Sandra Danby - Our Founder
Sandra’s first professional dance contract, at the age of eleven, was at the Scala Theatre and the Derby Hippodrome.
She went on to appear on the Carol Levis “Junior Discoveries” Talent Show, then onto Pantomime as Girl Babe, In “Babes in the Wood“ starring Marti Wild. Continuing in pantomime she gained a place in “Goodie Two Shoes” and “Robinson Crusoe”.
At 16 Sandra was working full time in “Billy Smarts Circus” performing aerial ballet, forty feet up without a net!
Sandra returned to dancing in the touring West End cabaret “Limelight” which travelled to Eastbourne, The Isle of Wight and Pier Pavilion, Cromer.
At 18 whilst still dancing, Sandra opened the Miss Sandra School of Dance in Brentwood, Doddinghurst, and Ingatestone.
The three schools were later amalgamated to form the San-Marie Stage School.
In 1994 Sandra retired from teaching leaving the school to her daughter Lisa-Marie.
Lisa-Marie Jobson - Principal ISTD DDE, UTD examiner (degree status), MRAD, AIDTA
Lisa first appeared on the professional stage at the age of six in Hans Christian Andersen with Tommy Steele at the London Palladium.
At the age of eleven, she obtained a full-time place at Italia Conti and later at the Sylvia Young Theatre School studying Dance, Drama and Singing.
She continued her career in the films “P’Tang Y’ang Kipperbang” and “Secret Places” and on TV in “Grange Hill”, “Razzmatazz”, “All American Amusement Arcade” and “Jury”. She scooped the part of Daisy in a “Woman of Substance” with Deborah Kerr and Jenny Seagrove.
At 17 Lisa joined the cast of Frankie Vaughan, Jill Gasgoine, Shanie Wallis and Catherine Zeta-Jones in “42nd Street” at Theatre Royal Drury Lane, followed by “Ziegfeld” at the London Palladium. Chosen from hundreds of hopefuls she danced as a Bluebell Girl in the “Royal Variety Performance”, the cast included Paul McCartney, Ken Dodd and Bob Monkhouse. The Queen Mother and the Duchess of York attended the show.
Lisa's career then took her abroad dancing on a cruise ship around the Caribbean.
On her return, she took the part of dance captain and assistant Choreographer in the UK tour of “Underneath the Arches” staring Bernie Winters.
At the age of 21, Lisa took her final teaching exams which she passed with honours.
In 1994 Lisa became the principal of the San-Marie Stage School.
2001 was the year that Lisa set her sights on new horizons and became a member of the council for the United Teachers of Dance, she has since written the syllabus for the Major tap exams and Adult Tap syllabus.
After forty years in business, the San-Marie Stage School amalgamated all three schools this time to join together in their
new home The San-Marie Studios in Billericay.
In May 2005, at the United Teachers of Dance thirtieth Anniversary celebrations in Blackpool, Lisa-Marie was presented with the Valerie Anne Harris Award for her work for the U.T.D.
Lisa’s proudest day came in July 2007 when she saw her seven-year-old daughter Luisa on a West End stage on the opening night of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicoloured Dream Coat" at the Adelphi Theatre.
In January 2008 Lisa opened Smartypants Agency.
In April 2012 Lisa was awarded her Level 4 Diploma in Dance Education from the ISTD.
Along with her teaching and running of the stage school, Lisa has now been appointed the role of examiner with the United Teachers of Dance.
Julie Flint - Head of Ballet and Modern ISTD DDE, UTD examiner (degree status), MRAD, AIDTA
Julie began dancing at San-Marie Stage School at the age of 8, she developed a passion for performing and took part in many exams, medal tests and competitions across a variety of disciplines including tap, ballet, modern jazz, song and dance, acro, character, national and musical theatre.
At the age of 16 Julie became a professional dancer performing in London’s West End, she performed in many charity shows attended by the Royal Family and MPs as well as the annual Policeman’s Ball venue’s including The Dorchester Hotel, The Park Lane Hotel, The Savoy Hotel, The Hilton Hotel and The Cafe Royal, Regent Street. Julie’s theatre credits also include Norman Wisdom Jubilee show (The Gaiety Theatre, Douglas, Isle of Man), summer season in Great Yarmouth, (Wellington pier with Jimmy Cricket), Aladdin (Theatre Royal Norwich with Richard O’Sullivan and Tessa Wyatt), Fantasia (The cockney club, London).
Julie loved to perform the Can-Can and Pas de Deux and during her time performing in Hello Hollywood Hello (MGM grand hotel, Nevada USA) she started to enhanced these skills. When she returned from America Julie worked with a can-can specialist in Paris and became a can-can soloist at the age of 22, Second Principle dancer at 23 and Principle dancer at 24.
Throughout her career, Julie has performed in many shows all over the world including France, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Iraqi, USA, Indonesia, Malaysia, Gabon West Africa, The Mandarin Theatre - Singapore, Korea, Hong Kong, Japan and Australia.
Retiring from professional dancing at the age of 39 Julie returned to the UK where she began teaching at San-Marie, over the years Julie has broadened her teaching qualifications to include ballet, tap, modern theatre, acro and contemporary.
Rosie Unwin - Head of Tap ISTD DDE
Rosie started dancing at the age of 3 years at Junior Performers, Corringham. During her time there, she passed all her ISTD examinations achieving high results in faculties’ Ballet, Tap, Modern Theatre and Jazz.
In her teens, Rosie was delighted to be selected to dance in the London 2012 Olympic Closing Ceremony, an honour which doesn’t come around that often! Rosie was also involved in a dance project with the English National Ballet which led to her performing in ‘Ballet Russes Encounters’ at the Sadler’s Wells Peacock Theatre, London.
From a young age Rosie always knew she wanted to pursue a career in Dance and after 3 years of study at Masters Performing Arts College, gained a diploma in Dance and Musical Theatre. During her time at Masters, Rosie started her teaching career and passed her ISTD teaching qualifications.
Rosie’s passion for dance and performing arts has given her the enthusiasm to pass on her dance knowledge and creativity to students who also love to dance. Her wish is to inspire the younger generation to become expressive and confident young dancers.
Stephanie Howard - ISTD ISTD DDE