dodd Award in Tap and will represent the IDTA in the TDCI Scholarships in Performers Ballet & Performers Tap.

2020 – Libby Smith won the UKDCC 12-13 Modern Class Championship.

2019 – Olivia Emson becomes a Tap Attack associate member.

2019 – Olivia Emson has successfully auditioned for CENTRE FOR ADVANCED TRAINING (CAT) course and will commence in September 2019.

2019 – Olivia Emson wins the Junior ‘Overall’ IDTA Tyneside Bursary, Libby Donnelly wins the Junior ‘Ballet’ IDTA Tyneside Bursary and Libby Smith wins the Junior ‘Modern Jazz’ IDTA Tyneside Bursary.

2019 – Sophie Reddy wins the Senior ‘Overall’ IDTA Tyneside Bursary.

2019 – Bethany Whittle receives a contract as a Resort Director for TED Productions.

2019 – Luke Fairless is awarded the Veronica Tweedle Award after receiving runner up in the Ballet Grades class at the IDTA Theatre Dance Awards.

2019 – Kathryn Hitchcock receives a contract working as a performer on P&O’s Oriana Cruise Ship.

2018 – Libby Smith receives a place on Denman’s Theatre Associate programme.

2018 – Kady Martin receives Overall Vocal Award at NE Dance Live.

2018 – Luke Fairless receives a boarding place and a full MDS Scholarship to study full time at Tring Park School for Performing Arts.

2018 – Olivia Emson receives a place to train on Hammond’s associates programme.

2018 – Samantha Varty receives a contract working as Dance Captain onboard the new Thomson Marella cruiseline.

2017 – Hannah Elliott played the principal role of Jennifer in ‘Paint Your Wagon’ at the Tyne Theatre, Newcastle.

2017 – Elena Davidson & Luke Fairless were offered a place on ‘Got to Dance’ Star Lukas Macfarlane’s SEEDs programme in London commencing in October 2017.

2017 – Kady Martin received the National Operatic and Dramatic Association Youth Award for the North East Region for her role as Susan in White Christmas.

2017 – Olivia Emson receives a place on Denman’s musical theatre associate programme.

2017 – Kady Martin was successful in securing the lead role of Annie at the Tyne Theatre, Newcastle.

2017 – Olivia Emson wins the ‘overall’ Junior IDTA Tyneside Bursary & Kady Martin wins the ‘Ballet’ Junior IDTA Tyneside Bursary.

2017 – Elena Davidson wins the ‘overall’ Senior IDTA Tyneside Bursary & Luke Fairless wins the ‘Ballet’ Senior IDTA Tyneside Bursary.

2017 – Kathryn Hitchcock receives her first contact starring as ‘Ali’ in Mamma Mia onboard Carribean Cruises.

2017 – Elena Davidson wins the Theatre Craft Grades at the IDTA Theatre Dance Awards.

2017 – Kathryn Hitchcock graduates from Bird College with a 1st Class Honours degree and is awarded the prestigious ‘Doreen Bird’ Award.

2016 – Samantha Varty began working in Disneyland Paris’ production of ‘Mickey & The Magician’.

2016 – Olivia Dixon commences at Sage Academy full time, studying Performing Arts.

2015 – Samantha Varty receives her first professional contact with P&O Cruises Australia.

2015 – Hannah Elliott was awarded the National Operatic and Dramatic Association ‘Rising Star’ award for the North East Region.

2014 – Kathryn Hitchcock began training at Bird College, after securing herself a place on the degree course.

2013 – Nicola Robertson plays Maria in Sound Of Music at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle.

2012 – Samantha Varty performs in the Miss Dance of Great Britain Final.

2012 – Samantha Varty receives a full DADA scholarship to study full-time at Bird College.

2011 – Bethany Whittle is crowned Miss Dance of Great Britain.

IDTA Theatre Awards Achievements (2012-Present)

We receive many Theatre Award nominations yearly for the successes of the IDTA exam sessions we put forward. Over 7000 students are put forward for IDTA exam sessions every year and a select few are nominated for these scholarships. The Theatre Awards are held in Manchester yearly and students from schools internationally take part. They are nominated at certain grades (Grade 4+) by the IDTA examiner. The nominees all perform a class and a dance with a lecturer in front of an audience and awards are given at the end. We are lucky enough to have had pupils take part in these for a number of years and we have had some great successes in the past, see below:

2021 – So Far…
Ballet Grades – Hannah Quigley
Ballet Grades – Poppy Old
Ballet Grades – Libby Smith
Ballet Grades – Kady Martin
Theatre Craft Grades – Libby Smith
Tap Performers- Sophie Reddy
Ballet Performers – Libby Donnelly

2020
Theatre Craft Performers – Luke Fairless – 1st Place Winner
Tap Performers – Luke Fairless – 1st Place Winner & Winner of the Ken Dodd Tap Award
Ballet Performers – Luke Fairless – Runner Up
Tap Grades – Libby Donnelly – Finalist
Modern Jazz Grades – Luke Fairless – Finalist
Modern Jazz Grades – Megan Newell (Did not attend)
Ballet Grades – Libby Donnelly
Theatre Craft Grades – Libby Donnelly
Theatre Craft Performers – Sophie Reddy

2019
Ballet Grades – Luke Fairless – Runner Up & Winner of the Veronica Tweedle Award
Modern Jazz Grades – Luke Fairless – 7th Commendation
Theatre Craft Grades – Luke Fairless – Finalist
Theatre Craft Grades – Sophie Reddy – Finalist
Ballet Grades – Sophie Reddy

2018
Theatre Craft Grades – Luke Fairless – Runner Up
Theatre Craft Performers – Elena Davidson – 3rd Commendation
Tap Grades – Luke Fairless – Finalist
Ballet Performers – Elena Davidson
Ballet Performers – Katy Walton (Did not attend)
Modern Performers – Elena Davidson
Modern Performers – Sophie Liddle (Did not attend)
Modern Performers – Sophie Emson
Theatre Craft Grades – Emily Newell (Did not attend)
Theatre Craft Grades – Sophie Reddy
Tap Grades – Sophie Reddy
Tap Grades – Keira Birkett

2017
Theatre Craft Grades – Elena Davidson- 1st Place Winner 
Theatre Craft Grades – Hannah Elliott – 3rd Commendation
Tap Grades –  Luke Fairless – 3rd Commendation 
Tap Performers – Hannah Elliott – Finalist
Ballet Grades – Luke Fairless – Finalist
Modern Grades – Sophie Emson – Finalist
Theatre Craft Grades – Sophie Emson
Ballet Performers – Katy Walton (Did not attend)
Tap Grades – Jessica Thompson

2016
Theatre Craft Grades – 2nd Commendation 
Modern Grades  – Hannah Elliott – 3rd Commendation
Tap Grades – 3rd Commendation
Theatre Craft Grades – Elena Davidson – 5th Commendation
Theatre Craft Grades – 6th Commendation
Modern Grades – Elena Davidson – Finalist
Ballet Performers – Hannah Elliott
Theatre Craft Performers – Sophie Liddle
Theatre Craft Performers – Ashley Williamson
Modern Grades – Katy Walton (Did not attend)
Modern Grades – Sophie Liddle
Theatre Craft Grades – Sophie Emson

2015
Ballet Grades – 1st Place Winner 
Modern Grades – 6th Commendation 
Ballet Grades – Finalist – Sophie Emson
Ballet Grades – Elena Davidson

2014
Modern Performers – 1st Commendation
Theatre Craft Performers – 2nd Commendation 
Ballet Grades – 4th Commendation
Modern Performers – Kathryn Hitchcock

2013
Ballet Performers – 1st Place Winner
Theatre Craft Grades – 3rd Commendation
Modern Performers – Samantha Varty
Modern Performers – Kathryn Hitchcock
Ballet Grades – Hannah Elliott
Theatre Craft Grades – Kathryn Hitchcock

2012
Ballet Grades – 1st Commendation
Theatre Craft Grades – 2nd Commendation