Fiona Carratu – Principal

F.IDTA, LAMDA Gold Medal, Acrobatic Arts Level 1

Fiona started dancing at the age of 3 at The Hughes School of Dance and Drama in Derby her teaching experience started there and she went on to take her Associate Ballet and Modern under the direction of Miss Lisa Peach, training continued under the instruction of Miss Patricia Straw, she also attended M.A.D.D. for a year and was one of their first full time pupils.

In 1990 she started dance classes in Sinfin and further classes in Mickleover in 1992 and Allestree in 2013. Over the past 30 years the school has grown and now has over 250 pupils. Many past pupils have gone on to have successful professional careers performing and teaching and many are now qualified and teaching at Tiptoe. Fiona continued her training under the direction of Miss Judith Sylvester and qualified up to Fellowship level. Fiona has over the years choreographed for both local amateur companies and professional companies in the East Midlands and has competed in International Musical Theatre competitions.

Fiona also ran a Stagecoach franchise in Nottingham for 9 years and is mum to 2 beautiful daughters and is soon to be a Nanna.

Kathryn Vincent L.I.D.T.A

Kathryn Vincent L.I.D.T.A

Kathryn started dancing at the age of 3 at the Hughes School of Dance and Drama. In 1990 she joined Tiptoe when it first opened and continued over the years to take exams, perform in the school’s annual show and take part in competitions. During this time she also took part in productions with the Derby and Rolls Royce Operatic Societies.

At the age of 16 she started teaching dance and has successfully completed numerous teaching exams up to and including Licentiate level. As well as training students of various ages and levels for exams, choreographing routines for the annual show she has also been part of the team thatchoreographs for competitions.

Kathryn has worked for many years as a teaching assistant in a primary school but has recently decided to take a career break so that she can spend more time at home with her 2 boys Ray and Lenny.

Amber Smith

Amber Smith

Amber started dancing at the age of 3 at Oakden Dance School then moved to Tiptoe at the age of 9. Amber studied all subjects at Tiptoe gaining her Intermediates and was an active member of TPG and Terminators dancing at many London theatres and competing with the Performance Group.

She has recently passed her Pre-Associate exam in Ballet and continues her teacher training under the direction of Fiona.

Amber also works at Thornhill Day Nursery.

Jade Holmes

Jade Holmes

Jade started dancing at Tiptoe aged 6 and did her first Tiptoe show in 2005 aged 7. She has been a teaching assistant since she was 14 and then now teaches Rosettes and Mini Street.
Since joining Tiptoe Jade has done all the annual shows as well as numerous exams including teaching exams and performing within TPG and Terminators at a variety of venues and competitions.
Throughout the years of performing Jade has performed in the professional Derby Live pantomime as well as performing with Rolls Royce Operatic society and more recently with Central Musical Theatre Company.
As well as teaching and dancing Jade also works at JCB as a Design Engineer.
Jess Thornton

Jess Thornton

Jessica has been performing since a young age, beginning with competitions in Latin American and Ballroom, and being a member of Derby Stagecoach. From there she moved on to perform with amateur dramatic companies, as well as youth theatres. Jessica has performed on many stages as a child and young adult, including Nottingham Playhouse and Derby Playhouse as well as spending many years as a young adult being a theatre technician for the Derby Assembly Rooms. Jessica is a drama and musical theatre teacher, who has been teaching musical theatre to 6-18 year olds since 2013 at Tiptoe School of Performing Arts in Derby, and has previously taught for Stagecoach Nottingham. Jessica has qualifications in singing and drama, and achieved a first class Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre and Education. In addition, Jessica is a qualified teacher (PGCE with QTS), so when not teaching for Tiptoe, Jessica is a teacher in a Primary setting and manages the music and drama for her school.
Téa Simpson

Téa Simpson

Téa started dancing at Tiptoe at the age of 3 and continued up to Intermediate level. She was an active member of TPG and Terminators performing at Euro Disney, Sadlers Wells, Royal Albert Hall and competed in many street competitions, she appeared in 7 professional Pantos for Paul Holman Associates and took part in the Birmingham and English Youth Ballet.

Téa now teaches for Stagecoach Derby and Street for Tiptoe including choreographing for Mini Terminators. She is currently on a Business Degree Apprenticeship at Mercedes Benz Head Office in Milton Keynes.

Jordanna Hemingway

Jordanna Hemingway

Jordanna Hemingway, LCPA Graduate, Diploma in Trinity Musical Theatre and London College of Music, Pre-Associate IDTA, PT Level 3, Exercise to Music Level 1, BCA Qualified.

Jordanna started at Tiptoe at the age of 3 and continued until the age of 16 gaining all of her Intermediate level exams, she successfully auditioned for Italia Conti and Tring Park, but settled on LCPA training there for 3 years. After graduating she worked as Sleeping Beauty in Euro Disney and then Macau in China. She appeared as a Charleston Dancer in Peaky Blinders and performed in 6 professional Pantos, 2 as Dance Captain. Jordanna now teaches all core subjects for Tiptoe and Street and works at Stagecoach Derby and Litchfield. She also teaches Body Pump, Body Combat and Barre at various health clubs.

Sammie Lowe

Sammie Lowe

Sammie began her dancing journey at the age of 4 years old at Dancetek School of Dance, training in IDTA Ballet, Tap and Modern. As her passion grew she began her IDTA teaching qualifications, trained with the BCA in Cheerleading and Stunts and most recently completed her IDTA Associate Ballet Exam under the thorough guidance and support from Fiona Carratu.

Sammie has been teaching at Tiptoe since 2014 and has lead the Cheerleading and Rosette classes. She is so happy to be part of such an incredibly talented teaching team.

Jen Ellis

Jen Ellis

Jennifer graduated from The University of Lincoln in 2011 with a BA (Hons) in Drama. Since then she has participated in many different and exciting experiences. Jennifer has had the privilege to work with Junkshop Theatre Company as an Assistant Director, Hubbub Theatre Company as Drama Support and Stage Manager and Tip Toe School of Performing Arts as Drama Teacher since 2014.

Jennifer was part of Centre Stage Theatre School and Good Companions and has performed in shows such as Jesus Christ Superstar, Les Miserables, Little Shop of Horrors and Thoroughly Modern Millie.

Jennifer has achieved Grades 4 & 5 in LAMDA (Drama) and Grades 5 & 6 in London College of Music (Singing, Musical Theatre). Her professional credits are as follows:

Stage Manager/Non-Acting Credits:

The Lincoln Company 2010 (Edinburgh Fringe Festival) Bonus Material Directed by Ben Keaton and The Dumb Waiter Directed by Adam Sleporownski, Cross Cut Theatre Company 2011 (UK Tour) The Dumb Waiter Directed by Adam Sleporownski, Cirque Di Ciel Shanghi (UK Tour, Hospitality Manager, Theatre Productions LTD), In the Night Garden Live (Front of House Supervisor), Ruckus in the Garden (Assistant Director, Derby Theatre Youth Theatre), Zero for the Young Dudes (National Theatre Connections, Director), Kessoku: Tales of Togetherness (Hubbub Theatre Company, East Midlands Tour, Stage Manager), These Bridges (National Theatre Connections, Director), Chaos(National Theatre Connections, Director). Actor Credits (Film & Stage):Leibe (4 Scene Productions), Spinning Down the Derwent (Maypole Productions), The Musician(LightFilm Productons).Volpone (PaintDry Productions), Entropy (PaintDry Productions), PaintDry on the Pavement (PaintDryProductions, Charity Performance), Do You Expect me to Talk? (Cognito Theatre, Leicester), DarkClouds (Collective Unconscious), Due Course (STEP UP Creatives, New Perspectives Theatre

Company, East Midlands Rural Tour), 2.8 Hours Later & Asylum: 2.8 Hours Later (Sling Shot Productions, Nottingham and Birmingham), Kessoku: Tales of Togetherness (Hubbub Theatre Company Performer).

Sarah Watkins

Sarah Watkins

Starting from the age of three, Sarah has been dancing with Tiptoe since 1990 and has trained in ballet, tap, modern jazz and contemporary. Sarah went on to study dance at college completing a BTEC National Diploma and Foundation Degree in dance. She started teaching for Tiptoe in 2010, in time to celebrate their 20 year anniversary, and is now qualified up to Licentiate level. As well as teaching for Tiptoe Sarah has performed at a variety of different venues, choreographed for and organised dance shows and events in Derbyshire. Sarah hopes to become an examiner for the IDTA.
Lucinda Westnidge

Lucinda Westnidge

I have been a student at Tiptoe learning Ballet, Tap, Modern Jazz & Street since 2006. I have assisted classes and been training as a teacher at Tiptoe for the last four years teaching the core subjects and street to the younger students of the school. With this training I have completed Pre-Associate 1 in the core subjects and am currently working forwards my Pre-Associate 2 Ballet. Prior to my time at Tiptoe I was a student at Carole Robison School of Dance / Cabaret Theatre Schoolfrom 1998-2009. Additionally I completed a BTEC Level 3 subsidiary and extended diploma in Performing Arts at Joseph Wright College in 2012-2013.

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