As far back as she can remember, a love of dance, acting and theatre has always been there. Through school, university, and once she started working as a journalist and writer, Jennai acted in, directed, wrote or produced plays. This culminated in the setting up of Dandelion Theatre Arts in summer 2011. Classes came to the theatre in September 2016 where, once here, Jennai became more involved with the theatre itself; she is now also Artistic Programme Manager. In January 2018 all Dandelion classes went in-house at the theatre, where they are now based. Jennai says it is like ‘coming home’, as she was involved with Young Stagers when the theatre was The Thorndike in the mid-Eighties. She loves running the classes, and the huge rewards it brings, particularly the shows which are put on twice a year involving every one of the children.
Since she was 2 years old, Erin has loved singing and dancing, and has done classes all of her life, graduating in July 2019 with a BA in Musical Theatre from from Laine Theatre Arts in Epsom. Erin goes to the theatre at every opportunity, especially to see musicals, and one day would like to appear on the West End. Since starting to teach for us in 2018 she has found a love of passing on her passion; she says the children are 'heaps of fun' and enjoys watching them develop as 'amazing little humans, ace their pirouttes and confidently deliver their lines to an audience. Dandelion is a massive part of my life, and I am so grateful to be a part of it'. Erin is also working at Thorpe Park as one of the Fright Night scary actors!
Clara started her performing career at the Reigate School of Ballet, where she also went on to help with teaching, and went on to attend the Italia Conti Stage School in Guildford. She has just started an MA in Music Theatre at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, having graduated from Leeds University with a BA in Music and English. She is an accomplished violinist, ballet dancer and singer, having performed in many musicals, including some with the East Surrey Operatic Society. She has previously done work experience at the theatre, and loves the performing arts and working with children. We are delighted to welcome her on to the team from September 2019.
Mark’s very first experience of theatre photography was with Lionel Blair, Peter Simon, Nicholas Parsons and others more than 25 years ago. As a photographer for The Event newspaper in Norwich, he covered the launch of the Norwich Theatre Royal 1993 pantomime 'Dick Whittington and His Cat'. Mark started photographing Dandelion Theatre Arts in 2012, and has captured more than 25 of our shows and workshops. Mark also shoots professional theatre productions and rehearsals, and in 2019 became the official photographer for Leatherhead Drama Festival. Social media: @markmakesphotos Website:
Susy is a seasoned teacher and performer, taking our Saturday morning classes and many of the holiday workshops. She has starred in national and international theatre tours including Victoria Wood'sDinner Ladies, Shakespeare 4 Kids, Theatre Exchange and the British Shakespeare Company, as well as touring to Greece with Matrix Theatre. Susy’s TV credits include ad campaigns for IBM, the Rugby World Cup and British Airways and she has appeared on Channel 4's Top Boy and the Help Yourselves sitcom. Susy also choreographs music videos for urban music star Jahna Sebastian, her local pantomime, and is a Creative Director on the board at Prospero Theatre Company. She joined us in May 2018, and we love having her as part of the team!
Anton came relatively late to dance, only really getting seriously interested in his teens, when he began watching videos and teaching himself various styles of choreography. He went on to take classes and studied dance at West Herts. His day job is as a bookman at Superhire Props Ltd in north London, from where he commutes every Tuesday evening to train the D-Lionz dance squad. His style is varied, but mainly hip-hop. He loves all music and says dance is the only time when he feels free. 'I'm happiest when moving to music, and love to express myself on stage in front of a crowd'. He has trained the squad since it started in February 2017.
Claire fell in love with the magic of being on stage at the very young age of 2 1/2, and was drawn in by the incredible feeling of peace and self expression the stage offers, and the 'beautiful intimacy of performing'. She has done ballet all her life, and attended the Central School of Ballet. Ballet is her big passion; being the springboard for all types of dance, as well as being a beautiful artform in its own right, she says. Between auditions she loves to teach, and has recently qualified as a personal trainer. 'Nurturing children is one of the things I love about teaching, and seeing each child grow is truly a privilege.'
Having assisted at Dandelion Theatre Arts whilst she was at college, Esher is thrilled to be returning as a dance and drama teacher after graduating from her dance degree at the University of Chichester in 2019. Esher has worked as an Associate Choreographer for the contemporary dance company 3Fall Youth based at Shoreham Academy; one of her pieces of choreographu wasw selected to tour around the south of England with them during spring 2019, which was then showcased at the dance platform ‘Up Next’ at The Point Theatre, Eastleigh. Esher enjoys the fact that teaching allows her to combine her love for creating, whether that is a dance work or drama scene, with helping others progress and see their confidence and technique grow.
Steph teach drama on Thursdays, absolutely loves it, and says, 'I feel so lucky to be able to do it as a job!' When not teaching, she performs professionally, and particularly likes musicals, being so passionate about storytelling and making people feel something, especially through music. She grew up in Epsom and went to The BRIT School as a teenager, owns a dog and has a secret love of TV game shows. Steph concentrates on confidence and friendship-building in her classes, as well as having a huge amount of fun.
Dan started at The Leatherhead Theatre on a placement in 2009 after leaving school, and has been there more or less ever since, working his way up to Technical Manager. He has done short stints at theatres in Richmond and Dorking, covering more than 200 shows, including the Birds of a Feather tour, for Julian Lloyd Webber, Bobby Davro and Tim Vine. His vast technical knowledge means he has also been able to work in TV and film, including The Harry Hill Movie and more recently the BBC series of A Little Drummer Girl.