Meet the Team
The Senior Management Team is responsible for creating and implementing Glenlyn Academy’s strategy.
The Team oversees the Academy’s strategic growth and development.
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Diana Washbourne FNATD, Cert.Ed – Principal & Managing Director
A Glenlyn alumni herself – Diana started classes at the Academy at the age of three under the tutorage of Miss Ruby Jiggens. Whilst at the Academy, Diana was chosen to be the model for the front cover of the ‘Drina Ballerina’ series of books. These covers remained until they were updated last year.
Through Glenlyn, Diana gained her professional teaching qualifications before leaving the Academy to embark on a three-year teaching course in Oxford. On returning to London, Diana was appointed as a teacher at Glenlyn.
As well as teaching, Diana is a published writer, having written the book ‘Basic Tap Dancing’. This book features photographs of Glenlyn students. She is an experienced dance lecturer and travels around the country giving dance master classes.
Outside of Diana’s duties at the Academy, she is also an Examiner with the NATD, travelling across the country examining dance students. She is a member of the NATD’s Tap Committee, which investigates and assesses current dance syllabi and trends. She is also a member of the NATD’s London Area Theatrical Committee organising workshops and teacher training days.
Ben Briscoe BA(Hons) LNATD – Vice-Principal & Creative Director
As the Academy’s Vice-Principal & Creative Director, Ben is responsible for overseeing the artistic and strategic development of the Academy.
Ben joined the Academy in 2005, teaching the only three Musical Theatre, Drama and Singing Classes at the school. This has now increased to more than 34 classes a week with the majority of students now taking classes in these disciplines.
Ben is responsible for directing all of the Academy’s productions, which over the last five years has included performances in the West End and at The O2. Ben has also overseen the setup and development of the Glenlyn Academy Management Agency.
As an Examiner for LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art), Ben travels across the country assessing students in Acting and Musical Theatre. Ben is also a member of the LAMDA Performance Syllabus Review Board and the LAMDA Acting Diploma Review and Assessment Board.
Ben graduated from Lancaster University – the country’s leading Theatre Studies institution – with an Honours degree in Contemporary Theatre Studies in 2005. He is also a qualified dance teacher having gained the Licentiate Qualification (Distinction) in both Jazz and Tap.
Television credits include:
Good Morning Britain (ITV) – Launch Producer, Senior Producer & Programme Editor
Daybreak (ITV1) – Senior Producer
GMTV (ITV1) – Producer, Director
The Baby Breakfast Club (ITV2) – Producer, Director
Theatre credits include:
iCON: Glenlyn Academy Showcase (Bob Hope Theatre, 2017) – Director & Musical Director
Spring Awakening (Bob Hope Theatre, 2017) – Director & Producer
Time after Time: Glenlyn Academy Showcase (Bob Hope Theatre, 2016) – Director & Musical Director
Ghost The Musical (Bob Hope Theatre, 2016) – Director & Producer
Kingdom: Glenlyn Academy Showcase (Bob Hope Theatre, 2015) – Director & Musical Director
A Chorus Line (Bob Hope Theatre, 2014) – Director
Fame: The Musical (Bob Hope Theatre, 2013) – Director & Musical Director
13: The Musical (Ashcroft Theatre, Fairfield Halls, 2013) – Director & Musical Director
Curtain Call: The Academy Showcase (Ashcroft Theatre, Fairfield Halls, 2013) – Director & Musical Director
Bad Girls: The Musical (Bob Hope Theatre, 2012) – Director & Musical Director
Momento (Fairfield Halls, 2012) – Director & Musical Director
Singin’ in the Rain (Fairfield Halls, 2011) – Director
Mamma Mia (Broadway Theatre, 2011) – Director & Musical Director
Footloose (Churchill Theatre Bromley, 2010) – Director
Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Broadway Theatre, 2010) – Director & Musical Director
Little Shop of Horrors (Bob Hope Theatre, 2009) – Director
We Will Rock You (Broadway Theatre, 2009) – Director & Musical Director
Grease (Broadway Theatre, 2008) – Director & Musical Director
Aladdin (Broadway Theatre, 2007) – Director & Musical Director
Beauty & the Beast (Broadway Theatre, 2006) – Director & Musical Director
The Picture of Dorian Grey (Nuffield Theatre, 2005) – Director, Creator & ‘Basil Hallward
24 Frames per second (Nuffield Theatre, 2002) – Director, Creator & Ensemble
The Leadership Team is responsible for the day-to-day operation of Glenlyn Academy as well as providing pastoral care to students and administrative support to parents and teachers.
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Patricia Crilly FNATD – Operations & Pastoral Liaison
A Fellow of the NATD with over 35 years experience of teaching at Glenlyn. Patricia specialises in teaching ballet, from the primary grades through to students taking their major examinations. Patricia is also the Academy’s Operations and Pastoral Liaison.
Patricia started Ballet at the age of 3 and joined Glenlyn as a student. She is a Fellow of the NATD with teaching qualifications in Ballet, Tap, Modern, and Freestyle, and has taught all of these disciplines, to students of all ages. Alongside the Principal, Patricia takes responsibility for guiding and training students through their professional Ballet qualifications at the Academy.
Patricia set up and now runs the Pointe class programme, which focuses on the strength and technique required to master this very challenging element of ballet.
As well as teaching, Patricia has also choreographed routines the Academy has performed at the 02 and Her Majesty’s Theatre in London.
Patricia has a wide range of experience in teaching dance and fitness, having taught dance and keep fit in Adult Education Centres, private fitness centres and the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre. She also holds a teaching qualification with the Keep Fit Association.
Patricia organises trips to the Royal Opera House for students to see the Royal Ballet, and other visiting companies in performance there during the season. She has developed a close relationship with Freed of London, the worlds leading pointe shoe manufacturer, and offers personal visits to the shop to be fitted by the senior fitters who work with many of the world’s prima ballerinas.
Patricia is the lead for safeguarding within the Academy and ensures correct procedures are in place during classes, rehearsals and performances to ensure the protection and welfare of all students involved.
Amy Higgins LNATD – Registry Manager & Executive Assistant
As well as teaching some of the younger students at Glenlyn Academy, Amy has also taken on creative responsibility for choreographing many of the Academy’s productions.
As a ballet dancer Amy’s teaching focuses on developing a strong sense of technique. Her classes help students to develop skills in fitness, flexibility, posture and performance.
As well as teaching Amy continues to perform. Her most recent roles include ‘Lara’ and Dance Captain in A Chorus Line (2014), Dance Captain in Fame: The Musical (2013) and Bad Girls: The Musical (2012).
As Glenlyn Academy’s Registry Manager & Executive Assistant Amy has responsibility for ensuring the smooth running of the Academy office. This includes student enrolment and registration, office management and assisting the Senior Management Team.
Alongside Amy’s roles at Glenlyn Academy she also works at Freed of London where she can combine her teaching experience with expert knowledge on dance equipment, working with many of the world’s leading dancers.
Yvonne Tull FNATD – Senior Dance Teacher & Glenlyn Online Store Manager
Yvonne started taking classes at the Academy at the age of three. She received her first professional dance teaching qualification in Tap at the age of 17, and continued to gain professional qualifications in Ballet and Modern.
Yvonne has sole-responsibility for the Acrobatics classes, focusing on developing strength, technique and new skill. She teaches some of the Academy’s youngest students, and also some of the most experienced students who are just about to gain their first professional qualification.
As the Glenlyn Online Store Manager, Yvonne develops and manages the sale of Glenlyn Academy merchandise through our dedicated online store. She builds relationships with our suppliers and develops new Glenlyn Academy fashion ranges.
As well as teaching at the Academy, Yvonne has performed at many prestigious venues across London.
Over the last ten years Yvonne has worked with local pre schools, teaching children dance and musical movement.
Katie Turner ATCL, DDI, DDE – Glenlyn Academy Chislehurst Manager & Dance Teacher
Katie started dancing at a very young age. She has performed in many theatres across the country and been involved in the staging of many shows both on stage and behind the scenes. She has also choreographed for many musicals and other productions.
After finishing secondary school Katie studied at the Millennium School of Performing Arts gaining a Trinity Diploma in Musical theatre. Katie started gaining her dance qualifications at a young age and studied the ISTD syllabus where she currently holds DDI’s and DDE’s in Tap, Ballet and Modern.
Katie continued her career as a Company director for a dance school where she was a joint partner in the business and successfully saw the business grow from a few children to over 200. As part of this challenge she successfully led performances and competition wins globally. Performances where directed and choreographed on board the MSC Opera cruise around Norway where a group of 20 children performed. Competition wins at Euro Disney Paris as part of a European Dance trip gaining 8 awards. Katie was also instrumental in taking a group of 15 students to perform at Dance Excellence in Los Angeles where they achieved three first places and two second places in a global contest.
As well as teaching and managing Glenlyn Academy Chislehurst, Katie still performs on stage. In 2013, Katie was a featured dancer in Glenlyn Academy’s production of Fame.
As Glenlyn Academy Chislehurst Studio Manger Katie is responsible for teaching many classes at Chislehurst and also ensures the smooth running of the studios dealing with all aspects of student welfare as well as liaising with parents.
Alongside Katie’s role at Glenlyn Academy she is also studying at Greenwich University to become a primary school teacher and is currently completing her first year on a BA Primary education Degree.
Sarah Purl MNATD – Senior Dance Teacher
Sarah is the Academy’s Adult Class Co-ordinator, teaching Tap and Modern to students above the age of 18.