Angela Kirkham Artistic Director
Head of RAD Vocational Ballet . Tap, Musical Theatre
M.I.D.T.A R.A.D R.T.S LIFE MEMBER OF ROYAL ACADEMY OF DANCE AND INTERNATIONAL DANCE TEACHERS ASSOCIATION
The Kirkham School of Dancing opened in March 1971 at St. Joseph’s Church Hall, Pickering. Angela opened the Kirkham Henry Performing Arts Centre together with Jennie Henry in 1989 .
Angela has worked over the years as an adjudicator for Dance Festivals/ Choreographer on touring shows, including Kirkham Henry Youth Ballet. Angela is extremely proud to have her youngest daughter, Samantha Raine, Senior ballet mistress to the Royal Ballet Company, as patron .
Angela, together with Jennie Henry founded Ryedale Youth Theatre and was Artistic Director for 26 years.
Over the years she has coached ballet children for examinations and auditions throughout the country and coaching male dancers for the Billy Elliot school.
Angela has also taught under-privileged children, who did not want to do anything with their life, to dance and be proud of their achievements. She also teaches senior citizens to help them stay young and mobile. this includes a dance for Parkinson's class in York. She believes in a strong ethical approach to teaching and has a renowned pastoral care system inplace.
Over the 50 years that Angela has been teaching she has trained thousands of students to professional level, many of whom are now performing in musical theatre productions in the West End and on tour, on Cruise Ships and in The Royal Ballet Company and ballet companies across the world. Others have chosen to become professional musicians, theatre technicians, stage managers, teachers of dance, music and musical theatre etc. or to study for alternative careers at Universities and colleges throughout the UK with the help of the transferrable skills taught at Kirkham Henry.
Angela is a life member of The Royal Academy of Dance and the International Dance Teachers Association, and former Chair of Yorkshire Ballet Scholarship Centre, now known as York Dance Scholars.
Awarded the Pride of Malton and Norton Local Hero award in 2010, the Melvin Jones Fellowship for Dedicated humanitarian services- Lions club international foundation 2016, and Malton Town Council award for services to the townspeople for exeptional contibution to the Town with the capacity to inspire with a gentle caring nature 2011
I have a long association with Kirkham Henry, starting around 1986 when my eldest son, then 2, and I came along to a parent and baby dance group shortly after the current centre opened. This association has continued ever since as all four of my children and myself attended classes and just before lockdown my Grandaughter started at Babybop. I still enjoy my weekly Adult tap and my Mum is a stalwart of Golden Gliders! My belief in everything that KH had to offer to the young people of Ryedale led me to becoming the first Chair of Friends of KH, many moons ago! I have happy memories of the day that Miss Angela and Miss Jennie announced that they wished to hand over what was their own business to the community to ensure the ongoing future of KHPA, in the form of a ‘not for profit community interest company’, which meant KH would be eligible for a much larger range of grants. Although my day to day involvement decreased when the children left after more than 25 years, I have continued to help out whenever possible. Many of you will know me as ‘Auntie Sue’ Head Chaperone at the last 2 Showcases and general dogsbody!
My day job is Headteacher of an Infant School and I believe this equips me with the skills to be a very effective director of KH CIC supporting and enhancing the continued development of such an amazing facility for young people in Ryedale. I have always had a love of music and the creative arts and take pride in coaching my own school choir, more than 40 Year 2 pupils, to be the best that they can be!
Having known Miss Angela and most of the teachers for many years, Miss Jennie actually taught me singing at Malton School, I know they are not ones to rest on their laurels and indeed they work tirelessly to continue to improve the classes they offer, community classes, classes for fun and vocational classes. Their most recent work developing a range of classes for the elderly, learning Makaton to support those pupils who need it and their work to promote positive mental health should be very much applauded.
I see my role as director as being there to support Miss Angela, as Principal and her team of very dedicated staff, in what they can offer the Kirkham Henry families, to give advice when needed, to help develop and oversee policies but most of all helping to seek out grants and support fundraising, I am passionate about ensuring the ethos of KHPACIC, remains as the wishes of both Angela and Jennie in order that classes are affordable to all of our families whatever their financial circumstances.
As Directors, we have worked hard during ‘lockdown’ to ensure that we are in a position to safely re-open the KH doors yet again and we are very excited to be in a position to welcome back all our members- young and old!
His interest in music and theatre have led him on stage, performing leading roles in a number of community theatre productions in York. And as a musician, he has been involved with several musical theatre productions playing keyboards and musically directing at the Grand Opera House York, John Cooper Theatre, Alan Ayckbourn Theatre, York Theatre Royal and Joseph Rowntree Theatre.
Dan is also a director of York Arts Education CIC.- a community interest company providing music education services to schools and children in the York area.
Director / Deputy Principal
Jennie Henry 1938-2017
Jennie, retired from her full time teaching at Kirkham Henry in 2007, when she taught voice production and music to pupils aged 5 – 75 yrs. Jennie began her musical teaching career at the age of 20.
Her professional engagements included a Sunday Summer Season with Moira Anderson at the Futurist Theatre, Scarborough and musical broadcasts from the BBC Leeds studios.
She had been closely involved for many years with York and Ryedale operatic societies both as a performer and ‘out front’ as chorus mistress and musical director. Extensions of Jennies work have reached as far away as West Africa where her first post as musical director was made in association with the British High Commission in Gambia.