Principal – Sam Payton
Sam began training at the ‘County School of Dance’ in Leicester. At the age of eighteen she was one of twenty young dancers chosen nationally to be part of ‘The National Youth Dance Company’ and consequently got the chance to work with the top choreographers of the day as well as touring the UK.
Sam went on to train professionally for 3 years at ‘The Northern School of Contemporary Dance’ in Leeds and on leaving joined The National Ballet Company in the production of Aida at The National Indoor Arena in Birmingham.
Sam went on to work with various choreographers in pantomimes, summer seasons, commercials and videos.
Artistic Director – Steven Houghton
In 1990 he graduated and made his West End debut in Mathew Bourne’s Children of Eden at the Prince Edward Theatre. This was to be the first of many West End shows and he returned to this theatre in 1996 playing the lead role of Arnaud Du Till in Cameron Mackintosh’s new musical, Martin Guerre.
Amongst many other starring roles, Steven’s theatre credits include Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music (UK Tour), an Olivier nomination for his portrayal of Keith Nicholson in Spend Spend Spend (Piccadilly, Original Cast), Bob Wallace in White Christmas (Edinburgh Festival and The Lowry Manchester), Arnaud du Thil in Martin Guerre (Prince Edward, Original Cast), Adam Pontipee in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (National Tour), Chris in Miss Saigon (National Tour), Danny Zuko in Grease (National Tour), The Narrator in Blood Brothers (Phoenix), Alex in Desperately Seeking Susan (Novello, Original Cast), Curly in Oklahoma (Kilworth open air theatre), Munkustrap in Cats (New London), Pish Tush in The Hot Mikado (Queens, Original Cast), Frank Butler in Annie Get Your Gun, (National Tour), Pat Denning in 42nd Street (Chichester Festival Theatre), Sebastian in The Thing About Men, (New Players), Pip in Great Expectations (National Tour), Arthur in Come Dancing (RNTS), Dave in Komb@ (RNTS), Simon in Friends Like Us (Arts), Lead in War Cabaret (Pleasance), Kiss Me Kate (National Tour), Moby Dick (Piccadilly, Original Cast), The Man in American Hot (Cafe de Paris), and Children of Eden (Prince Edward, Original Cast)
Television and Film Credits include: Jeff Cullen (Regular) in Coronation Street & Just Rosie (ITV), Ken Beasley (Regular) in Bernard’s Watch (Carlton), Gregg Blake (Regular) in London’s Burning (LWT), Ed Russell (Regular) in Bugs (Carnival / BBC), Captain Barker in The New adventures of Robin Hood (Warner Bros), Drew in Doctors (BBC), Scott Bridges in Holby City (BBC), Ex (Moonstone), Alive and Kicking (Film Four), Futures (Flick Films), Prisoners of Honour (Franco London Films).
In the year 2000 Steven was invited to work with Alain Boublil, the librettist of Les Miserables and Miss Saigon. Along with French singer, Marie Zamora, Steven performed in concert and on French television, a variety of musical duets including the lead role of the phantom in The Phantom of the Opera.
Steven has worked with nearly every major choreographer including Arlene Philips, Bob Avian, Mathew Bourne, Gillian Lynne, Anthony Van Laast, Stephen Mear, Craig Revel Horwood, Karen Bruce, Richard Alston, Kim Gavin, Adrian Allsopp as well as appearing in 3 Royal Variety Performances.
Throughout his career, Steven has worked extensively in advertising and corporate entertainment and his clients include Philishave, Levis, Mitsubishi, Unilever, Fiat, Dianeze, Bird’s Eye, Cannon, St Ivel, TSB, Tie rack and GHD.
During his time in London’s Burning, Steven worked with Simon Cowell and released the single ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ which sold over 400,000 copies and debuted at no 3 in the UK charts, and his self-titled album ‘Steven Houghton’ achieved gold status. He has also performed in numerous concerts with the BBC concert orchestra.
Steven has taught and lectured all over the UK as well as adjudicating for many major dance festivals/competitions most recently the new Champion of Champions festival in Blackpool and Miss Dance & Masterdance of Great Britain.
For more information please vist www.stevenhoughton.com
Teacher – Claire Mummery
Claire trained full time at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts from age 11- 16yrs. At the age of 16 she was a finalist in the ISTD British ballet awards and won a scholarship to continue her training. Claire went on to dance professionally before using her scholarship to train at the Harrison college where she gained her ISTD Associate diploma teaching qualifications in classical ballet, tap and modern theatre dance.
A hugely respected dance teacher with fifteen years teaching experience, Claire has taught for many dance schools and colleges. She has also choreographed shows locally, in the west end including the London palladium, the O2 Arena, Disneyland Paris and Portaventura in Spain.
Claire set up and ran her own successful dance school and three part time performing arts schools in St Albans. Claire has now decided to solely concentrate on her passion for teaching dance and is thrilled and excited to be part of the Excel teaching team.