Dancers tak­ing a leap of faith


Sunderland Echo - - News - By Sue Kirby @suekir­byjp

A pair of danc­ing sis­ters are hop­ing to share their tal­ents with a new dance school.

Stephanie Wil­liams, 25, has launched The Stage Door Academy of Per­form­ing Arts in Houghton.

The for­mer Lit­tle Mer­maid at Dis­ney­land Paris, who will be the prin­ci­pal of the school, is be­ing joined in teach­ing the chil­dren by her younger sis­ter Emily Wil­liams, 17.

Emily was just nine-year­sold when she left her Win­gate home to take on a star­ring role as Deb­bie Wilkin­son in Billy El­liot the Mu­si­cal at the Vic­to­ria Palace The­atre, London.

Both sis­ters, who started danc­ing at a young age, have a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence to pass on to the pupils at their per­form­ing arts school.

Stephe­nie said: “I have taugh­ta­tother­danceschools, but I have al­ways wanted to have my own school.”

Stephanie be­gan her train­ing at the age of four study­ing all as­pects of dance and mu­si­cal the­atre.

She be­gan com­pet­ing at the age of six and has won many ti­tles since then, in­clud­ing The North of Eng­land Se­nior Tap Cham­pion and Se­nior Supreme Ac­ro­batic Cham­pion.

At 18 Stephanie se­cured a place at the Doreen Bird Col­lege of Per­form­ing Arts in Kent and af­ter a year of in­tense train­ing in London, she au­di­tioned for the Dis­ney­land Paris Com­pany and moved to France to be­come the Lit­tle Mer­maid.

On re­turn­ing to the re­gion, Stephanie, who now lives in Houghton, stud­ied Busi­ness Man­age­ment and Dance at the Univer­sity of Sun­der­land and grad­u­ated with a first class hon­ours de­gree.

Younger sis­ter, Emily, was just two when she took her first steps into the world of dance and per­form­ing, win­ning a huge amount of com­pe­ti­tions.

Land­ing her role in Billy El­liot at such a young age, Emily stayed with the com­pany for 18 months be­fore re­turn­ing home to her school­ing and dance train­ing. She at­tended Stock­ton River­side Col­lege on a per­form­ing arts course and is also a teach­ing as­sis­tant at The Pauline Quirke Academy.

Emily is no stranger to tele­vi­sion work hav­ing ap­peared in CBBC’s The Dump­ing Ground and ITV’s Vera.

Stephanie said the stage school, which will be based in the Ev­ery­one Ac­tive Cen­tre in Houghton, will ini­tially con­cen­trate on teach­ing bal­let, mod­ern and jazz, but will ex­pand into other ar­eas.

It will also be host­ing mother and tod­dler classes.

To find out more about the cen­tre in Sta­tion Road, visit the Face­book page at www. face­­form­ingArts/.


Emily in Billy El­liot, aged 9.


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