Talented sisters taking leap of faith with dance school
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-years-old 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 taught at other dance schools, but I have always wanted to have my own school.
“It is very exciting, it is the first time I have had 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.
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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.
She said the school will cater for children and young people of all ages and will take part in exams, competitions and championships, as well as put on shows.
To find out more about the centre in Station Road, visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SDAPerformingArts/.