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Alicia has 13 years of teaching experience, and is the recent winner of the Arthur J Gallagher Award for receiving the highest mark in any teaching exam worldwide, within the theatre branch of the IDTA.  

She trained at the Elizabeth Hill School of Dance and Drama, in Merseyside. She then went on to train professionally at Phil Winston's Theatreworks on a 3 year dance and musical theatre course.


Theatre credits: Ensemble and swing in We Will Rock You (London); Cinderella (Bristol Hippodrome), West End Rocks (Reading); Liz in Chicago (UK Tour); Dance Captain in Dick Whittington (Northampton); June in Chicago (London); Cinderella (Northampton),  


TV credits:

BBC 2012 Olympic Handover Party; Blue Peter; Al Murray's Happy Hour; Lenny Henry's 5 O'clock Show


Alicia is proud to say she once held the title of Miss Dance of Great Britain. She was also the winner of the Janet Cramm Awards, and held many other titles as a child, such as All of England, British and Internatonal Champion in ballet, modern and tap.


She has been choreographing for dance school shows and competitons around the UK since 2004, as well as running musical theatre workshops around the country. Alicia has been invited to hold lectures in both musical theatre and modern jazz at the IDTA and ADA annual congresses, and is a regular adjudicator for dance competitions within the UK.


Now a mother of two, Alicia is excited to be embarking on her latest project of running a performing arts school. She is a Licentiate member of the IDTA and has aspirations of becoming an examiner one day, therefore is constantly training and continuing her professional development.


Alicia is certified to teach Acrobatic Arts.


Alicia Afonso LIDTA

 Principal / Director 

ricardo headshot

Ricardo is regarded as being one of the best vocal talents in the industry, having recently toured the UK and Europe with The Classic Rock Show. Shortly before this he appeared in the brand new musical, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, where he played the role of the Taxi Driver alongside the wonderful Tamsin Grieg. at the Playhouse Theatre, London.

He is currently taking time out to be with his children, and enjoy life at home in Portugal.


Theatre credits and workshops:

Lead vocalist - Thriller Live (Lyric Theatre, Lonodon); Taxi Driver - workshop production of Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown directed by Bartlett Sher; Alberto Beddini  - Top Hat The Musical (London and UK tour) directed by Matthew White; Galileo in We Will Rock You (London);  lead vocalist - Strictly Come Dancing- The Professionals UK tour; Willie Lopez - workshop of Ghost, directed by Matthew Warchus; lead vocalist - A Rock and Symphonic Spectacular.


Recording credits (UK):

Paradise Lost by Lee Ormsby and Jonathan Wakeham; One Not Two for the album Surrounded by Sounds by Tim Prottey-Jones; Dreamer for the album based on the Terry Pratchett book Only You Can Save Mankind composed by Leighton James House; The Meerkat Muchachos for the album Bush Tales composed by Matthew Jameson.


Ricardo appeared in the BBC 1 television contest The Voice UK 2013 on Team Danny. He also fronted the cast of We Will Rock You in the opening of the handover ceremony for the Olympic Games 2012, live on BBC1 and in front of Buckingham Palace. This is still one of the most exhilarating moments of his career.


Ricardo continues to be involved in the decision-making of the school and all things creative.


Ricardo Afonso



Stefan Puxon

Street Dance Teacher

Gemma Whitelam headshot

Gemma Whitelam AISTD

Gemma trained at Laine Theatre Arts, Surrey. She is currently assistant choreographer on Strictly Come Dancing (BBC 1), and most recently appeared in Sinatra at the London Palladium.


Theatre credits include: Dance Til Dawn (UK Tour), Jersey Boys (Prince Edward Theatre, West End), We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre, West End), The Wedding Singer (UK Premiere UK Tour), Rent (Duke of York’s Theatre, West End), Desperately Seeking Susan (Novello Theatre, West End), Footloose (UK Tour & Playhouse Theatre, West End), Grease (UK Tour), Fame (Aldwych Theatre, West End), Footloose (1st UK Tour), Oh! What A Night (UK Tour) and pantomimes at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth and New Victoria Theatre, Woking.


Workshops include: Vicky in The Thing About Tom (London Welsh Centre), Ensemble in The Waterbabies (Shaftesbury Theatre, West End), Ensemble in Vampirette (London), Tanya / Cassie in Blockbuster (Expressions Studio, London) and The Girl in A Question Mark for a Face (Aldwych Theatre, West End)


TV credits: Gemma has appeared in the Royal Variety Performance (ITV), Christmas Pantomimes of Aladdin and Dick Whittington (ITV) and also as a dancer on Gloria Hunniford's Open House (Channel 5).


Gemma regularly works as an assistant to choreographer and director Karen Bruce. Work includes: BBC's So You Think You Can Dance (2011), Strictly Come Dancing (2011, 2012 & 2013) and Sport Relief Does Strictly Come Dancing (2012). Gemma needs to take a moment to thank her family for their continued love and support in everything she does.


For more information about Gemma, please visit www.access-uk.com

Dance & Musical Theatre


Stefan trained at Bodywork Company Dance Studios and Tiffany Theatre College


Choreographic credits:

Will Young - Losing Myself - music video; Smirnoff - Viral; Tiny Dancer - Who Am I? - music video; EE - Conga Line - Advert; Chinese New Year 2012 - stage show; Holiday Inn - Advert; You View - Advert; Years and Years - Take Shelter - Music video


Performance credits:

Dancer for 'Agnes' - O2 Arena; Dancer for 'Labrinth' - O2 Arena; TV advert for 'So You Think You Can Dance?' BBC1; Le Grand Macabre By Gyorgy Ligeti; Toyota "Shout Out" -  Viral - 2012; BMW World - Fashion Show - 2012; Puma Head Quarters - Fashion Show - 2012; Giff Gaff - Zombie - Advert - 2013; Harry Hill - Movie - 2013; Samsung - Galaxy - Advert - 2013; Ambrosia - Pudding - Advert 2013; Foxes - Holding on to heav; en - Music Video - 2014

Swan Lake Reloaded European Tour - role = Siegfried - Hip Hop Theatre - 2013 to 2014


Stefan has vast experience as a teacher, having taught at some of the top colleges, as well as Husky Studios, Studio 68 and Pineapple Studios in Covent Garden.


Click here to view Stefan's choreographic reel


Click here to view Stefan's perfromance showreel


Meet the Team


Gemma found her love of acting and became interested in the Television and Film industry whilst completing her A Levels at high school in Berkhamsted.


Upon finishing high school, she attended The Academy of Live and Recorded Arts in London, undertaking the Foundation Acting course. She completed practical training in Voice, Movement and Acting and made a decision to pursue a full time acting training at drama school.


After auditioning she received a scholarship for The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts (New York) on their professional training program for Television and Film where she learnt the specialized technique of Acting on Screen. Scene study, voice over, commercial, audition technique and business were among the Conservatory’s intense curriculum.


Whilst in New York Gemma assisted Lucie Pohl in her one woman show ‘Hi Hitler!’ and regularly interned for New York casting directors, broadening her knowledge and understanding of the Television and Film Industry.


Recently graduated with a degree in Film and Television Performance, she is excited to share her craft and love of acting with Afonso School of PA, whilst starting out on her career in television and film in the UK.                                                    

Gemma Gordon

Acting Coach

Kate is originally from Lancashire where she started dancing at the age of three, going on to train at Northern Ballet School in Manchester on the professional musical theatre course where she also gained her ISTD teaching qualifications.


Upon graduation Kate was cast in her first musical, West Side Story at the Leicester Haymarket Theatre. She has worked extensively around the world performing both onstage and on television in Paris, Berlin, Switzerland, Australia and cruising the world as dance captain for Princess Cruises. Her additional musical theatre credits include Cats - Hamburg, Disney's Beauty and the Beast - Stuttgart and a return to West Side Story as dance captain.


Kate has over 25 years teaching experience at local dance schools, primary schools and stage schools.


After taking a break to have her children Kate rejoined the industry teaching Fitsteps ( adults dance fitness classes www.fitsteps.co.uk ) and is delighted to be joining the team at the Afonso School of Performing Arts.


Kate is certified to teach Acrobatic Arts.

Kate Garvie AISTD



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