1000px (1)

Quality training with West End professionals!

Enrol now image

Alicia has 15 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 in both RAD and ISTD, gaining high distinctions in ballet, modern and tap exams. She then went on to train professionally at Phil Winston's Theatreworks on a 3 year dance and musical theatre course.


As a child, Alicia was a championship dancer, and is proud to say she once held the title of Miss Dance of Great Britain, which is still to this day, the most prestigious award any young dancer can win. 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 International Champion in ballet, modern and tap.


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


TV credits:

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


Alicia 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


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

Cover Teacher


Meet the Team


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



AfonsoB&W-1054 Kate 1B&W fullsizeoutput_168e

Louisa Alice-Rose

Drama & Singing Coach

Louisa trained at the Royal Northern College of Music where she achieved a First Class BMus (Hons), graduating in 2016. She then went on to complete a 1 yearcourse with the Fourth Monkey Actor Training Company in London. Louisa has her Silver LAMDA Medal with Distinction.


Theatre credits include: Olivia in Shakespeare's Twelth Night (John Rylands Manchester), Demeter 1 in Persephone (Edinburgh & Camden Fringe), Chorus 2/Actor-Musician in Medusa (Edinburgh & Camden Fringe), Lizzie in Goblin Market (Fourth Monkey).


Musical Theatre credits: Margarita in West Side Story (Vivo d'Arte), soloist for 'A Night At the Musicals' (The Actors' Church, Covent Garden), Les Miserables in Concert: 25 Years (The O2 Arena), Jseph (New London Theatre, West End), Young Eponine in Les Misarables (The Palace Theatre, West ENd), Cosette in Les Miserables (Rare Productions).


Operatic credits: La Bheme, Carmen & Tosca (Royal Albert Hall, Raymond Gubbay Productions), Sara in Tobias and the Angel (Jonathan Dove), JouJou in Lehar's The Merry Widow (RNCM), Emma Jones in Weill's Street Scene (RNCM), Dorabella in Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte (RNCM Excerpts), Mignon in Thomas' Mignon (RNCM Excerpts), L'Elisir D'Amore, Donizetti (RNCM Chorus).


Louisa is thrilled to be joining the Afonso School of Performing arts!

Kelly has recently graduated from Doreen Bird College, where she completed a 3 year course in Musical Theatre, gaining a level 6 diploma in Professional Musical Theatre. Alongside the course she also trained as a contortionist and an aerialist part-time , at My Aerial Home.


Professional Credits : Dancer in Teen Spirit (Max Minghella) , Dancer This Morning Lorraine (Matt Nicholsan) Dancer Miss Selfridges (Mark Battershall)


Theatre Credits Whilst Training : Matron in Hairspray (Rachel Stanley ) Soloist in Hair Show (Matt Nicholsan) , Ensemble in Pippin (Nick Stuart) Dancer, MOVE IT (Matt Nicholsan)


Kelly is excited to be joining the Afonso School of Performing Arts as a an acrobatic teaching assistant and cover teacher for all other dance subjects.


Kelly West

Acrobatics assistant/

Cover Teacher