meet our team

Dance Teachers

Hilary Needham – Principal


Some of you may know Miss Hilary already, as she is an ex pupil of the school, of 20 years, who returned to teach for us in 2010 following the sad death of Janet Beard.

Hilary has many years of experience in the world of dance and has taught professionally for over 21 years. Following her senior examination successes at the ‘Nellie Stagles School of Theatre Dance’, Hilary left to attend the ‘London College of Dance’. Here she completed a three year course in Dance Studies and Dance Teacher Training, to Associate level and was awarded the Diploma of the college (Dip. LCD) in 1992.

Whilst at college she also gained her Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Advanced 1 Ballet and her Tap and Modern qualifications and during her final year she was elected 'Head Girl' (President of the student union) by her peers.

After leaving college, Hilary remained in the south of England and ran her own dance school with branches in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. In addition to this she taught at many primary and theatre schools and was asked to choreograph routines for children's showcases staged at the London Palladium and Theatre Royal Drury Lane. She also created and developed dance and movement sessions for children and adults with learning difficulties at local hospitals and special needs schools.

Eventually, returning to her native Doncaster Hilary continued her studies and was awarded the Certificate in Education (Cert ED) after following a programme in Education and Training in the Post-Compulsory Sector by the University of Huddersfield.

Most recently, she has enjoyed working in the community dance world and has continued to teach therapeutic movement sessions to students with learning difficulties. She has also been the resident choreographer for local amateur operatic group the Hatfield Woodhouse Players and has staged many productions with them, including 'Anything Goes' and 'Oklahoma'.

Kathryn Preston


Kathryn’s love for dance and performing began early, at the tender age of 3 years of age, when she joined the ‘Nellie Stagles School of Theatre Dance’.

Throughout her early and teenage years, Kathryn received tuition from Miss Stagles, Mrs Beard and Miss Julie – excelling her all her IDTA and RAD dance classes. In fact Kathryn achieved no less than Highly Commented and Honours in every single examination she took whilst a pupil of the school.

Over the years, Kathryn also represented the dancing school at the Doncaster Civic Theatre, being offered contracts with Pantoni Pantomimes 8 years running – first as a ‘Nellie Stagles Juvenile’ and then part of the ‘Rita Proctor Teensteppers’ troupe.

It was these great examination successes and professional theatre work experience that continued to feed and fuel Kathryn’s passion for dance, confirming her decision to attend the prestigious ‘Phil Winston’s Theatre Works’ in Blackpool. During her 3 years study at Theatre Works, Kathryn took part in many professional shows in and around the Lancashire area – often playing lead dance and vocal roles, including taking the role of Principal Dancer at a ‘Help For Heroes’ concert.  

Kathryn successfully graduated from Blackpool, achieving the highest mark possible in her I.D.T.A. teaching qualifications.

As well as running our Tickhill studio, Kathryn travels around several local Primary Schools within our Borough, teaching and assisting with after school clubs.

Aggie Gryszel


Aggie started dancing at the age of 3 at the Betty Chappelle Dance Centre in Penistone. At the age of 16 she continued her professional training at Norton College, Sheffield, where she gained a Distinction in Performing Arts.

Following her graduation, Aggie was then fortunate enough to secure a place at Phil Winstons' Theatre Works, in Blackpool, where she studied for 3 years.

Over the years Aggie’s professional dancing career has seen her perform throughout the UK for companies such as Qdos Entertainment – sharing the stage with the likes of Julian Clary and Ken Dodd.

Aggie has also danced internationally, on board several ships for the world famous cruise line Carnival Cruises - where she had the opportunity to work with top choreographers in Las Vegas, LA and New York.

Since returning to the UK, Aggie has been in much demand for both her choreographic skills and teaching abilities.  She is a qualified Licentiate member of the I.D.T.A and has taught at several top performing dance schools in Sheffield and Wakefield, where her classes proved so popular that there was a waiting list of students wanting to join!

Aggie is affiliated to several amateur operatic societies throughout South Yorkshire and choreographs numerous productions every year. Her most recent productions have included; Footloose, Fame and Hairspray and more recently in 2015 ‘Rent’ at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. Additionally, Aggie has lectured to NODA members on dance technique and has been invited to perform and star in several of their productions, which she has been heavily involved in.

Aggie teaches all branches of the I.D.T.A syllabus, specialising in Modern Jazz, Gymnastics Dance, Street and Tap - with many of her students gaining scholarships for their work.  

Aggie is thrilled to be joining the Nellie Stagles School of Theatre Dance and cannot wait to start working on show numbers!

Shani Mitchell – Associate Teacher

Fellow Examiner I.D.T.A, Adjudicator, Lecturer and Professional Choreographer

Shani Mitchells’ work as an international choreographer has grown naturally from her extensive performance career both in Britain and throughout the world.

A Fellow and Examiner of the ‘International Dance Teachers Association’ (I.D.T.A.) and a member of its Modern Jazz Technical Committee, she is firmly grounded in classical technique, but the fire and passion of her choreography owes much to her time in Spain. A principal dancer and soloist on Spanish televisions ‘Entre Amigos’, she worked with Shirley Bassey, Latoya Jackson, Donna Summer and Sacha Distel, to name but a few.

Fluent in languages, her thirst for travel led her to join the Royal Caribbean International Cruise Line as Principal Dancer and Rehearsal Director, working throughout Scandinavia, the Mediterranean, Russia and the United States, returning to England to teach masterclasses at the ‘Phil Winstons’ Theatre Works’, Blackpool and extend her choreographic repertoire.

She has choreographed for Qdos Entertainments Grand Christmas Productions; Peter Pan at the Richmond Theatre, Newcastle Theatre Royal, Mayflower Southampton, His Majestys Aberdeen and Beauty and the Beast at Darlington Civic Theatre, working with Bonnie Langford, Robert Powell, Timothy Healey, Alan Fletcher and Paul Nicholas.

She was asked to join the giant Turkish show ‘Sultans of the Dance’ in the Showland Theatre in Istanbul as Rehearsal Director.  Since then she has choreographed more ambitious production, ‘Flames of Passion’, both shows following their home runs with International tours.

Most recently she has been asked to promote the I.D.T.A. Modern Jazz Dance syllabus for the Royal Academy of Dance Summer School in Hong Kong and New Zealand.

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64 Hatchellwood View
Bessacarr, Doncaster