Principal Staff

  • Principal and Artistic Director Amanda Britton MA
  • Ballet Paul Clarke BA (Hons) PDTD Dip
  • Ballet Antonia Franceschi
  • Ballet Ayumi Hikasa ARAD BBO Dip
  • Ballet Stephen Sherriff
  • Ballet Chris Wright MRBSoc (PDTD Hons)
  • Classical Solos Coach Anya Sainsbury CBE
  • Contemporary Dance Ross McKim MA PhD NBS (IDP)
  • Contemporary Dance Paul Liburd MBE BBO DTLLS
  • Production and Rehearsal Director Darren Ellis
  • Head of Studies Abby Hoffmann MA PhD
  • Head of Music Barry Ganberg BA
  • Head of Student Support Michelle McKim BA
  • Osteopath Peter Dunleavy BSc (Hons)
  • Pilates Kio Tomiyama
  • Finance Director Clare Buckle ACA
  • Musician Jill Barnes LRAM
  • Musician Chris Benstead
  • Musician Philip Enscot D.R.S.A.M., L.T.C.L., D.L.O.C.
  • Musician Barry Ganberg BA
  • Musician Tom Kirkpatrick
  • Musician Irina Moiseeva
  • Musician Curtis Probel
  • Musician Neil Shaw
  • Musician Gareth Thomas
  • Musician David Walters
  • Head of Administration Grace Campbell
  • Admissions and Registry Manager Stevie Taylor
  • Theatre Technician & Maintenance Supervisor Jon Aloia
  • Marketing and Communications Manager Heidi Spicer
  • Finance Assistant Fola Aladenika
  • Administration Assistant Jo Campey

For a list of recent guest teachers click here.

Amanda Britton MA

Principal and Artistic Director

amanda-britton--websiteAmanda Britton has over 25 years of experience as a dancer, teacher, rehearsal director, mentor and course leader. Having trained at the Rambert Academy, she joined Ballet Rambert in 1984. She went on to become a leading dancer, creating roles in works by Christopher Bruce, Merce Cunningham, Richard Alston, Siobhan Davies, Ashley Page, Glen Tetley and Trisha Brown amongst others. She left Rambert in 1993, moving on to create and perform work with Siobhan Davies Dance Company, including the Olivier Award winning ‘Art of Touch’ (1995).

Amanda has taught as a freelance artist throughout the UK. After retiring from performance she joined the faculty at LCDS, where alongside a full-time teaching role she completed an MA in Dance Education and Training. She took up the post of Head of Undergraduate Studies at Rambert School in 1995, becoming Deputy Principal in 2014.

Amanda has retained her links with Rambert Dance Company, regularly teaching company class and overseeing a number of collaborative projects which have allowed Rambert School and Company to work together. Amanda has also worked as an External Examiner for several schools.Amanda succeeded Dr Ross McKim as Principal and Artistic Director of Rambert School in July 2015.

Paul Clarke BA (Hons) PDTD Dip

Ballet and Wardrobe master

paul-clarke Paul Clarke trained at the Rambert School of Ballet at The Place. Upon graduation he joined the Deutsche Oper Am Rhein Ballet – Dusseldorf, Germany, dancing in ballets by George Balanchine, Jiri Kylian, Heinz Spoerli, Erich Walter and Roland Petit. He also danced with Malmo Staats Theatre Sweden and Hannover State Theatre, Germany, where he was a first soloist performing leading roles in both classical and contemporary ballets.

Paul also has a BA (Hons) Degree from Wimbledon School of Art in Theatre Design. His design credits include operas, ballets, contemporary dance, children’s theatre and several West End musicals. Paul graduated from the Professional Dancers Teaching Course at the Royal Academy of Dance with Distinction.

Prior to joining the ballet faculty at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, Paul taught at the Hammond School of Dance, Chester. Paul regularly teaches for the R.A.D on international summer schools in Italy, Germany and in London.  Paul has worked as External Examiner for the R.A.D Professional Dancers Teaching Course and is currently a consultant for the CDET (Council for Dance Education and Training).

Ayumi Hikasa ARAD BBO ATS Dip ttq

Ballet and Related Disciplines

Ayumi HikasaAyumi Hikasa was born in Tokyo and trained at the Noriko Kobayashi Ballet School and The Royal Ballet School. Upon graduating Ayumi joined the National Ballet of Portugal where she performed many soloist and principal roles in ballets such as La Bayadere, Swan Lake, Serenade and Theme and Variations.

She later danced with London City Ballet as Principal dancer performing many of the major roles in the company’s repertoire including title roles in Cinderella, Romeo and Juliet and Odette/Odile in Swan Lake. She has also worked and guested with many companies including Stars of British and Russian Ballet, Wiener Ballet Theatre, European Ballet, the 3rd Seoul International Ballet Festival in Korea and with Northern Ballet Theatre. She has also been in the cast of The Phantom of the Opera in the West End. Ayumi has taught a wide range of students, from very young to professional level. She teaches at many vocational schools and international summer schools as well as giving private coaching. She has also choreographed and co-produced two full length ballets in Japan.

Chris Wright MRBSoc (PDTD Hons)

Ballet and Related Disciplines


Chris trained at the Legat School of Russian Ballet and after graduating joined Gothenburg Ballet, Sweden. He has also danced with Scottish Ballet, London City Ballet, ENB and as a Soloist with the National Ballets of Norway and Portugal.

Chris was a Principal Dancer with the State Ballet of Peçs (Hungary), Ballet Ireland, Minnesota Dance Theatre (USA) and Glyndebourne Opera. He performed in the West End in Carousel, Phantom of the Opera and in Berlin with Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame.  Chris qualified as a teacher with the Russian Ballet Society. He was Ballet Master for the World Tour of Phantom of the Opera, Guest Ballet Master for the Shanghai Ballet, Singapore Dance Theatre and Tokyo City Ballet.  Chris has taught at The Hammond School, Shanghai Ballet Academy, Rambert School and at English National Ballet School.

In 2014 Chris completed an intensive Ballet Teachers’ Course under Professor Kalina Bogoeva (State University Sofia) and gained an Advanced Certificate in the Russian Pedagogic Method of Classical Ballet.

Anya Sainsbury CBE

Classical Solos

anya-sainsbury_1 Born in Manchester, Anya Sainsbury started ballet training in Berkeley, California with Dorothy Pring and Theodore Kosloff. In 1947 she returned to England with her family and joined Sadler’s Wells Ballet School (now The Royal Ballet School). She joined The Royal Ballet Company in 1951 as Anya Linden and started dancing principal roles in 1957 including Coppélia, Giselle, Cinderella, The Firebird, Sleeping Beauty, Sylvia, and Swan Lake.

She married John Sainsbury in 1963 and retired in 1965. They have three children and eight grandchildren. She has organised and worked on the production of five ballet galas in aid of One Parent Families, the most notable being ‘A Good Night’s Sleep’ with Wayne Sleep and the ‘Anthony Dowell Ballet Gala’. She continues to coach at The Royal Ballet School and Rambert School. In 1987 she founded the Linbury Prize for Stage Design and was its chairman until 2010.

Ross McKim MA PhD NBS (IDP)

Contemporary Dance

Ross McKimRoss McKim entered The Royal Ballet School in 1965 at the age of sixteen. Judged first in his class at the end of his first term he was taken into The Royal Danish Ballet by the end of what would have been his second. He then danced with The Royal Danish Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada and London Contemporary Dance Theatre as a principal dancer before performing for his own companies. He founded Moving Visions in London in 1976, which was later known as English Dance Theatre. He set up Chamber Dance Theatre in Canada and moved it back to London. In 1985, he was appointed Director of Rambert School and re-established Moving Visions as a research vehicle. He has taught for all the major London professional schools and many companies including Rambert Dance Company, London Contemporary Dance Theatre and Phoenix Dance Theatre. He has choreographed for contemporary dance companies (including London Contemporary Dance Theatre), ballet companies (including The National Ballet of Canada), opera (including English National Opera), theatre companies (including the Tyne Wear Theatre Company) as well as schools, youth groups and puppets.His choreography has won various awards including the Edinburgh Festival Critics Award and The Guardian Critics Choice. He spent the last years of his time as a full time dancer performing in his own companies mostly outside of London. During this period he was called, “… possibly the most beautiful dancer in Britain,” by the Birmingham Post and “…perhaps this country’s most beautiful dancer,” by the Yorkshire Post. His contribution to choreography has probably been most significant as presented in over twenty cathedrals, mostly in England. This work concerns a via negativa in dance and the experience and expression of the numinous. Concerning this work, as shown at the Edinburgh Festival, the Evening News spoke of, “…oases of hope and beauty in a world filled with gall”. He has an MA (Dance Studies; University of Surrey) and a PhD (Theology; University of Durham). He has written reviews, articles and three books.


Antonia Franceschi

Guest Ballet Teacher

Antonia was selected by George Balanchine to join the New York City Ballet, and is a Time Out Award Winner for Outstanding Acheivement in Dance. She has had works created for her by Balanchine, Robbins, Martins, Lubovitch, Baldwin, McGregor, Clarke, Armitage, Phillips, and van Laast along with others. As a young dancer she starred in the films ‘Fame’ and ‘Grease’. She has produced and choreographed for both British and American companies, and has recently formed her own Neo-classical company ‘AFD Just Dance’. She is one of the judges on BBC’s Young Dancer 2015 competition.
Recently she was invited by Boris Charmatz to dance in Musee de la Dance at The Tate Modern. She regularly teaches at Rambert, The Royal Ballet, Richard Alston, Random, DV8 and New York Theatre Ballet among others. She is the artistic director of Danceworks new Children’s Program DIBA.



Paul was born in Leeds, and studied at the London School of Contemporary Dance; he was a member of London Contemporary Dance Theatre, Irek Mukhamadov & Dancers, Rambert Dance Company and Scottish Ballet as a soloist.
On leaving Scottish Ballet Paul was a guest artist with Phoenix Dance Theatre, David Hughes Dance Productions & Simon Rice’s Abundance.

Paul has danced works by some of the world’s most prominent contemporary-modern choreographers. Amongst those are Bruce, Kylian, Ek, Cunningham, McGregor, tharp, van Manen, Taylor, Page, Petronio, Forsythe, Alston, Bonachela, Naharin, Tetley, de Frutos, Davis, Cohan, North, Tudor, Armitage, Brown, Balanchine, Robbins, Pastor, Kemp, Clarke and Baldwin.

His awards include the Cosmopolitan/Scholl Award in 1985, the BBC Yorkshire Black Achievers Award 1992, Critic’s Circle Award for Outstanding Male Dancer 2004 (Contemporary), Critic’s Circle National Dance Award 2009 (The Dancing Times Award for Best Male Dancer). He was awarded the MBE in 2009 for services to dance.

After a twenty four year career, Paul retired from performing.  He holds a diploma from the British Ballet Organization (BBO DTLLS).  In 2014 Paul assisted the re-staging of Ashley Page’s ‘Alice’ on HNK National Ballet of Croatia.

Paul has taught at a number of UK dance schools, also guest taught Phoenix Dance Theatre, Michael Clarke Dance Company, Matthew Bourne New Adventures Company, David Hughes Dance, Rambert Dance Company, Yorke Dance Project.

Abby Hoffmann MA, DipDance Sci, PhD

Head of Studies

Abby has a background in Dance Studies, Film Studies and Dance Science. She gained a BA (Hons) in Dance studies (Middlesex University) and went on to study further for a MA in Film studies (University of East Anglia) and an MSc in Dance Science (Trinity Laban, London UK). She is also a qualified Yoga teacher (to Senior Level in UK) and gained her PhD from Middlesex University which investigated the effect of Yoga in Dance Training.
Abby has worked extensively in both UK Conservatoire and Higher Education institutions, teaching, lecturing and mentoring dance students as well as having an international profile, lecturing at the University of Malta in 2013/14 under the guidance of Professor Jo Butterworth. Abby also runs specialist teacher training for dancers and yoga teachers wishing to use Yoga as a performance enhancement tool. She joined Rambert School in 2015 as Head of Studies and is in charge of the Academic Programme.

Barry Ganberg BA

Head of Music

Barry GanbergBorn in New York City, Barry Ganberg graduated from City University of New York with degrees in Music and Psychology. He further studied music and composition with John Corigliano, baritone horn with Jack Hyatt and voice with Sylvia Friedrich. He has performed and composed for many dance and theatre companies including London Contemporary Dance Theatre, Scottish Dance Theatre, Ballet de San Marcos and Moving Visions for whom he is Music Director. Some of his most recent work includes the re scoring of Robert Cohan’s classic choreography “Class” in 2014. He is continuing to develop research into the use of percussion and voice with projects drawing from a variety of cultures in countries such as Ethiopia, Japan,  Lithuania, Peru and Senegal.

Peter Dunleavy BSc (Hons) Ost


An ex dancer, Peter Dunleavy was a competitive swimmer and runner in his youth, before starting his working life as an Engineering Draughtsman. Changing to dance he worked with independent artists, Jane Dudley, Inge Longroth and Micha Bergese before a decade with the UK’s leading contemporary dance company, London Contemporary Dance Theatre. He then studied Osteopathy and once graduated ran a private practice specialising in professional bodies – athletes, dancers, fighters etc. On leaving private practice, he began working for the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama and devised and set up the Screening, Treatment and Rehabilitation Unit at Rambert School in 2006. He lectures in Anatomy at undergraduate level and assists in delivering academic lectures to the students and is currently part of the Dance UK Medical Advisory Group. Apart from dance, Martial Arts have been the consistent physical interest in Peter’s life, beginning with Judo and then Shotokan Karate. During his dancing years Aikido became the main focus of study. Peter holds 1st Dan in Shotokan and 2nd Dan Aikido.

Kio Tomiyama


Kio Tomiyama was born in Japan and trained there in classical ballet. She came to the UK to study at Rambert School in 1993. From 1996-2002 she danced professionally in Japan. In 2002, she qualified from the Pilates Teacher Training Course at Alan Herdman Studios and since then has been teaching Pilates at Alan Herdman Studios, Chelsea Harbour Club, Royal Academy of Dance and Millenium Dance 2000. Kio teaches Pilates, rehabilitation after injury and injury management as part of the Screening, Treatment and Rehabilitation Unit at Rambert School.


Recent Guest Teachers

  • Esther Balfe - Forsythe Dance Company
  • Jackie Barrett - The Royal Ballet, Christopher Wealdon
  • Stephen Berkeley-White - Mark Bruce Dance Company
  • Carly Best - Vincent Dance Theatre
  • Kerry Biggin - New Adventures Dance Company
  • Sam Black - Mark Morris Dance Company
  • Neil Brown - Random Dance Company
  • Pippa Duke - Nederlands Dans Theater
  • Gosia Dzieron - Rambert Dance Company
  • Hubert Essakow - The Royal Ballet
  • Dane Hurst - Rambert Dance Company
  • Tory Jestyn - Nederlands Dans Theater
  • Hannah KiddRichard Alston Dance Company
  • Luc de Lairesse - Balettoday Belgium
  • David Lloyd - Jasmin Vardimon Company
  • Lloyd Newson - DV8
  • Kerry Nicholls - k|n|d|c
  • Chisato Ohno - Batsheva Dance Company
  • Trish Okenwa - Rambert Dance Company
  • Christopher Powney –  Artistic Director, National Ballet Academy (Dutch National Ballet)
  • Pompea Santoro –  Cullberg Ballet
  • Pieter Symonds - Rambert Dance Company
  • Douglas Thorpe - Mad Dogs Dance Theatre
  • Renaud Wiser - Bonachela Dance Company
  • Jenny White – Russell Maliphant Company
  • Paul Zivkovich – Akram Khan Company