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Our Founders and Teaching Staff

A college is only as good as its teaching staff and at Millennium Performing Arts we are immensely proud to have the best teachers available. Our staff always goes the extra mile to ensure students are well informed and guided appropriately towards becoming consummate professionals.




MPA College aims to elevate performers to the best they can be. When students come through our programmes they have an inner strength. Being treated as young professionals develops the mindset to become big players in the industry!

This success is largely due to the professional atmosphere at Millennium Performing Arts. Our teaching staff are also active performers, choreographers, and directors in the industry. Interacting with professionals every day prepares our students for their future and to confidently take their place in the industry.

Our Founders

In honour of Donald McLennan; co-founder of Millennium Dance 2000

Donald knew from age 9 that he wanted to be a dancer and after his family moved to London, eventually, he was allowed to try to fulfil his dream and he started at the Rambert School under the direction of Angela Ellis. Luck was not with him and he had a serious injury during his 2nd year after which he was told he would never be able to become a professional dancer. Well, we know Donald better than that and he, of course, carried on with the master Andrew Hardie who taught from his garage in South Kensington. Mr Hardie was himself a former student of Nicholas Legat, so he taught in the Bolshoi Ballet style; this of course connected with Ikky Maas, who was taught by Natalie Orlovskaja, a Bolshoi ballerina and teacher.

When Donald had finished training, he was offered a position with Peter Darrell’s Scottish Theatre Ballet, now the Scottish Ballet, which was then just being relocated from Bristol. Donald said he had just managed to ‘escape’ Scotland and he was certainly not going back in a hurry, so instead, he cut his teeth in Performing Arts in Monte Carlo and later with the iconic cabaret company La Grande Eugène in Paris before joining husband and wife-team Roland Petit and Zizi Jeanmaire’s world famous ballet company.  During his time in this most romantic of cities, he became part of the Inner Circle of the world-renowned artist, Salvador Dali.

He returned to London which allowed for romance to blossom and he married a lovely dancer from Festival Ballet and they raised a family.  During an action-packed period of his career in London, he worked for the BBC, as well as on the West End stage, the highlights of which were appearing at the London Palladium in ‘Mame’ with Hollywood legend, Ginger Rogers and in Fiddler on the Roof with Topol.

He then turned to his original passion of Ballet and studied at the Royal Ballet School to become a qualified teacher on the TTC diploma course run by Valerie Adams. Donald had some practical issues to overcome, as he was raising a young family on a grant from the Dancers Redevelopment and couldn’t quite manage it. Valerie introduced him to the Opera Chorus Master at the ROH where Donald then became a dancer/performer in many operas, thereby earning a little whilst he was learning to be a teacher. It was during this time he met Dame Ninette de Valois, who very much encouraged him to keep going with the teacher training.

Donald was for very many years an adjudicator for the Federation of Festivals and judged countless of young people in dance festivals and competitions. Very often they would ask his advice over their professional training options, which allowed Donald to tell them all about Millennium Performing Arts. This has brought many young people into the world of theatre and dance, so we all THANK YOU, Donald for affecting so many people’s lives in such a beautiful and creative way.

If I may finish on a funny note, because with Donald there was always a lot of laughter around; once, when Jacki had decided that Donald and I should sit next to each other in the office, so she would have space around her desk to do things like costumes etc. during show times, Donald and I got into such a stitch of laughter about something that we just couldn’t stop. It got to such a point that Jacki actually physically moved our desks around again, so that she was in between us and we had to stop! This enforced separation never stopped the humour between us though and we have laughed till the end.  

With enormous love, Ikky

Ikky Maas PostGrad Dip, PTLLS: Ikky was born in the Netherlands and from the age of 15 knew all he wanted to do was dance.

He attended the conservatoire in Tilburg and was fortunate to have as his ballet teachers Simon Andre, a former principal dancer with The Dutch National Ballet and Natalya Orlovskaya, a former principal from the world-famous Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow.

After qualifying, Ikky started his performing career in Ulm, Germany, which has a very strong tradition of the Performing Arts, after which he became a dancer with Finnish National Ballet, before then successfully applying for and joining Rambert Dance Company in London. During his time as Principal with Rambert, he worked with many major choreographers, as well as being a founding cast member in the World Premiere of Christopher Bruce’s seminal work, ‘Ghost Dances’ in 1982; a piece that is still in Rambert’s repertoire, having had its most recent revival in 2018.

After retiring from Rambert, Ikky gained a Post Grad. Dip. in Arts Administration from City University and is also fully qualified as a teacher.

Ikky still teaches regularly at MILLENNIUM PERFORMING ARTS as this adds to his enjoyment at the College and allows close interconnectivity with the students.

Our Teaching Staff

Sarah Hanson - Director of Teaching and Learning

I have been involved in Dance education & training at FE/HE level for over 35 yrs. predominantly teaching Ballet in two major institutions; first from 1986 – 1997 and then at Millennium Performing Arts since it’s inception. This encompassed syllabus work and preparation for exams as well as free ballet class and pointework class.

I consequently developed a particular interest in injury rehabilitation and worked in coordination with dance physiotherapists, providing exercise protocols and technical coaching as well as physical taping in order to rehabilitate injured students back to a full timetable as quickly as possible.

Through this interest and through discussion with dance staff regarding student’s general technical weaknesses identified in training, I developed The Body Management programme.  This was further enhanced to include non weight bearing exercise, enabling injured students to continue training and later it further encompassed vocal health.  The nature of the programme allows us to respond to current trends and new research in the physical aspect of training. 

Zak Nemorin – Head of Dance, Main Tutor for Jazz Dance and Artistic Director for ToTheCore

Theatre credits include:

  • The Wizard Of Oz (Birmingham Rep)
  • Strictly Ballroom (Original UK cast)
  • West Yorkshire Playhouse & Toronto Canada
  • West Side Story (Salzburg Festival)
  • Let’s Dance Again (Royal Festival Hall)
  • High Society (Old Vic)
  • Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Original cast Savoy Theatre)
  • Viva Forever! (Original cast, Piccadilly Theatre)
  • Legally Blonde (Original UK National Tour)
  • She Loves Me (Minerva Theatre, Chichester)
  • Sweet Charity (Menier Chocolate Factory & Theatre Royal Haymarket)
  • Carousel (UK Tour & Savoy Theatre)
  • Cats (UK, Portuguese & Italian National Tour)0
  • Aladdin (Old Vic)
  • Mary Poppins (Original cast, Bristol Hippodrome & Prince Edward Theatre
  • Saturday Night Fever (UK Tour)
  • Chicago (Adelphi Theatre)
  • We Will Rock You (Original cast, Dominion Theatre)


  • Ben Hur (The Barn Theatre)
  • Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (The Union Theatre)
  • Agatha Raisin (Series III, And The Deadly Dance)
  • Midsomer Murders (Series XXI, The Point of Balance)
  • All Quiet On The Western Front (Incognito
  • Theatre Company London, Edinburgh Festival & The SoHo Playhouse Off Broadway, New York
  • Speed Dial, Murder On The Dancefloor, Woyzeck & Our Man In Havana (Spies Like Us Theatre Company Edinburgh & London)
  • Story Of Our Youth (NYT Gala, Shaftesbury Theatre)
  • HERE, London Road and Standing By (Stanwix Theatre)
  • POSH (Warwick Arts Centre)
  • A Mid Summer Nights Dream and Walk The Line (Edward Alleyn Theatre)
  • Doing Time, Chicago, Freshwave Expression, Last Minute Tango, Heat of the Night, Revealed!, TheOtherSide, Tryst At Twilight. (All for MPA)
  • Tempting Fate, (Elmhurst Ballet School & MPA, The Net Kill, Tobacco Road & Dorian Gray (Incognito Theatre Company, Edinburgh Festival & London)

TV credits:

  • Midsomer Murders
  • Absolutely Fabulous
  • Showtime At The Stadium
  • Emma Bunton’s video Maybe

Most recently Zak was Artistic Director for the MPA Virtual Summer Show 2020

An OFFIE Awards 2020 Finalist for Best Choreography

Original Concept, Co-Creator and Choreographer for UPROOTED – The Journey Of Jazz Dance, a feature documentary film about the history, lineage and future progressions of Jazz Dance.

Fuschia Peters – Tutor for Contemporary Dance and Student Counsellor

Fuschia trained at Arts Educational School, London Contemporary Dance School, State University at Purchase, NY, USA and Alvin Ailey (summer program scholarship), then went on to work and tour internationally with a variety of contemporary dance companies, whilst maintaining part-time teaching posts.

In 2000 Fuchia retrained, completing a Psychology degree and then worked for the NHS. For three years she worked in a groundbreaking service providing psychological services for the African and Caribbean communities in Southwark.

Following this she attained her Diploma in Counselling in Australia and now has a private practice and continues to teach/lecture/tutor/counsel at performing arts colleges across London.

Nigel West – Head of Musical Theatre and Main Tutor for Acting

Nigel joined the Bristol Old Vic company at the Theatre Royal in 1983 where he stayed for three years working on 29 productions ranging from ‘Richard II’ to the musical ‘Judy’ which he also worked on when it transferred to London’s Strand Theatre in 1986.

After a season on the Theatre Of Comedy production of ‘Rookery Nook’ at London’s Shaftesbury Theatre he joined the Olivier award-winning musical ‘Me And My Girl’ at the Adelphi Theatre and became Associate Director in March 1988 establishing a 10-year association with director Mike Ockrent, going on to direct the first sell out British national tour. He has also acted as Artistic Consultant on several foreign productions, and has directed the show in Stockholm, (in Swedish) Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Receiving best director nominations for the Canadian and Australian productions.

Nigel then became Associate Director of the Tony and Olivier award-winning ‘Crazy For You’ at the Prince Edward Theatre, London and directed the UK tour and Australian Production of the show. He also acted as artistic supervisor for the South African production.

He then directed ‘Closer Than Ever’ for Bergen Film, Stage and Television, Holland, going on to direct a new production of ‘ She Loves Me’ for the Drayton Festival Theatre, Canada.

He was UK Associate Director of the Olivier award-winning Disney’s ‘Beauty And The Beast’ at London’s’ Dominion Theatre and resident Director of the Tony and Olivier Award-winning musical revival of Kander and Ebb’s ‘Chicago’ at the Adelphi Theatre, which he also directed in Buenos Aires, Mexico City and Dusseldorf.

His own productions include a national tour of Stephen King’s ‘Misery’ ‘Just For Joe’ a one-woman show starring Brenda Cochrane at the Edinburgh festival and subsequent Scottish Tour. Dennis Potter’s ‘Blue Remembered Hills’ for the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry. He has also directed various pantomimes at Glasgow Kings Theatre, Birmingham Hippodrome and Coventry. ‘The Producers’ for Susan Stroman – A US tour (3 years) including a season at Harrah’s Casino, Atlantic City.

His Original production of ‘The Wizard Of Oz’ for the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton which subsequently toured the United States (four years) including a season at Madison Square Garden, New York City.

The first German-speaking production of ‘The Producers’ re-opening the newly renovated Ronacher Theatre in Vienna Austria which subsequently played the Admirals Palast Theatre, Berlin. Revisiting ‘Chicago‘ over recent years directing productions in Australia, Singapore, Korea, Madrid, Barcelona, Spanish tour and Cambridge and Garrick Theatre, London.

A new production of Disney’s and Cameron Mackintosh’s ‘Mary Poppins’ Ontario, Canada. Best Production nomination. Also directed the highly acclaimed production of Susan Stoman’s ‘Scottboro Boys’ Young Vic Theatre and Garrick Theatre, London.

Most recently:

  • ‘The Producers’ US Tour.
  • Associate Director to Susan Stroman / Mel Brooks “Young Frankenstein” Garrick Theatre London.
  • Produced / Wrote / Hosted ‘A Wee Blether’ With Gregor Fisher. A two-hour chat show.
  • “Aladdin” Starring Elaine C Smith. Kings Theatre, Glasgow.

Simona Budd – Main Tutor for Singing and Musicianship.

I have been a Musical Director within the theatre industry and a tutor/repertoire coach at numerous colleges and schools of higher and further education for the last 25 years.  I have a vast amount of experience working with professionals and students from all different backgrounds and with varying abilities and I strive to achieve the best from everyone who comes under my guidance and tutelage.

I just completed a 14 month tour of Dreamgirls for Sonia Friedman Productions as the Music Director and some of my previous roles include MD for the original West End run of Heathers at the Other Palace and Theatre Royal, Haymarket in London’s West End.  I was Musical Director for the Original London Cast Recording of Heathers the Musical. I am also an audition pianist in London’s West End.

Gemma Fuller – Head of Performance

Gemma’s teaching experience has been very varied from teaching in Romanian orphanages to Professional Colleges and Professional shows. She has been resident choreographer in charge of all children and adult cast members in shows and was assistant choreographer for Matilda the Movie. Gemma has also taught many performance based workshops all over the world.

She has over 10 years experience of working as a dancer in the West End on shows including – Singin’ In The Rain, Dirty Dancing, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, Big the Musical, White Christmas, as well as in films and various TV shows –like Ant and Dec Saturday Night Takeaway. She is very much looking forward to taking the next generation through their paces!

Michael Small – Main Tutor for Contemporary Dance

I have been a Dancer and Dance Teacher within all genres of the theatre industry for over 40 years. I have taught at numerous colleges and schools of higher and further education for the last 30 years.  I have a vast amount of experience working with professionals and students from all different backgrounds and always aim to achieve the best from everyone through positive encouragement and inspiration.

I have worked with the great choreographers Gillian Lynne and Anthony Van Laast as well as the incomparable Robert Cohan and some of my previous roles include those for the original West End productions of Hair, Pickwick the Musical, Chicago and Carmen Jones.  I now also perform in feature films and my latest credits include Mamma Mia 2 and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Graham Harrison – Assistant to the Head of Musical Theatre and Tutor for Acting

Graham is an acting coach and teacher – he loves nothing more than expanding and extending his students’ acting skills and techniques and coaching them in their audition preparations. Graham has worked extensively on the Fringe and has a wealth of experience in touring and regional theatre. He has also worked on a wide variety of projects in a range of settings (junior schools, secondary schools and theatre groups for young people), running workshops and facilitating the devising of drama productions. He is thrilled to be back at MPA College after time working in mainstream education and furthering his own professional studies.

Ben Harris – Main Tutor for Tap Dance

After 10 years of working as a dancer in the West End and beyond on shows including ANYTHING GOES – DIRTY DANCING UK TOUR/WEST END – STREET DREAMS – FOOTLOOSE UK TOUR – HOT STUFF Leicester Curve – NEVER FORGET UK TOUR – GREASE WEST END Piccadilly Theatre- SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER International Tour – SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS WEST END – AIDA, Germany, I have enjoyed many years of teaching at an array of major schools and college in the UK and worldwide, most of which have been at HE level. I have choreographed for many colleges and have been in charge of teaching and maintaining choreographic material. I teach Tap and Jazz Dance as well performance based workshops at FE and HE level.

Macy James – Tutor for Hip Hop and Jazz Dance Isolation Technique

I am the Associate Choreographer and principal dancer for TheJazzCore Company, which has recently performed at Marylebone Theatre, The Hub Studios and Move-It dance conventions. Other work has included; the movie of ‘Matilda’ and a Dirty Dancing entertainment dance event for celebrity clients.

I have taught at FE and HE level for the past 2.5 years in my main subjects, however, I also cover both Commercial and Tap classes and I have taught for many years at pre-vocational level.

Kaja Karczmarczyk – Tutor for Singing (Musicianship)

a passionate and creative teacher with several years of experience working with children aged 3 – 17 as well as with professionals both in her country of origin (Poland) and also in the UK. As a young professional, Kaja is enhancing her skills by teaching and creating workshops, group sessions and also by teaching privately. She is a skilled singer, actor and dancer wanting to share her knowledge and excitement about singing and dance with all her students.

Lara Lucano ARAD RAD RTS.– Tutor for Ballet

a graduate of MPA College, Lara became a highly qualified, artistic and motivated dance teacher who enjoys bringing out the full potential of each pupil. Lara instinctively understands a student’s needs and has the ability to quickly engage with them. She aims to inspire passion within her students.

Lara holds certifications in Progressing Ballet Technique and in Ballet Teaching Studies from the Royal Academy of Dance and in addition to those she is also able to teach all Vocational RAD grades, non-syllabus ballet classes and jazz classes and can tap dance with the best of them.