At Stageworks & Danceworks we have a fantastic team of highly qualified and dedicated coaches. We ensure that all staff members have an enhanced DBS certificate and are trained in First aid, Safeguarding and mental health first aid to fully support your child in their journey with us. 

Please see our amazing team below.


Emma Hobbis


Emma starting dancing from a young age and went on to train in musical theatre. When she was 17 Emma began her professional dancing career and she was dancing around the world  from Italy to Oman and was a dancer in the UK tour of '80's Mania'.


The Stageworks journey began back in 2008 after performing for many years and teaching in education Emma launched Danceworks in 2008 which expanded to Aldridge and Burntwood in the following 4 years. opened The Saturday Academy in Aldridge specialising in Performing Arts. Emma's vision was for children to have a safe place they can come to learn, have fun and enjoy performing.

Most recently in April 2017 we opened our doors to our Great Barr Academy.

Over the last 12 years we have taught so many children and had the pleasure in performing in competitions, performances , community events, charity evenings and festivals. However, the best part has been to see all the children grow in confidence, make wonderful friendships and become the best they can be. We have been very lucky teachers!

In the last few years our team of coaches has grown and we are grateful for the team we have and that we can offer the fabulous classes in Great Barr, Burntwood  & Aldridge and continue to make a difference.

Most recently we were honoured to be nominated for Corporate live wire Prestige Awards for Birminghams Best Children's Theatre School 2019. We can very proudly tell you that we won the category and are now officially the Best in Birmingham!

Emma is qualified with ABD and holds her Associate in dance and musical theatre, Performance arts awards, CTAA yoga, Acrobatic arts acro dance (including pre-school) mental health first aid level 3 and is one of the companies safeguarding officers.

I think what makes us different is that we value every child and everything we do we do it for the children and by doing this we now have an amazing Stageworks family where every child matters and we pride ourselves on this.

'Get professional training from the Professionals!'

Sarah Challoner

Assistant Manager


Sarah started dancing at an early age in her home town of Wolverhampton. She started her professional career at the age of 16 after completing her exams in IDTA, RAD & LAMDA. She has performed globally at many high profile events and taught at various performing arts academy's, colleges and dance schools, adjudicating many high ranking Dance festivals.
At the age of 21 Sarah then went on to train professionally at Phil Winston's Theatreworks in Blackpool developing her skills in all forms of dance and Musical Theatre over 3 years. Sarah has also obtained her ABD Associate in Musical Theatre.

Some of her credits include:
Featured Singer/Dancer 'The Works' (Blackpool); Featured Dancer in CBBC's 'The Slammer' (BBC); Dancer ‘Tour’ (Western Asia); Dance Captain 'Jack and the Beanstalk', The Hustle, (BBC); Dancer 'Aladdin', 'Cinderella', Tyne Theatre, Newcastle); Dancer ‘European Rugby Champions Cup’; Dancer for 'Red Rock Pictures' (Music Video); Dancer National Tour; (UK & European tour); Dancer ‘Tour’ (Romania) Doctors (BBC); A Chorus Line (Lowry Theatre, Manchester); Dancer/Singer 'Headliners Theatre Company' (P&O Cruise Ship); Dance Captain 'Sleeping Beauty' (Tyne Theatre, Newcastle); Dancer ‘Geri Halliwell’ (London); Dance Captain/specialist circus performer' (UK Tour); Featured Artist' PS4 (Sony Advert); Fife/Silly Girl ‘Beauty and the Beast; Dancer/Stilts/Fire performer (Spain Tour); Featured Artist ‘Peaky Blinders (BBC); Actor ‘The Girl With All The Gifts’ (Film) Dancer ‘EuroMillions’ (ITV); Featured/Specialist performer ‘Floyd Mayweather’ (Birmingham); Singer ‘Newcastle Christmas light switch on’; Dancer ‘Lego Friends’ (NEC, London O2); Dancer ‘Remembering Brendan Healy Concert’ (Tyne Theatre); Singer ‘80’s Reunion’ (UK);  Aladdin ‘Aladdin’ (Gateshead Stadium, Newcastle)

After completing her performers bucket list Sarah retired professionally in 2018 but continues her contribution to Stageworks and Danceworks.

To pass professional knowledge, guide pupils and to watch them grow and shine is the best feeling. It helps the children be self-motivated, disciplined and focused in their everyday lives. Expressive in their communication of emotions, thoughts and feelings. Creative and imaginative. Who wouldn’t want to have this enjoyable and rewarding lifestyle. You don’t work a day in your life if you truly love what you do!


Richard McNally-Reilly

Stageworks Acting Coach

Originally from Glasgow, Richard trained at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire (formerly
Birmingham School of Acting) and graduated in 2015 with a BA (Hons) Applied Performance
(Community & Education) degree. Throughout his degree, Richard gained opportunities
devise and create workshops within various community groups. Some of these groups were:
Age Concern, Headway (The Brain Injury Association), Walsall College and Sandwell &
Dudley College. Richard also established connections within the arts throughout the West
Midlands having worked/performed at MAC (Birmingham), The Birmingham REP, The Artrix
Centre (Bromsgrove) and The Birmingham Hippodrome.
In 2017, Richard gained a Postgraduate Diploma in Special Educational Needs & Disabilities
from the University of Birmingham and tailored his studies specifically around the
Performing Arts. Richard was placed at Queen Alexander College in the Performing Arts
department as part of his studies. Richard is extremely passionate about “Inclusion” within
the arts and has a wide variety of experience of teaching Drama to young people and always
delivers his classes towards the needs of the children.
Richard always wanted to be a “singer” until he discovered “Musical Theatre” and was able
to combine all three disciplines of Acting, Singing and Dancing.
From the age of 18, Richard worked professionally as an actor, singer and presenter on
holiday parks in the UK for companies such as Haven, Butlins and Parkdean Resorts.
As a Drama and Singing teacher, Richard has worked internationally having worked in the
USA in 2015 and most recently Shanghai (China) from 2018 to 2020. Whilst working in
China, Richard worked for The Walt Disney Company and used Disney as a learning medium
to teach the children English and Drama. Richard was recognised for his achievements at
Disney whilst part of the Disney VoluntEARS committee. Richard wrote and directed live,
interactive production shows that went to migrant schools in Shanghai with an educational
focus incorporating the Disney English curriculum.
Outside of teaching, Richard works for the Civil Service with the Performing Arts still an
integral part of his life. “I love teaching Drama and providing children with a platform to
express themselves to gain confidence on stage. I always look for new creative and
innovative ways that will provide learners with an opportunity to share their ideas and bring
these to life either through devising or improvisation. I never get tired teaching and thrive
on the energy of the learners in the classroom. My highlight of teaching is noticing each
individual develop and seeing the end product on stage celebrating their achievements”
Richard worked for Stageworks in 2017 as our Singing Teacher and is extremely excited to
be re-joining the team as our Acting Coach. “I have always felt that the Stageworks team are
more like a family and pride themselves in coaching the children to release their potential
and gain more confidence on and off stage”

Rich headshot.jpeg

Abbie Rai

Stageworks Singing Coach


The performing arts has always been an intergal part of Abbie’s life as she has trained in singing, dancing and acting since a young age. Abbie has been involved in many amateur theatre productions for local musical theatre companies such as Willenhall Musical Theatre Company and South Staffs Musical Theatre Company. She has also been involved in professional pantomime productions at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre including Peter Pan and Aladdin. Abbie has also taken part in many professional workshops and competitions across the West Midlands. One particular stand out moment was when Abbie was chosen to take part in a vocal workshop with American Musical Theatre Composer Georgia Stitt. Abbie has studied Performing Arts at both GCSE and A-Level
which led her to successfully gaining a First Class Honours degree in Musical Theatre at the University of Wolverhampton. Another proud moment for Abbie was when she gained the award for ‘Highest Classification’ at graduation for gaining the highest mark across the whole performing arts cohort. Abbie is also a qualified secondary school teacher of Drama, where she has recently taken over as Head of Department. She also teaches GCSE Dance and choreographs all school productions. She is also currently an active member of three musical theatre companies within the local area.  As well as performing, Abbie is also on the production team for two of these companies, whereby she produces and choreographs their productions once a year; she is also an active committee member for Willenhall Musical Theatre Company. Abbie has taught singing for many years across many different avenues including being a choir mistress and as a peripatetic vocal coach for primary and secondary schools across the Dudley and Sandwell sector. Abbie has also gained distinction at Grade 8 for London College of Music.


Abbie Thomas

Stageworks Dance Coach

Abbie has been dancing since she was 2 and a half years old. She was such an active child and never slept so her Mom enrolled her in dance classes to channel my excess energy.

Her love and passion for dance is as strong today as it was back then. 

At the age of 9 Abbie had the privilege of dancing at the Grand Theatre in their yearly Pantomime productions and continued to be selected for several further productions.  

Abbie studied IDTA grades and have qualifications in Tap, Ballet, Modern Jazz, Freestyle and RAD. She gained a triple distinction star level 3 extended diploma in dance at Birmingham Ormiston Academy. 

Abbie started my Professional training at Phil Winstons theatre works in Blackpool  and attended for 3 years. She loved every minute and was so excited for the future.

However due to injury my dream of dancing professionally as a career  was cut short.

This is when  she found her love for teaching.  

Just being able to pass on some of the things she has learnt throughout  the years and the happiness these young dancers show when they accomplish something new is amazing to be a part of.

Abbie t headshot.jpeg

Beth Lightly

Dance Coach


Hey, I’m Beth and I am one of the Danceworks coaches. I have been dancing since I was 3 years old and could never imagine myself not dancing! 
I studied dance at Birmingham Ormiston Academy and then went on to Kingston University where I also studied dance, graduating in 2017. When I left University I went down a different path and decided I wanted a change. 
I am now a self employed beautician working for myself and building my own business, as well as teaching the amazing children we have at Danceworks! 
I have so much joy teaching and passing on my knowledge not only to the children but to the adults I teach also! Seeing everyone progress and enjoy dance as much as I do is such a great feeling and I am so grateful for that.

beth headshot.jpeg

Kalvin LaMey

Stageworks Dance Coach

Kalvin trained at Bodyworks Stage School in Cambridge and Italia Conti Academy of Theatre
Arts in London. Professional credits include ‘Thriller Live – The Musical’, and backing dancer
for Sugababes, Steps, Kanye West, Tinchy Stryder, Duffy, Olly Murs, The Pussycat Dolls and
Jedward, to name but a few.
Kalvin was a contestant on one of the first primetime dance shows on BBC One ‘Dance X’,
working with industry choreographers from across the world whilst being mentored by
‘Strictly Come Dancing’ judges Arlene Phillips and Bruno Tonioli. In 2010 Kalvin was a
contestant on ITV’s ‘X Factor’, part of boyband FYD with Simon Cowell as his mentor, where
he made it through to the live show finals.
Kalvin worked in a professional capacity alongside London’s finest session players in the
band Salut, performing for corporate events including HSBC, BBC, Million Pound Weddings;
travelling to Europe, Dubai and the USA.
Kalvin has taught in many schools across London and the Midlands for over twenty years in
a range of settings and for different projects. These include working with underprivileged
children in primary schools to improve fitness and tackle obesity in young people, as well as
after-school clubs.
Kalvin has delivered assessed units on GCSE and BTEC Dance in secondary schools and
colleges. He has also worked with local dance schools and youth theatres to improve the
career chances of their young people; to give them professional experience to support their
career progression.
Kalvin works with WBOS (West Bromwich Operatic Society) as part of the creative team for
their production of ‘Cats’ which won numerous awards, including Best Production.
Kalvin was also the choreographer for the UK Amateur Premiere of ‘Memphis – The Musical’
in Wolverhampton, which was attended by Beverley Knight (who appeared in the original
West End production) and received high praise from the critics.


Tara Leanne Jeffers

Dance Coach

Tara-Lea J is co-founder of Nique Dance in Birmingham and holds a degree in Urban Dance Practice, she coaches Street Dance Crews XLR8 & Majesty and Beats of Stageworks Academy Tara is also a member of Nathan Marsh's Marshons and is Assistant Director of movement & choreography for Kidzootd. Her speciality styles are Hip-Hop and Krump. Her Credits include Myself Dance UK (London 2012-2014) , Breakin Conventions 10th Anniversary (London 2013 , B.Supreme Women in Hip-Hop Tour (2013-2014) , BBC Doctors, BBC Comic Sport Relief , Stilt-Walker and Fire Entertainer


Chloe Kimberley

Acro Coach

Chloe is one of our Acro teachers. Chloe has trained in various styles of dance for the past 19 years. Chloe qualified as a dance teacher with the IDTA and holds various national titles within dance & pole fitness. Chloe has been on the TV show ‘Doctors’, played her part in ‘Romeo & Juliet’ with the Birmingham Royal Ballet and came off her professional dance contract in Greece in November 2019. Chloe enjoys teaching all styles of dance ranging from Commercial & Contemporary to Acro and Freestyle but she really enjoys teaching ballet & tap grade work.  Chloe still enjoys performing alongside teaching when she can and still performs up and down the country on various gigs. Chloe loves teaching people of all ages and believes anybody can dance! She now owns her own dance school and is very excited for the future of Danceworks! She can’t wait to meet the fabulous Danceworks stars!

chloe headshot.jpeg

Elle -May Wilson

Dance Coach

Elle is a qualified dance teacher and pole fitness/aerial instructor.  She first started dancing at the age of 3 and over the years has trained in various dance styles including ballroom, Latin, ballet, tap, Jazz, freestyle, street dance & commercial. She studied dance at school and college and became a fully qualified dance teacher in 2016. Throughout her dance career she has been given many incredible opportunities to perform and compete from a very young age. As well as teaching dance Elle also teaches pole fitness and aerial for adults and children and became a fully qualified pole fitness and children’s aerial instructor in 2018.  Elle has been teaching at Stageworks since July 2019.