Since ACS started in 1994, it has actively promoted boys to dance. With Mark taking separated boys classes, there has always been a role model for younger boys to emulate and the proportion of our boys who not only carry on dancing through their teenage years, but also go on into performing, competing and teaching careers is very high.
Whether boys wish to learn ballroom, latin, jazz, tap, modern, ballet or drama and singing (musical theatre), ACS specialises in Boys dance and it is great for our boys to feel they are not the only one in a school full of just girls they are not alone. This benefits them and also benefits our female students too, who always have the option of dance partners from within the school for shows and competitions.
ACS has three male teachers including Mark himself, Charles and Charlie and two male teaching assistants Joe and Chris. The
ACS partnership with Royal Opera House’s Chance to Dance project is encouraging even more boys to participate in classes as 50% of the Chance to dance cohort were male and we have had several male "Junior Associates" accepted at the Royal Ballet schooll.
With the advent of the Boys Scholarship audition last year, our intake of boys has again increased.
BOYS ONLY MODERN
Junior boys (8-12 years) attend Wednesdays 4.00-4.45pm and senior boys (13-18 years) attend Thursdays from 4.30-5.30pm. In these classes with Mark, boys study a variety of boys dance exercises together with learning exciting boys routines. Boys will need to show additional strength as they dance, jump higher than girls and execute multiple turns ready for the demands of partnering and lifts. Today also boys increasingly need to show gymnastic ability, as well as adapt to multiple styles from Ballet and lyrical to hip-hop, jazz, contemporary, tap and ballroom. We have a portable gym and free weights to supervise boys in strengthening exercises for their core, arms, chest, thighs and stamina and can help train all genres.
Boys attend the mixed grade classes appropriate for their level in Modern, freestyle street, tap, jazz, ballroom, latin and musical theatre.
Glenn started at ACS age 10 with disco and ballroom and then started modern and ballet later, leaving at 16 with his ISTD Intermediates, during this time Mark mentored Glenn and he started to assist with his Boys modern classes and then teach Adult Street classes. This was when he got a taste for teaching and choreography. He gained a place at Performers College and returned after this to ACS to study and gain his Modern DDE teaching qualification, preferring teaching to performing. He now teaches and runs an agency supplying specialist dance teachers to primary schools, both in Essex and Liverpool.
"As both a previous student and once member of the teaching team, it’s impossible to really do justice to how much a part of my life ACS has been. More than a building where dance is taught, it is a second family and has shaped both the person I am today and provided me a career I am still passionately pursuing. I have too many fond memories of competitions, shows, classes taken and friends made along the way to possibly keep track! “Synergy” was the first big show I ever did on stage. As a student teacher I had the great privilege of working on some of the later boys numbers with Mark and after being brought up in his classes it was very fulfilling to be able to be a part of that, guiding the next generation of young male dancer as they came up through the school. The support I received when I started to audition for dance colleges was also first class. I
remember many a long talk when I needed help making decisions and extra classes were squeezed in to tighten up audition routines and songs. Mark cut edits of music for me along the way, support from the ACS scholarship fund too and trips to college shows to help further my aspirations. Even when I decided to leave college early after realising a career in performance
wasn’t for me, the support never stopped. I was welcomed back into the fold with open arms, mentored through my teaching exams and given the mantle of taking over adult disco classes on Thursday evenings. I was given the chance to put my own numbers into a show. I work in Primary and Secondary eduction these days, rather than just dance schools. It’s not the normal route for a dance teacher but getting to share my knowledge, skill and passion with children that don’t have the opportunity to go to a studio like ACS this has provided me with a career that I wake up beaming about every day! Through my agency I am able to fill as many schools as possible with engaging dance professionals. I am also currently setting up an all boys class too at a local dance academy as I want to provide the boys I teach across my schools with the same opportunities that ACS gave to me back in the day. A challenging but encouraging space where male students can meet like minded boys that also have a passion for dance and get the specific training the male dancer needs. I shall do my best to be their “Mark”!
From dancing on Top Of The Pops, performing in music videos, choreographing a modern dance duet for Queen Elizabeth II and now directing my own teaching agency, it’s been a pretty interesting journey so far and it all started at Anthony Cliffords. I am forever grateful for the part that my dance family have played in me achieving my goals so far and I look forward to what the
future holds for ACS having seen it go from strength to strength in the years since I moved away.
Forever Thankful, Glenn Lee Stavers x"
Charlie also started at ACS age 10 with Tap dancing and then branched out to modern, ballet and ballroom, latin and disco. An advanced drummer also, he and Joe were selected to perform a Tap combined with drumming duet called “Drum Crazy” in the first ever “Dance Proms” at the Albert Hall, in front of 2,000 people. Charlie continued to dance all genres but found a regular competitive partner from Lithuania to dance ballroom and Latin with and started to compete on the open circuit. He has risen steadily through the international under 25 and now the UK and World Amateur ranks and was 3rd in the UK for Ballroom and Latin 10 dance. He teaches and partners competitive dancers here at ACS as well as at other schools and also has his own
Cabaret act with his dance partner Ineta.
Chris has danced since the age of 3, pretty much all genres from Ballet to Ballroom. Tap is his favourite of all and he has been assisting in classes for both younger students and adults for several years and is the youngest student ACS has ever had to complete his DDE tap at age 17. He competed at Blackpool Grand finals in Ballroom and Latin and leaves ACS now after this year with his Intermediates and DDE, to tour Australia for a year. He does not know exactly where life will take him but is thinking of studying Acting and musical theatre when he returns after his year abroad.
Andrew started with ACS and danced all theatre subjects gaining his Intermediates. He gained a place at Bird college the year after Ricky and following college danced professionally for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line for several years, becoming Dance captain. During this time he was trained to do adagio and aerial work, suspended from silks 5 decks high! He met his now wife during this period, who was a fellow dancer and they now live in America and have their own adagio act and perform for all the main cruise lines throughout the world as guest entertainers.
Dean started ACS just to do Musical theatre, drama and singing training though he does also dance salsa. An extremely talented actor he auditioned for additional training at National Youth theatre and then gained a place at Mountview Theatre School on the 3 year BA Acting Course. During his training he wowed everyone by being cast as Hamlet above the 3rd years and secured a top agent on graduation. He has worked throughout this country and Europe, appearing in Theatre and TV and is waiting for his big break! He comes back to teach master classes in Acting, such as Stage Combat and acting for Camera.
Joe was born to dance, with two dancing parents it was basically inevitable. He performed with Charlie in the first ever Dance Proms in a tap duet, he also was selected by the ISTD to be in the syllabus DVD’s of Grade 3 Tap and Grade 3 Ballet and won the ISTD’s Victor Leopold Cup at the Tap Awards. He decided to study music technology at University but has continued to dance, donning his dance shoes again to be part of the ACS 25th Anniversary show, he featured in Matrix, Mary Poppins and The River Dance. He is now studying for his Salsa and Latin Associates and choreographs and teaches Wedding First dances in his spare time.
Alfie stated dancing age 8 and danced all genres plus drama and singing from the start. He competed in ballroom and Latin at a national level with fellow ACS student Jennifer, but then has chosen theatre as his career, with a particular flair for choreography, this is his ultimate aim.
He gained his Intermediates and his DDI modern teaching exam here before leaving ACS alongside doing his A levels and took up a full-time place at Performers College. He is about to go into his third year, and we look forward to following his career and seeing where it will take him.
Mark Allison was an advanced competitive ice-skater before turning to dance. He attended a small full-time college at 16 where he learnt to dance, but after a brief performing contract after college decided performing wasn’t form him. He then changed tack and flew the Skys as an air Steward for the next 5 years before deciding to try teaching, which is when he started at ACS to study his DDE Ballet and Advanced 2 Ballet. In just two years he has completed his Advanced 2 with Diana with distinction and also completed his DDE Ballet. He is now studying for Licentiate and hopes to go on to Fellowship.
He has been mentored by Diana throughout his journey and because of her recommendation has joined Diana as a “Chance to Dance” Associate Artist on the Royal Opera House project. As a consequence of this opportunity and the connections he has made at ROH, he will also now be teaching on the C.A.T. project and Royal Ballet’s “Primary Steps” program in East Anglia where he lives. He also teaches for Junior Masters.
Liam loves to dance and came along to a boys only modern class with Mark together with his twin Chris, recommended by his Grandmother who attended Ballroom classes with Mark. His talents for drama and singing soon became apparent and he also branched out into ballroom and latin. Liam and his brother were always popular with their comic flair in musical theatre productions at ACS and although gaining a place at Cambridge University to become a Vet, he continued to dance and was part of the Cambridge competitive team for ballroom and latin competing against other universities across the country and eventually running the Ballroom Society by his final year. He is now pursuing a Masters degree in London and is running that Ballroom competitive Team too.
Hakeem started dancing with ACS at age 13 and quickly embraced all dance style, he is an al-rounder but probably would say Tap is is his favourite. He had to make a big choice between Maths and Ance and chose dance and auditioned successfully for Bird College and is about to go into his second year of training. His future looks very bright.
Aaman and his brother Zayan came to ACS through the Royal
ballet’s Dagenham, “Primary steps” program. They had received subsidised taster lessons at their primary school and been identified as having potential, ACS then had the task of increasing their technical balletic knowledge and trying to get them into the JA program. This they both were accepted as JAs and Aaman also went on to MA’s and also the CAT project. Aaman appeared in the Sleeping Beauty at the Opera House where he was a Monkey and a page boy.
Sam also started with “Primary steps” and came to study ballet at ACS, through last year’s scholarship program he has attended the senior boys modern class and really enjoyed the new genre and being part of the boys sections of The Matrix and Greased Lightning in the 25th anniversary show. Now the scholarship is over he is continuing with modern.
Amaru also started with “Primary steps” and just studied ballet with ACS. He also started modern with ACS as part of the scholarship program last year for the first time and although he is still only 11 makes the 40 minute bus journey to ACS and back twice a week by himself, in order to pursue his dancing. He kept up with the 14 year olds in his section of The Matrix dance, and shows great potential for the future. He has recently also been accepted for the CAT project.
Corentin is only just 15 and Is the first official recipient of the new ACS Boys full scholarship, although there have always been helping hands along the way for deserving students. He has embraced the opportunity this year fully and attends no fewer than 12 classes per week covering multiple genres. He has made the decision to follow a performing career in dance and looks forward to auditioning for colleges in a few year’s time. He was our Harry Potter in diana’s Ballet epic in the 25th Anniversary show. He prefers, Ballet, Modern and Tap but also does disco, ballroom, latin and musical theatre.
Cole is 14 and firm friends with Corentin and they have learnt together through the last 5 years at ACS. Cole studies all genres but has a particualr preference for ballroom, latin and acting. He competes in open competitions and hopes to study veterinary science and also continue his ballroom competitive ambitions while at University.
Danced and acted with ACS from the age of 8 and left with intermediates. He is doing a History Degree at Nottingham currently but is still competing on the University circuit and is hoping to go into acting and performing after he has completed his first degree.
Sean danced from age 8 upto 18 across all genres except Tap and was also a talented actor and singer appearing in many leading roles. He assisted Diana in musical theatre classes for many years and eventually went on to performing arts college and now performs and composes his own songs.
Ricky started dance late at age 15 but certainly had that special something. Diana realised immediately he had what it took to become a professional, he danced an Advanced modern solo for Diana’s Fellowship modern exam and and in just 3 years he had gained is Intermediates and auditioned successfully for Bird college. Following college he performed throughout England in musical theatre tours such as Grease, fame and Footloose.
Ian danced Tap and modern with ACS as did his younger brother, and then later on branched out into ballroom dancing and musical theatre. A strong academic student in maths. He went on to study Maths at Warwick University and by the end of his degree was in charge of the University Ballroom Competitive society. He still dances and is heavily involved in amateur dramatics near his home in Pinner.
Arin A age 8
Elliott R age 8
Makariy M 8
Okyanus U 8
Ivan M 9
Ivan I 9
Tomas M 9
James H 9
Azizz G 8
James L 12
Tolga I 8
Toprak Y 8
Richard Z 9
Iannis S 10
Lukas M 12
Raul B 13
Amaru W 11
Sam R 14
Cole TY 14
Corententin G 15
Josh Y 23
Plus, over 35 current, more mature gentleman!