Teaching Team


Jacqui Ison

Jacqui Ison

BA (Hons.), FISTD, FIDTA, RAD (RTS) and Diploma

Jacqui received her initial training with Joy Spriggs, Tereza Theodoulou and Elizabeth Harrison. After receiving a full scholarship, she went on to study at Bird College before pursuing a professional career as a dancer, choreographer and performer. As a full member of Equity, she has performed and choreographed all over the world appearing on stage and television working with international stars and celebrities.

After travelling extensively for many years, Jacqui returned to England and qualified as a teacher under the umbrella of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) in Imperial Ballet, Tap, Modern, National and later in Classical Greek dance as well as achieving the Advanced 2 examinations in all subjects with Honours/Distinction. During her teacher training, Jacqui was awarded a number of awards by the ISTD including the Mavdor scholarship for Classical Ballet presented by Miss Joyce Percy and Miss June Rycroft, the Helen Wingrave award for National dance presented by Mr Robert Harold and the Historical Dance Research award which was awarded to her personally by Miss Phrosso Pfister, former Principal of the London College of Dance and Drama and the college choreographic cup.

Following her graduation, Jacqui taught at various schools including Arts Educational schools, Tring and Bird College and has appeared as a guest teacher and choreographer at many leading vocational colleges. Following further classical study, she was awarded with Distinction the Teaching Certificate and Diploma from the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD).

In 1993, she opened her own dance and theatre arts school offering high quality training in dance, singing and musical theatre to children and young people. Over the years, Jacqui has seen many of her pupils progress into full time vocational training at leading colleges and universities, many of whom are teaching professionally and performing today in film, television and theatre. She has produced winners for Team England at the Dance World Cup as well as producing many All England Dance regional and national level gold, silver and bronze medallists.

Within the ever changing world of the arts, Jacqui returned to academic study and in 1999, graduated with a first class BA Honours Degree in performing arts together with the undergraduate University prize from Middlesex University. Upon graduation, Jacqui went on to choreograph for a number of professional contemporary dance companies as well as teaching Graham technique at Middlesex University under her mentor Anne Went, former principal dancer with London Contemporary Dance Theatre.

Jacqui was later head hunted to develop dance at a specialist status secondary school in performing arts, as well as her own school, where she taught GCSE and AS/A2 dance. During her time with the school, Jacqui underwent OFSTED inspections where she was awarded a grade 1 (outstanding) for her teaching and development of dance. She has also taught creative dance to nursery and reception children as well as children and young people with disabilities and Key stages 1, 2 and 3.

With her commitment to education and training of the performing arts, Jacqui went on to work with a number of renowned tap dance masters in New York as well as developing technique and research at the Alvin Ailey School and the American Ballet Theatre School in New York.

Today, Jacqui holds the prestigious Fellowship teaching award, the highest award in teaching from the ISTD and the International Dance Teachers Association (IDTA) and the United Kingdom Alliance for Professional Teachers of Dancing (UKA).

Combined with her successful track record and wealth of experience, Jacqui is honoured to be a Dance Adjudicator for both the British and International Federation of Festivals and All England Dance.


Rachael Gradwell

Rachael Gradwell

ARAD, PDTD

Rachael trained at Suzanne's School of Dance, where she studied various styles of dance including, Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Ballet, Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing Modern, Jazz and Tap through to Advanced 2 level. As a child, Rachael took part in many festivals and All England Dance National finals and has performed with the London Junior Ballet.

Rachael progressed quickly through the RAD grades passing her Advanced 2 RAD at 16 years under the tuition of Victoria Maitland then went on to study for her Diploma in Professional Musical Theatre at Millennium Performing Arts on a full scholarship.

Rachael has worked with many varied choreographers including Stephen Mear and after many professional engagements as a student went on to work with the Royal Opera Company.

Rachael moved to Paris and joined Disneyland Paris where she became Dance Captain and Choreographer. On returning to London, Rachael auditioned for the Professional Dancers’ Teaching Diploma at the Royal Academy of Dance and was offered a place along with a full scholarship.


Deborah Gilduff

Deborah Gilduff

ARAD, PDTC

Deborah trained at the Hammond School, Chester before joining the Vienna Festival Ballet Company and the London Festival Ballet Company. After many years of working in the corps de ballet, Deborah went on to become a soloist with the London City Ballet. Her soloist roles include Coppelia, Laurencia, Pas de Quatre, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake to name but a few.

Deborah has performed in many Royal Galas and by special invitation was chosen to perform at Kensington Palace for Diana, Princess of Wales.

Other performances and credits include The Royal Variety Performance, documentaries and commercials for television and radio.

Deborah’s professional career as a ballet dancer has spanned over 25 years and in that time has given her the opportunity to perform on the worldwide platform as well as teaching at full time vocational colleges and as guest teacher for Ballet Companies. As well as holding the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Advanced 2 examination, Deborah is also an experienced and qualified teacher of Pilates and Classical Ballet gaining the Professional Dancers’ Teaching Certificate with Distinction from the RAD.


Dawn Baker

Dawn Baker

LLAM, AISTD Diploma

Dawn received her initial training with Joy Spriggs, Tereza Theodoulou and Elizabeth Harrison gaining the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) Associate Teaching examinations in Imperial Ballet, Modern, National and Tap as well as the Advanced 2 examinations in Modern, Tap and National dance.

After training, Dawn was a member of a Theatre In Education company touring schools in London with theatre workshops and performances based on youth and contemporary issues. On gaining Diploma status with the ISTD, Dawn went on to widen her credentials by choreographing musicals including Singing in the Rain, Return to the Forbidden Planet, The Merry Widow, the Wizard of Oz, Ruddigore and was later offered the position of Drama tutor for the Millfield Theatre, North London devising pieces for local amateur and professional productions and developing holiday workshops and dance and theatre programmes. Dawn later studied speech and drama with LAMDA examiner, Annette Elliott, gaining the Licentiate Diploma in 2006. She now teaches freelance including her long relationship of over twenty years with Jacqui Ison School of Dance & Theatre Arts. Dawn continues to extend her knowledge of dance and theatre arts and is involved with the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, National Operatic and Dramatic Association and the National Theatre Teachers Centre. Many pupils are currently working in television and film, the West End, Globe Theatre and at the National Theatre.


Francine Cornell

Francine Cornell

ARAD, PDTD

Francine trained at The Arts Educational School, Tring. From there she went on to study full time at the Northern Ballet School and Millennium Dance 2000 all with full scholarships.

Since graduating, Francine has performed all genres of dance all over the world. Highlights include the World Premiere of Adam Cooper’s Shall We Dance, Sadlers Wells; Six UK Tours with Strictly Come Dancing’s Anton Du Beke & Erin Boag; touring the UK, Europe and Australia with Robbie Williams on his Swings Both Ways Tour and working with artist such as Paul McCartney, Katy Perry and Olly Murs to name a few. After performing, Francine returned to study at the Royal Academy of Dance where she was awarded the Professional Dance Teachers Diploma with Distinction.


Bethany Huckle

Bethany Huckle

Professional Dancer / Choreographer

Bethany trained at Dance Design Theatre Arts before going on to study the Diploma in Professional Musical Theatre at the Urdang Academy. To complete her vocational training Bethany took her Advanced 1 and 2 examinations at the Jacqui Ison School of Dance & Theatre Arts.

As a seasoned performer with a wealth of competitive performance experience at All England Dance Regional and National level, Bethany is now developing theatrical performance and choreography within the school.


Sara Hamilton-Wilson

Sara Hamilton-Wilson

BA (Hons)

Sara trained in Ballet, Tap, Modern, Contemporary, Disco Freestyle, Singing and Musical Theatre with the Morgan Aslanoff Theatre School in London, appearing in her first show on stage at the age of three.

Sara holds a BA (Hons) degree in Modern Theatre from Brunel University, specialising in Directing and Stage Management. She is also a former professional dancer, having performed and choreographed for multiple shows in the UK, including directing and performing in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Brighton Fringe Festival and themed events highlighting social issues.

Having completed her degree Sara spent time in Chicago, Illinois, USA, where she created and taught technical dance workshops for Marquee Youth Theatre Company, professional audition skills, and song and dance classes. She has also directed, performed and choreographed The King of The Pride, Willy Wonka and High School Musical and many of her pupils went on to audition and perform in shows across the USA.

Sara has been vocally trained by the internationally renowned opera singer, Katherine Jenkins, and has completed all IDTA vocational exams in Tap, Modern, Disco, Musical Theatre and Classical Ballet. Over the years, she competed and performed in many dance competitions, winning multiple gold medals in regional dance festivals and All England Dance National Finals.


Isabella Parsell

Isabella Parsell

Isabella is currently studying A levels and has been dancing for over 14 years. She is an Advanced 2 level dancer in RAD Ballet, ISTD Tap, ISTD Modern, ISTD National and ISTD Classical Greek with examinations to date all awarded with Distinction. She is also studying Grade 8 singing and LAMDA examinations.

Isabella has appeared in a number of TV adverts as well as the music video Life in Technicolor ii by Coldplay. She has danced with Bill Irwin, Professor Robert Reed and Savion Glover in New York as part of the Jazz Tap Masters Programme and is looking forward to continuing her Contemporary and Classical studies in New York and company classes with the Vienna Ballet Company.

Isabella is a Dance World Cup gold medallist, multiple All England champion in several genres, Grandison-Clark National Awards national champion and National Greek Dance Association national champion. She is also an Affiliate Member of the RAD and is about to embark on the RAD Teachers’ Certificate of Teaching. In addition, Isabella also trains at the Royal Academy of Dance under the guidance of Miss June Mitchell, Senior RAD Vocational Examiner.