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West End Star visits the Academy

posted 16 Jul 2017, 23:46 by Nat Admin

West End star, Layton Williams, has made a return visit to Ryde Academy.

Layton played the lead role in Billy Elliot in the West End, and Stephen in BBC3's 'Bad Education' also starring in CBBCs 'Beautiful people' and 'School for Stars'. He was previously a member of Matthew Bourne's 'New Adventures' dance company and has toured with 'Lord of the Flies' where he helped prepare novice dancers for professional performances nationwide. Most recently he has finished playing ‘Angel’ in the revived musical ‘Rent’ and subsequently have been nominated for an IARA award for ‘Best Dance Act 2017’. He is now resuming his role as Seaweed Stubbs for the hit musical ‘Hairspray’.

Following his first workshop with us in 2015 Layton returned to work with dance students. The first session involved students from Years 7-9 and was in the style of musical theatre and jazz. The second workshop targeted the schools most promising dancers who were taught a commercial routine. Both sessions really challenged students and exposed them to movement vocabulary that they rarely encounter. The second group were then treated to a Q&A session where they received industry advice regarding auditions, rehearsal etiquette, networking and how to cope with the demands of the professional dance industry.

Hilary Seaton, Teacher of Dance said ‘It was fantastic to have Layton back working with our students and sharing his knowledge and experience of dance and being a professional performer. I received a lovely email from him after the workshop which said ‘Thanks so much for another great workshop! Was nice to be back. You’ve quite clearly had an amazing effect on these students as that level of dance is unseen at most secondary schools that I visit. You should be super proud and I’m sure you are’.