History

The Academy was founded in 1981 by the principal Deryl Whittaker. Miss Deryl is very affectionately known by the hundreds of babies, children, students, adults and professionals she has taught over 30 years.

Miss Deryl’s qualifications are: RAD Teachers Cert.Ballet, ISTD Registered – Ballet, Tap & Modern, AIDTA in Ballet, Tap & Modern, Licentiate UKA. Miss Deryl is also a Choreographer, Director, Producer and Mentor to trainee teachers. Along with her Husband Mark they also own Northern Productions.

Last year Northern Productions took 40 students from the Academy and toured the North West in very prestigious theatres and produced 12 shows of Snow Queen ( a full length ballet) and 12 shows of Annie the Musical. The shows received great reviews and in some theatres sold out. Clitheroe Grand saw people queuing down the street on show night hoping for tickets. Images and video clips are in the gallery. Miss Deryl’s pupils have also performed in London Palladium, Sadler’s Wells London, Her Majesty’s London, Palace Theatre Manchester and twice Annually at Blackpool Opera House.

The Academy has performed with Ballet Creations of London providing all the children for their production of Autumn Leaves and the Little Mermaid.

Examination results over the years are exceptional many children and students are gaining over 90 marks (Distinction) in their RAD Ballet exams and ISTD Tap and Modern.

Miss Deryl taught for 5 years in the Bolton Community College in the Performing Arts Department. Miss Deryl was responsible for the creation of the Professional Dancers Course at the College and entered many students for professional examinations in RAD and ISTD exams with very pleasing results.

Whilst teaching at the college she produced, choreographed and directed many splendid productions, the most famous was Miss Saigon with a cast of 150 students.

Whilst teaching at college she was asked by the head of section to teach the under 16’s excluded pupils. Miss Deryl did, with wonderful results even taking a group of 20, 15 year old boys to the ballet to watch Nutcracker. Miss Deryl still sees some of these ‘un-teachable’ youths and is very proud of them.