The Principal

About the Principal - Jean Griffiths L.I.S.T.D.

For the past twenty four years I have been working in the dance industry as a professional dancer, choreographer and teacher.

I started dancing at the age of three at The Marianne Jepson School of Dance. At the age of thirteen I became a classroom assistant and continued to help with all junior classes, at eighteen I successfully gained my associate teaching qualifications. After a summer season at Cleethorpes and an operatic / ballet tour of Italy I emigrated to South Africa. In October 1982 I returned to Britain to take my I.S.T.D. Licentiate and have since been awarded my Licentiate Diploma.

My career in South Africa was varied, being contractually employed as a guest teacher and dancer for The Natal Univerisities contemporary dance company (The Barefoot Dance Company), The Cecchetti Society of South Africa (I.S.T.D.), Durban Arts, The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and The Natal Performing Arts Ballet and Dance Company (NAPAC). I was also a production assistant and a choreographer for the Britz/Clarke Productions in Durban and in 1986 - 1989 I ran my own production company (One Step Ahead Productions) along with my very dear friends Fleur De Waal and Desiree Donaldson, which consisted of trade shows, advertising campaigns and product launches. During 1996 and 1997 I won the SA Choreography trophy for two pieces of modern dance - "Cricket" and "Distractions".

In 1999 I was offered my first contract for Sun International and was appointed the position of Dance Captain at the Wild Coast Sun and Casino. In 1992 I was offered my first contract at Sun City in the Galaxy Theatre where I worked as Company Manager / Dance Captain for 18 months. I was then transferred to the Sun City Theatre where I performed in various extravaganzas including "Escapades" (1993), "Viva Sun City" (1995) and "Come To The Sun" (1996). Being a Dance Captain and Feature Dancer at Sun City was a fantastic experience having the opportunity to meet and work with many famous people - my most favourite being Shirley Maclaine.

During my professional career I have performed in many shows, my most favourite being West Side Story (South African Tour), Oklahoma (South African Tour) and the Panto Cinderella which I have done three times! (Alhambra Theatre and Pavillion Theatre, Durban South Africa).

I have successfully run two dancing schools in South Africa and after relocating to Britain in 1999 I have completed a City & Guilds Teaching Diploma at Oldham College.

I teach dance to the children of St. Anne's school twice a week plus G.C.S.E. Dance at the Blue Coat School in Oldham along with all my usual classes in the academy daily.

I also support and choreograph for local amateur theatre groups in the area. These including Oldham Congress Players ("Summer Holiday" was nominated for a NODA Award for best show (2005), "Buddy" won the NODA award for best show (2007), Ashton Operatic Society ("Oklahoma" was nominated for choreography at the Manchester Muscal Awards (2006), "42nd Street" was nominated for choreography at the Manchester Musical Awards (2008).