Our Team

Our team consists of highly qualified and motivated professionals, who are all experts in their field. With many years of experience in the industry, they have the expertise to provide professional coaching.   We also have a lovely team of student teachers and assistants always adding creativity to our group.    

Musical Theatre & Dance Teacher

Olivia Byard

My name is Olivia Byard and I am 21 years old. I have studied musical theatre and dance since the age of three, beginning with Ballet and moving on to cover styles such as, Rock and Roll, Ballroom and Latin, Disco, Jazz, Contemporary, Tap and Street dance. I have achieved up to grade 6 in Ballet as well as achieving a British Champion title in 2011 in Latin and Ballroom partners.

Alongside dance, I have trained at a stage school, where I have been given the opportunity to perform on the West End in Trafalgar Square as well as the Swansea Grand Theatre and the New Theatre, Cardiff.

After finishing my GCSE’s, I went to Bridgend College to study Musical Theatre. During my time at college I was given lead roles such as Elle Woods from ‘Legally Blonde’ and Juliet in ‘Romeo and Juliet’. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at college and achieved a double distinction star. During the summer 2019, I had a scholarship to Barcelona to train in Musical Theatre. This was an amazing experiencing, where I learnt new techniques and Hispanic dance styles. Although I was accepted into Urdang, my dream college, I decided to take a different path by becoming a trainee teacher at The Dance Centre.

I met my first singing manager through the Welsh Factor competition, which opened up the opportunity to create my own music and music videos, which have been published on iTunes and VEVO. One of my biggest achievements was to be asked to audition for X Factor the bands, which I can proudly say I got passed the audition stage.

I am currently working towards auditioning  to go to university to complete a BA Hons in Musical Theatre at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, as well as continue to work on my own music with my manager.

Musical Director

Tim Hughes

My name is Tim Hughes and I work as the Musical Theatre Director and Vocal Coach for the Mischief Musical Theatre group.  After committing 15yrs to corporate life, I recently reawakened my first love and passion for music working with New Horizons Youth Theatre group in Bedwas as their assistant musical director and vocal coach. Performances included High School Musical Jnr and Hairspray Jnr as well as a few concerts and charity fundraisers with the group.

Qualifying with a performance music degree at Huddersfield University Principal studies in Voice, Flute and Saxophone, I also achieved Grade 8 Distinction in: Flute by age of 14yrs; Voice - 16 yrs of age and Saxophone - 17yrs of age. Studying with many teachers and coaches over the years including tutors from the Welsh College for Music and Drama, Guild Hall School of Music & Drama and Royal Northern College of Music. I have performed and studied in many choirs and instrumental groups performing all around Europe. This includes the National Youth Choir of Wales, National Youth Orchestra of Wales and Oakdale Youth Choir.

Achieving many awards, competitions and accreditations, I have  performed with a variety of Musical Theatre companies, some of the roles I have been awarded include: a supporting lead role in The Pictures of Dorian Gray in Huddersfield, minor lead in Guys and Dolls in London and The Lead role of Sweeny Todd in a production in London and really enjoyed playing the villain in a musical Pantomime production in London of King Rat.

I have sung with numerous big bands, choirs and performed as a backing singer for Barry Manilow  in the 90’s. Tim has travelled extensively with his performances including  Austria, Germany, France, Italy, Sicily, Thailand and of course all over the UK.

I am currently enjoying family life and the opportunity to work with our amazing musical theatre group.

Musical Theatre Teacher

Adam Fuller

My name is Adam, I am 18 years old and have been doing musical theatre since I was 12.  I started out by joining a drama club at my school at Bryntirion Comprehensive and have loved performing ever since.  I have part taken in multiple productions in school such as, Les Misérables, Phantom of the Opera, School of Rock, Into the Woods, Matilda and West Side Story.

In doing these performances I have developed my skills in singing, acting, and dancing.  I am not the best dancer; however, I still thoroughly enjoy performing on stage.  Having finished my GCSE qualifications, I am now in Year 12 studying A Level French, Performing Arts and Media Studies.  I began teaching at The Dance Centre in 2021 just after I performed in a small showcase with the Mischief Musical group.  I try to encourage all of our students to give their best performance and most importantly to have fun!  

My future ambition is to become an actor or a musician, until that time I will continue to work at the studio putting on spectacular shows with incredible people.   

Musical Theatre & Dance Teacher

Summer Watkin

My name is Summer Watkin, I take on the role of a student dance and musical theatre teacher. I began dancing at the age of 2, performing Ballet and Freestyle at our family studio, The Dance Centre Academy. Overtime, I have developed my skill in: Latin, Ballroom, Disco Freestyle, Line dance, Jazz, Contemporary, Tap, Cheer, Rock ‘N’ Roll and West Coast Swing. Throughout my years of dance, I have achieved many medal awards with the UKA, including Choreography awards. Alongside these, I have completed my RAD examinations from Primary, up to Grade 6, achieving distinctions throughout. I have had the opportunity to compete in lots of competitions, where I have held regional titles, such as: Welsh, UK, British, European and World Dance Masters Championships. Over the last 13 years, I have performed in 18 shows with both The Dance Centre and out Mischief Musical Theatre Group. I have performed roles like, Sleeping Beauty, The Sugar Plum Fairy and lots more!

I have already achieved my GCSE’s last year.  I also study part time as The Rubicon Dance College working on my Arts Award with Trinity College London.  I will be studying Musical Theatre full time at Bridgend College and I will be looking forward to studying within the performing arts industry, to eventually create a career out of my passion.

Principal
Director 

Gemma Watkin

I started dancing at the age of 2 taking classes in ballet, tap & modern at my local studio. Overtime this expanded to Ballroom, Latin, Disco Freestyle, Line Dancing, and Street. During my childhood I achieved many Medals, Awards and Graded examinations. I started competing from 1996 to 2012 in solo, couples and teams, and held many regional titles and main titles such as Welsh, UK, British, European and World Dance Masters Allstar Championships. In 1999 one of my highlights was performing in a show for the British Red Cross called Dance Power at the London Palladium for HRH Princess Alexandra. I had the privilege of working with Angela Rippon, Bruce Forsyth, Wayne Sleep and many more.

Alongside competitions and the start of my commercial work, I achieved my NCFE Performing Arts and BTEC Musical Theatre at Bridgend College. I then continued on to work as a professional dancer/choreographer in tv and theatre productions. I began teaching part time for my parents in their dance classes and coaching students for competitions. In 2002 I set up my own small Dance company part time and passed my first Associate Teacher examinations with the UKA. Since then I have completed many more and hold my Licentiate Teachers, and I am currently working towards my Fellowship Award. In 2008 we moved into our studio and combined dance schools with my parents to form the Dance Centre Academy, the studio has grown rapidly over the years, we now have a wonderful team of teachers and staff running the centre. I absolutely love a show! and we do many of them as well as competitions and examinations, we are branching out more with the Theatre side of the company and hope to extend our facilities further in the future.

As the Principal of the Dance Academy, I love teaching, directing shows and being a full-time force in our dance community, as well as a Dance Mom myself. More recently I have still enjoyed dancing as an extra on the tv series Agatha Raisin on Sky One. It was great to dance with the lovely actors Adam Garcia, Matthew Horne and other professional dancers, which aired in the UK in June.

Teaching Styles Include: Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Street, Cheer Dance, Disco Freestyle, Ballroom, Latin, Salsa, Rock N Roll, Argentine Tango, West Coast Swing, East Coast Swing, Musical Theatre, Pilates, Catwalk Confidence.

Credits Include: BBC National Lottery Live, Top of The Pops Roadshow Tour, S4C Heno, Dance Power – London Palladium, SCD Pasha Dance the Night Away Tour, Agatha Raisin Sky One.

Technical 
Manager

Harri Watkin

My name is Harri Watkin and I am the technical manager for The Dance Centre Academy. This means I am responsible for anything light, sound or stage related. I have been dancing since the age of 2, where I have enjoyed all styles of dance; however, I do have a soft spot for County Line 

Dancing. Over the years, I have undertaken many examinations, these include those with the UKA as well as with The Royal Ballet, where I am currently working towards my grade 7 qualification. I have performed in many dance shows within our company, but I also perform in musicals within my comprehensive school. I have participated in shows such as, Les Misérables, Phantom of The Opera, School of Rock and Into the Woods. We are currently working to produce Matilda Jr and West Side Story.

I completed my GCSE’s in 2021, achieving 2 A*s, 7 A’s, 1B and 1C. I am now studying ICT, Welsh Second Language and BTEC Production Arts for my A-Level qualifications. Once I have gained these qualifications, I am looking to pursue a career in technical theatre and am hoping to attend The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama next year. 

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