After training locally from the age of 5 Diana trained full time at Laine Theatre Arts College in Epsom covering ballet, tap, modern, jazz and national dancing as well as singing and drama. She left Laines after three years with her AISTD teaching qualifications before deciding to pursue a professional dance career.
Diana’s career has included appearing in TVs Come Dancing’ and in the preview performance of the musical ‘Bernadette’ . During her four years as a dancer on cruise ships, Diana performed in Canada, Mexico, Russia, Holland and Scandinavia as well as throughout the USA. This included the inaugural performance on board the ‘Crown Princess’ with Tony Bennett and Tommy Tune In New York.
When she met fellow dancer Mark Anthony, they decided to marry and give up their performing careers to try to achieve Diana’s lifetime ambition to start and successfully build up her own dance school. Anthony Clifford Studios was founded in 1994 and since then Diana has trained and entered pupils in all grades of ISTD up to Teaching qualifications and advanced 2 exams.
Diana’s own training in Ballroom and Latin American dance was at Cook’s School of Dancing, now part of Anthony Clifford Studios, where she took ISTD Associate teaching qualifications in the Ballroom branch and was runner up in the National Phyllis Haylor Scholarship in 1995 and 1997. She was a guest lecturer at the Annual Congress of the Ballroom branch of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing in July 1997. Her students have demonstrated the new Tap work at Chichester Summer School and Examiners meetings as well as being included in the new ISTD DVD's for both Imperial Ballet and Tap. She is also very proud that the school was accepted with two numbers in the first ever DanceProms in 2011 and that the school continues to do well in the ISTD Blackpool Grand finals for Ballroom, The Star Tap awards , Janet Cram awards and Imperial Ballet awards as well as the ISTD Disco Freestyle Grand Finals in Guilford.
Diana’s ISTD qualifications include Fellowship in Modern and Tap, Licentiate in Ballet and Associates in National, Ballroom and Latin American. Diana and Mark lectured for the IDTC held at the Royal Ballet School Covent Garden.
Diana Clifford is a Royal Opera House Chance to Dance Associate Dance Artists
She is also delighted to have returned to sea recently teaching and demonstrating aboard P & O cruises with husband Mark as Ballroom Dance Instructors during their holiday periods. Diana and Mark have two wonderful children, Joe and Christopher, who continue the family dancing tradition.
Mark’s original dance training was at Walsall Academy of Performing Arts in his home town in the West Midlands where he obtained his ‘major’ examinations in Ballet Tap and Modern dance. During his training he appeared with the London City Ballet in ‘Carmen‘ and ‘Swan Lake’. After college he worked in show business as a professional dancer for nearly 10 years. TV appearances included ‘The Bill’ and ‘The Perfect Hero’ and he also toured with productions of ‘Oklahoma!’ ‘Guys and Dolls’ and ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers’ (in the part of Daniel).
His stage career included many shows, pantomimes and tours as a dancer, both in Europe and the UK and later when employed on cruise ships he performed throughout the American Continent. He had many roles during this period including singing as Raoul in ‘Phantom of the Opera’ and the MC in ‘Cabaret’. He enjoys choreography and is especially proud of his "Janet Cram" students. He specialises in the modern boys work and latterly has become a guest tutor giving jazz and musical theatre master classes at Abbs Cross Academy. Mark, just like Diana teaches a whole range of ISTD classes from children to adults and ballroom to modern and Tap. His previous career as a professional photographer allows him to capture wonderful images of the school's shows and competition entrants via his photography business "Focal Pointe", which since 2011 has taken photos of the Marjorie Davis Star Tap Awards grand final day, and Janet Cram Grand finals.
He now also runs his custom merchandise printing company MA TeeZ, catering specifically for dance schools, producing their uniforms and merchandise.
Mark has ISTD Licentiate qualifications with the Modern Theatre Faculty and CDE in Modern, Tap, Ballroom, Latin American and Disco Freestyle.
Debbie joined Cooks' School of Dancing at the age of 10, when she began her training in ballroom, Latin American and disco dancing. At the age of 14 she won the title of 'ISTD UK disco medallist of the year' and remained a loyal pupil of the school culminating in her qualifying as AISTD in ballroom in 1987. In 1998 when she passed her Latin American Associate she was National Winner of the Phyllis Haylor Award Scholarship for her year.
Since that time she has been involved in the organisation and choreography for individual children, teams and adults, entering dance competitions in disco as well as ballroom and Latin dancing. She also takes a high proportion of private lessons in these disciplines, for both adults and children at the studio. In 2012 Debbie became Fellow of the ISTD and gives professional training to new teachers.
Debbie took part in a television program filmed at Cooks Studio (now Anthony Cliffords), promoting ballroom and Latin American dance for young people. She has also appeared at the Queens Theatre and regularly in studio cabarets.
Georgia started dancing at the age of 3, training in all genres including; Tap, Ballet, Modern, Freestyle and Ballroom and Latin. She has appeared in many shows since training including the First ever Dance Proms in 2011 and performed in the Rio Olympic video directed by members of the English National Ballet. She has also competed at the Janet Cram Awards and was a Grand Finalist in Line Dance and Rock ‘n’ Roll at the UK’s ISTD DFR National Competition in 2014. At the age of 13, Georgia demonstrated at the very prestigious Latin and Ballroom Congress, performing a Salsa club dance number titled, ‘Bossa Nova Baby’, as well as demonstrating a slow freestyle routine, assisting Katie Welch during her Lecture, at the DFR Congress in 2015. Georgia found her ultimate passion in educating Children in the Art of Dance when assisting for our School when she was 16. 2 years later, she decided to study her teaching qualifications with us. Now holding her DDI in Imperial Ballet, Modern Theatre and successfully completed an Associate in Disco Freestyle she is looking forward to studying her teaching in Tap. Georgia enjoys training the Junior Team to compete at ISTD and friendly competitions as well as teaching the Preliminary grades here at ACS. As well as teaching for us, Georgia has also taught at GLS Dance, Aspire School of Dance and Pixie Lott’s Italia Conti Associate School.
Melissa started her dance training here at the tender age of 3, studying all theatre and dancesport branches offered. She has appeared in many shows over this time, including two numbers in the first ever DanceProms, held at the Royal Albert Hall and she has also been a Grand finalist at the ISTD National Disco Freestyle competition in Guilford. Since starting her dance teaching career here Melissa has assisted and taught both Disco-freestyle, Latin and Ballroom as well as Ballet, Tap and Modern. She has also demonstrated at the prestigious ISTD Disco Congress, assisting Katie Welch and enjoys very much helping with the choreography and preparation of students and teams for Disco Competitions.. As well as being a fully qualified ISTD teacher, Melissa is studying for a teaching degree at Greenwich University and is due to qualify this year to become a Primary school teacher.
Natalie joined the team at Anthony Clifford’s in 2009 specialising in Tap and Modern. She trained in dance locally from the age 5 before training full time at Havering College, graduating with a Btec National Diploma in Performing Arts and a HNC and HND in dance in 2005. She continued her dance training at Anthony Clifford Studios under Jackie and Diana’s tuition and her teaching qualifications now include DDE ISTD in Modern and Tap disciplines.
Natalie has been a professional performer and entertainer since the age of 15. As well as teaching dance and singing, her career so far includes work as a vocalist, song writer, recording artist (including session work), performing in professional bands and as a solo artist. TV appearances include Graham Norton’s “The One & Only” (2008) where Natalie was featured as one of the 3 best Kylie Minogue Tribute acts in the UK. In 2002 she recorded the song “you’ve got me dancing”, which was included in the 2006 multi-award winning film “Little Miss Sunshine”. In 2004, she represented the UK in Europe with her vocal talent and was awarded “Best International Female Artist”. She has performed as a vocalist for over 10 years in various guises at theatres, stadium’s and venue’s across the UK and in Europe.
Charles has been teaching dance professionally for nearly twenty years. In 2012 he became a fellow member and Examiner of the ISTD and a Fellow of the IDTA.
In 1998 he was awarded the John Dilworth Scholarship for Latin American dancing and was nominated for the Ballroom Scholarship the following year.
In 2000 he was appointed to the ISTD Country/Western sub-committee and was a co-opted member of the Disco/Freestyle committee before that. His expertise in Country/Western dance has led to several television and video appearances. He has been featured in Linedancer magazine and choreographed several popular Line dances.
Always looking for new challenges Charles turned his talents to teaching Salsa. In 1999 he was a grand finalist in the British Salsa Championships with his partner Katie Welch, so it seems fitting that he is also a member of the ISTD Club Dance Faculty dealing with Salsa, Argentine Tango and Lindy Hop syllabus and technique.
Since the last show Charles has successfully passed his Licentiate Modern Ballroom exam and is now preparing for his Fellowship Latin American exam. He is also the very proud co-trainer, together with Katie Welch, of our very first Blackpool Grand Finals winners Charlie Townsend and Evie Paterson.
Helen trained at the Arts Educational School, London. After graduating in 1988 Helen taught for various schools throughout Essex before joining Junior Performers in 1995 where she remained for 12 years.
During that time she joined the teaching staff at Performers College, where she still teaches.
Helen continued to further her qualifications taking her Advanced 2 and Fellowship examinations and in 2006 became an examiner.
Helen has lectured at London, Chichester and Italian summer schools and taught at both the Junior and Senior Ballet Awards.She also organises the Essex Day of Dance
Katie has been teaching for some 12 years now, she is a Licentiate of the ISTD
As well as holding Associates and FDI’s in both the Theatre and Dance Sport Faculties and is currently completing her DDE. She is Head of Disco/Freestyle at the studio which has involved developing the competitive side of the school and she is responsible for training the school’s Disco/Freestyle team who compete regularly and have been winners at the last two competitions they have attended. She also teaches Tap, Modern, Ballroom and Latin American and in 2003 she was nominated for the Phyllis Haylor Scholarship.
Since our last show Katie has lectured twice for the ISTD at both Worthing Congress and Disco/Freestyle Congress which was a great privilege, and she has just been invited to lecture again at Disco/Freestyle Congress this September which she is very much looking forward to.
Katie appeared as a dancer in numerous shows at our local theatres. She appeared as a dancer in “ Dance Generator”, a disco video sold nationally, for which she also modelled for the follow up book. She was a dancer in the music video for the single ‘Voyage’ for international pop group ‘Monte Cristo’.
She has performed at “ Cowes week”, Isle of Wight with “ Diva Fever” and took part in a master class for “The Lion King” at the Lyceum Theatre, London.
Katie has also worked professionally as a backing dancer and choreographer for “Lets Get The Party Started”-Pink Tribute and “ Britney Spears Greatest Hits Tribute Show” at various venues throughout the UK
Joanne has been teaching ballet tap and modern at Anthony Clifford for over eight years now and previously was assistant teacher to Diana. She finished a three year course at the North London Dance Studio in 2002 and before that did a full time performing arts course at Havering Technical College where she obtained A level in dance and Btec National Diploma in Performing Arts. She now also holds an Associate Diploma of the ISTD & DDI and is waiting on DDE.
During her training Joanne has appeared as a dancer in several shows at the Queen’s Theatre including performing with the European Ballet Company. She has also appeared at the Mermaid Theatre, Theatre Royal Drury Lane as well as in various local theatres, and in the film The Search for John Gissing, choreographed by Derek Hartley. As well as teaching for us, Joanne has also a taught at Dennard Theatre Arts, Bodens Studios and the North London Dance Studio. She was joint winner of the “Mavdor Davis” scholarship for Imperial Ballet.
Julie started dancing at the age of 4 when she studied ballet. It wasn't’t until she was 10 that she discovered ballroom and latin and even then she had a long break from dancing during her teenage years when school work took over. She returned to dancing as an adult at Cooks Dance school, (later to become Anthony Clifford’s) and she quickly progressed through all her amateur medals including the prestigious Alex Moore Ten Dance award. She easily made the transition to teaching, studying and completing her Associate qualification under the tuition of ACS, and gaining the top mark of Highly Commended and therefore the right to enter for the Phyllis Haylor scholarship. She now teaches both adult’s and children’s classes and private lessons and enjoys choreographing for shows as well as coaching and partnering the children for competitions. She is very proud to have qualified several children for Blackpool Grand finals both this and last year and is looking forward to teaching our new “Baby Ballroom” classes this year.
ACS Dance Centre Registered Charity No: 1159627 66 Albert Road, Romford Essex, RM1 2PP
Patron: Mr David Pickering MBE