Formby School of Dancing and Performing Arts has been established here in the North West for almost fifty years and is recognised as the best in the area. Our Performance Studios at the Victoria Hall, Formby, are second to none; with a beautiful mirrored Dance Studio, complete with ballet barres and a Harlequin dance floor.
Our Theatre and Rehearsal Room is equipped with the latest sound and lighting equipment, which we use regularly in our In House shows. We also offer the use of these in our stage awareness and microphone technique lessons, a must for all our future performers (it's also great fun!).
Set in its own grounds with ample parking, you could not wish for a safer environment for your children.
Principals Hayley Batchelor-Hannah and Alistair Hannah believe that apart from the excellent standard of training in dance, drama and singing, their popularity is also down to the fact that pupils are nurtured and cared for, from the very shy to the more confident.
We give them the time to grow not just as performers but as individuals.
Children range from 3-18 years are taught in mixed classes and have the option to take exams, compete in festivals and perform in many shows in our very own theatre.
WHAT WE DO
Pupils are taken from 3yrs of age in specially designed pre-school classes. These classes will promote confidence, discipline and self -esteem and will help to develop a love of music and dance. It will also encourage a healthy life style through exercise, but above all the classes are great fun and will build friendships that will last.
From school age, classes are split into separate genres and dance techniques are taught in Classical Ballet, Tap and Modern .I.S.T.D. Exams can be taken in these disciplines. We are very proud of our success rate for exams, with over 90% achieving Distinction.
Varying levels of commitment are catered for, children can come once a week, or for the highly enthusiastic and able child, competitions are available and Pantomimes and Professional Productions in Local Theatres are also part of Dance School life.
Children are taken from reception age up to 18yrs of age. These classes help to promote self-confidence and team building skills with a sense of responsibility and a love of acting. We offer a friendly atmosphere and cater for all abilities. We pride ourselves on nurturing a child with less confidence and developing their skills as much as stretching the more outgoing child.
Children work on Improvisation, scripts and Festival and exam work and every child is given the opportunity to take part in our annual Drama show here in our own Theatre here at The Victoria Hall.
We also enter local drama festivals where we are highly successful, but above all our children are supported by our teachers who attend these events with them, maintaining our ethos of good team spirit and camaraderie.
Children are taken from 7yrs to 18yrs of age. Classes are held in small groups and children are encouraged to develop their confidence and singing skills in a Musical Theatre Technique.
All children take part in their own cabaret style show each year, where parents are invited to see their progress.
The class atmosphere is very relaxed allowing the children freedom to express themselves.
Vocal technique and harmony skills are developed early and there are many opportunities for soloists, in the many concerts that we take part in.
These concerts are run professionally giving the children an insight into live Theatre and Cabaret.
Children are also encouraged in microphone technique and taught to appreciate the importance of excellent backing tracks, produced professionally in the recording studio.
MEET THE TEAM
Hayley trained at Elliott-Clarke Theatre School and Merseyside Dance Centre, gaining huge amounts of professional dance experience. She has performed in many professional shows and then went on to take all her teaching qualifications in ballet, tap and modern with the I.S.T.D. Hayley has travelled the world dancing on cruise ships and theatres all over the country. She then went on to choreograph many professional productions including musicals and pantomimes with many of today’s stars. Her wealth of experience is passed on to her pupils with the same care and passion that she applied to her professional life.
Coming from a musical background, Alistair started his professional singing career when he was just 11, appearing on Scottish television shows such as ‘The One O’clock Gang’ and ‘Roundup’.
He went from strength to strength singing in cabaret and theatres with the likes of Billy Connolly, Jasper Carrot, Ronnie Corbet, Tom O’Connor and many more. He has performed on many cruise ships and worked in South Africa on many occasions.
Still diversifying, Alistair then honed his acting skills by appearing in musicals and pantomimes in theatres all around the country. Together, Hayley and Alistair formed Palindrome Productions, producing Showstoppers, a musical extravaganza, for Butlins, Southport Floral Hall and The exclusive Trust House. Forte resort in Sardinia, to name but a few.
Tracey went to drama college, gaining many LAMDA qualifications including Gold in Acting and A.T.C.L in Trinity Guildhall. She then danced abroad gaining her Equity Card. She returned to the UK to become a part of Channel 4’s long running soap Brookside. Tracey starred as Michelle Jones, this is where she would stay and gain huge amounts of experience for a further 3 years. Afterwards, she continued to work in the industry, in theatre and now teaches at Formby School of Dancing and Performing Arts.
Gill trained at the Elliott- Clarke Theatre School in Liverpool where she gained her teaching qualifications with the I.S.T.D. in Ballet, Tap and Modern. She then taught at Elliott-Clarke, training many students pursuing a professional career in dance and drama, before joining the team here at the The Formby School. Gill now teaches our baby classes, reception age group and younger children. She takes private lessons for festivals and exams, where her knowledge and experience is passed on to our eager pupils.
Chelcie started her teaching journey 5 years ago and has been teaching with us for 4 years after starting training for her ISTD qualifications at the North Liverpool Dance Academy. Dance has played a huge part in Chelcie's life since she was 5 years old, and by 13 she was assisting in the younger classes at her local dance school of which she attended. Chelcie has always had a passion for teaching and by the age of 19 she had completed her training at NDLA and received her DDE's in ballet, modern, national and tap, along with a level 4 in ballet with the IDTA.
What our students are doing now...
'I joined Formby School of Dancing and Performing Arts when I was two years old, and from the moment I started classes I knew I was right where I belonged. After years of encouragement, wonderful teaching and training, I made my West End debut as Matilda in Matilda the musical, aged 9.
Without the constant support and guidance from my Formby School family, I never would have succeeded or progressed to the level I am today. All thanks to the years I’ve spent with each and every teacher at Formby School, I have starred in award winning TV series, films and theatre productions continuously since 2011.
I was granted the Rising Star award at the Toronto International Film Festival, I‘m the youngest ever recipient of an Olivier award and a BAFTA nominee. But, of all my achievements, what makes me feel truly proud is being able to show my teachers how much they have inspired me, and how their hard work has made me work hard too.'
'Training at at Formby School of Dance and Performing Arts led me on to the opportunity to study a Level 3 Extended Diploma Dance at LIPA Sixth form achieving D*D*D*. I have since moved on to train at London Studio Centre where I study a degree in Musical Theatre. Now in my third and final year of training, I have performed and assisted classes at both Move It and numerous Can You Dance events across the country.
I have been selected to perform in concept videos, choreograph for showcases, run my own tap class, and now assist London Studio Centre’s musical theatre programme for associates/juniors ages 4-18.
Attending Formby School of Dancing and Performing Arts encouraged my determination to succeed as well as provided me with the vital skills needed not just in the Musical Theatre industry, but in all aspects of my life.'
'I started my journey at the Formby School of Dancing and Performing Arts at the age of 10. I studied ballet and tap and within 2 years of starting the school Hayley and Ali had got me an audition for Billy Elliott! I went off to London where I starred in the West End as Billy.
I came back to the school for help and advice on how to continue my studies and went on to Tring Park and then Urdang. I then played Sasha in Disney’s Penny on Mars and I am now filming a new role in Ackley Bridge.
I wouldn’t be where I am now if I hadn’t attended ballet at the Formby school and thank Hayley, Ali and Miss Gill for their encouragement and care in my early years at dancing. I wouldn’t be where I am now without them.'
'In addition to the foundation technique in all dance styles including ballet, tap, greek and modern, not only did Formby School of Dancing Performing Arts help develop my dance ability they prepared me in ways that made me stand out from others when auditioning for Musical theatre schools. After being accepted into my preferred place of training, I now attend Laine Theatre Arts, the internationally renowned performing arts college.
During my time at the school I developed skills including teamwork and discipline which gave me confidence when performing on stage. Above all, it gave me a second home and a passion for musical theatre.'
'I trained at Formby School of Dancing and Performing Arts from the age of 3yrs. The preparation and experience I gained was invaluable, allowing me to successfully audition for LIPA 6th Form College in Liverpool.
I have secured an agent, AKM Talent Management in London and am now auditioning for film and TV. I worked last year in Sky TV’s Britannia and it was lovely to film and see Eleanor who is now starring as the lead in this fabulous series.
Without the training I received I would not have the confidence that I have today to set out in this demanding business.
I can’t thank them enough, It’s the best school in the world! ..............
(I have to say that, It’s run by my Mum and Dad).'
'From the age of 3-18 yrs I attended Formby School of Dancing and Performing Arts. The training I received in Dancing, Singing and Acting enabled me to confidently decide that the theatre and performing industry was the career path I wanted to pursue. All the fabulous teachers supported me in my decision and helped me become the best I was able to be within the disciplines of dance, drama and singing.
I was invited to join the competition troupe which gave me the opportunity to compete in all genres of Dance and Drama both as a solo artist and in groups as a team, all of which have equipped me with lifelong skills and friends for ever.
After graduating from Performers College in Essex, I have had a very successful career working with Warner Leisure Hotels, then performing in some of the UK’s “number 1 theatres” in front of thousands of people in the Spice Girls Tribute Act as Baby Spice. I am currently in Malta as lead vocalist in a large show group and to say I’m having the time of my life in this industry is an understatement.
Without the support and help from Hayley and Ali I would not be where I am today. Even if performing arts is just a hobby for you, they give you the confidence that you can use in any career path you decide to take. I can’t thank Formby School of Dancing and Performing Arts enough for all of the opportunities they offered me which has highly contributed to my successful life and career.'