Debra Mclaren

Founder / Principal

Debra first opened the dance school in 1978 after having a professional career herself. Her credits include being a dancer at Caesars Palace’ in Las Vegas, aboard numerous cruise ships and ‘Chorus Line’ and ‘West Side Story’ in the West End.

Debra is a registered teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance in London and is also an adjudicator for dance festivals throughout the UK.

Debra has just celebrated her 40th year of teaching and has recently been awarded the prestigious accolade of ‘LIFE MEMBER OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY OF DANCING’ (LONDON) for her contribution and dedication to DANCE!

Dani Mclaren

Principal Teacher / Choreographer

Trained by Debra for fourteen years, Dani went on to further her training at Phil Winston’s Theatre Works for two years.

Dani is the principal teacher at MDC – she teaches 5 days a week and loves teaching the children.

In 2012, Dani was a dancer for Rhianna at ‘The Brit Awards’ which was a huge achievement, as hundreds of dancers auditioned from all over Europe with only 20 girls being selected. She has also danced for Micheal Buble, Tom Jones, The Pussycat Dolls, Boyzone, Emma Bunton, Peter Kay, Geri Halliwell, Rod Stewart, Donny Osmond, Rick Astley and David Hasslehoff on numerous TV shows, tours and concerts.

As well as dancing at The Moulin Rouge in Paris for a year, Dani toured with them internationally for four years, and was principal dancer aboard the QE2 cruise ship.

Dani has also been a dancer on ‘The Royal Variety Performance’, ‘Clothes Show Live’, and ‘This Morning’ and was a Lambrini Girl in two Lambrini commercials for three years.

Now a well established choreographer, she has choreographed shows such as the hit UK show ‘Fast Love’ (a tribute to George Michael) which toured the UK including the West End. She also choreographs all the production shows and events for Gravity Live Productions.

Dani choreographed two of Paddy Mcguiness’s Tours ‘Me and You Live’ and ‘Saturday Night Live’, ‘The Ratpack’, The musical in Cairo, David Hasslehoff’s ‘Acceleration Tour’, fashion shows for Adidas, Selfridges, Topshop and John Lewis.

Dani has also taken street dance masterclasses for The Royal Ballet School’s Summer school in Leeds at The Northern Ballet School.

Last year Dani was also a guest teacher for the Eden Experience hosted by Eden Dancewear at the famous Pineapple Studios.

 

Dani Mclaren dancing with Rihanna at the Brit Awards 2012

Francena Reston

Senior Ballet Teacher

Early training was received from Betty Hassel at the Hammond School Chester and Ballet Rambert, including taking regular class with Nureyev, at Drew’s Academy in London.

Professional performances include working with Ken Dodd, The Bluebell Girls, Cilla Black, The Beatles, Tommy Cooper, The Clark Brothers, The Black Abbots, Morecambe and Wise and Billie Pearce, Choreographic work includes West End production Annie, London City ballet’s Carmen, European cabaret venues and cruise ship work, plus many British professional pantomimes. Students have danced with ballet companies including Kirov ballet, Norwegian National Ballet, Festival Ballet, National Ballet of China, Danish Royal Ballet, Northern Ballet and Festival Ballet with many others gaining television and radio contacts plus world-wide cabaret work.

Francena is a Dance Adjudicator for The British and International Federation of Festivals and All England Dance.

Clare Walker

Assistant Teacher

Clare started her training at Debra McLaren’s at the age of 4. She then went on to complete three years of further training at Phil Winston’s Theatre Works.

Clare achieved top marks for her IDTA Ballet Tap and Modern examinations and also performed in the IDTA Advanced 2 Modern DVD for the aid of dance teachers.

Since leaving college Clare has appeared in ITV1’s hit series Britannia High – choreographed by Arlene Phillips. She also appeared on tour with well known comedian Paddy McGuinness.

Clare completed 2 contracts with P&O Cruises performing as a dancer in their many spectacular shows.

She enjoys teaching the younger children on Saturday mornings and loves to see them developing their technique and personalities.

Michael Lowry

Commercial

Michael has trained across multiple dance genres at Shockout Arts, achieving a BA(HONS) in Professional and Commercial Dance.

Michael is agency represented and is currently working professionally in commercial dance, with credits that include; fashion shows, backing dancing,  PUMA corporate event, L’Oreal / Urban Decay, Adidas advert, Chanel 4, 8 out of 10 cats does Countdown, amongst more.

Michael has a PGCE at Masters Level in Higher Education (14+) and is a teacher and choreographer, currently teaching and choreographing around the UK.

Jess Jones

Acro

Jess has been coaching children in acro for ten years, Jessica herself competed as a gymnast for Britain and became a Gymnastic British Champion plus many more champion titles by the time she was 16.
Jess qualified to teach acro under the British Gymnastics and UK Gymnastics.
Jess is an amazing teacher who teaches the children at MDC to tumble, lift and balance and gives them flexibility and Gymnastic skills .

Olivia Higham

Lyrical & Contemporary

Olivia has worked for global production companies touring Europe with shows such as ‘Musical Rocks’ as well as appearing in music videos for international artists such as ‪Ellie Goulding‬.

Olivia has worked on multiple commercial TV shows and networks such as ‘Alan Carrs New Year Spectacular’, ‘Michael McIntyres Big Show’, ‘Surprise Surprise’ and ‘The One Show’ shown on both BBC and ITV. In 2016 Olivia performed at the prestigious ‘Royal Variety Performance’ promoting a new musical ‘Christmasauras’ held at the Hammersmith Apollo in London watched by members of the Royal family and choreographed by ‘The Greatest Showman’ choreographer, Ashley Wallen. In 2017 Olivia danced at the European music awards for global dance artists, ‪Rita Ora‬ and ‪Camila Cabello‬. In 2018, Olivia danced for ‪Dua Lipa‬ at the most famous British pop music awards, ‘The Brit Awards’, and then later in the year danced for Jason Derulo and Haliee Steinfeld again at the European Music Awards. Olivia has most recently worked with a huge American artist under the choreographic direction of Brian Friedman, which will be released and revealed in the summer of 2019.

Olivia is also a well known teacher & choreographer and began with training dancers 6-18years in New York for six months. From there Olivia then went on to teach at various colleges and currently tours the U.K with her own workshops.

Sarah Lawson

Tap

Sarah started training at the tender age of 3 at the Amanda McGlynn Academy of performing arts in Middlesbrough. She was part of many pantomimes and shows as a child. Sarah left at 17 to further her training having gained her Associate Diplomas with the B.A.T.D.

Sarah moved on to train at Phil Winston’s Theatreworks in Blackpool and graduated from Theatreworks gaining her I.D.T.A Associate Diplomas; she has since become a Fellowship member of the I.D.T.A.

Sarah worked in many pantomimes and cabaret shows working for Duggie Chapman Productions and Rita Proctor with Pantoni Productions to name a few.

More recently she has been involved in teaching children of the West End Production, ‘Billy Elliott’, she has also been to take part in ‘Dance Excellence’ based in Los Angeles twice. Once as a young 17 year old dancer and once as a director, taking a group over to train in all aspects of the industry with American leading professionals.

Sarah has developed a love for choreography and many of her arrangements for festivals, shows and championships are attaining great success, including the All England finals and tap dancer of the year.

Sarah also enjoys working with children and students across the country lecturing and training them for examinations, competitions and shows as well as adjudicating competitions and championships.

Laura Jayne

Contemporary

Laura Trained at the university of Central Lancashire with a degree in dance, performance and teaching.
Performed at Udance and a variety of competitions around the UK in contemporary dance and gymnastics. Competed in international acrobatic competitions until the age of 22 and trained for the British gymnastic squad.
Collaborated with contemporary dancers from around the world in Germany along side Ludus dance company. Laura loves sharing her knowledge,Style and Choreography with others allowing them to move and speak through contemporary dance.

Masterclass Teachers

Genre Specialists

MDC frequently invite specialist teachers to host masterclasses in all different dance genres, here are just a few teachers they have had in the last year …

  • Tala- Lee Turton – Ballet
  • Josh Wharmby – Commercial
  • Karl Newsam – Musical Theatre Jazz
  • Bruce Aguilarro – Jazz
  • Alex Ryan – Commercial/ Lyrical
  • Craig Wharmby – Commercial
  • Adam Scott – Contemporary
  • Angel Wharmby – Commercial
  • Josh Deyner – Contemporary Jazz
  • Jecoliah King – Commercial
  • Yasmin Harcourt – Commercial

The Mclaren Dance Company
52a Bank Street
Rawtenstall
Rossendale
Lancashire
BB4 8DY

Telephone or Whatsapp: 07944 343217