Pupils at The Hammond School in Chester, Cheshire

Dance
Testimonials

Adam Tench

I have been working as a professional dancer and musical theatre performer for the past 8 years, Training at The Hammond prepared me and taught me all I need to know for a successful career, The teachers used to stay behind in their own time and help me practice my technique. I have gone on to perform In Kiss Me Kate (West end) and UK tour (London Coliseum), The Mikado and George Harewood in Call Me George for English National Opera, Eugene is Grease The Musical. Several dance productions including Spirit of the dance and Celebrity Crusies.


Alex J. Hunt

Alex J. Hunt

My time at Hammond was brilliant!

I arrived with little to know dance experience or ability whatsoever and that is why I chose the Hammond, to boost my level of dance ready for the industry!
I was so lucky to be given the high level of tuition that was on offer at the Hammond and to be given the opportunities that Hammond gave was incredible! I was lucky enough to play Tony in West Side Story and Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls whilst training and that was my highlight!

Everyday you’re put through an intense programme of lessons and it’s daunting at first , ballet classes and Tap classes to name a couple! But you embrace it and start seeing the difference in yourself physically and mentally and I’m so proud of my journey!

The vocal tuition at the Hammond exceeded all my expectations, I was mentored by a whilst host of the most incredibly gifted, patient and lovely people I’ve ever met and I continue my safe vocal practice exercises today (literally at the time of writing this I’m on my way to hold a safe vocal practice seminar on board the ship for the guests!)

The acting staff are really above and beyond anything I’ve experienced before, I went through and emotional rollercoaster with them and they taught me how to feel real emotion on stage and not fake it! I’m forever grateful!

Since graduating The Hammond, I’ve worked for Thomson/Marella Cruises/peel Talent in 3 contracts on board six ships! I get to perform 11 shows in a two week itinerary, I get to perform my very own solo musical theatre slot and get all the brilliant perks of the job whilst seeing the world!

If I had to give any advice to any aspiring performers, it would be, don’t think because your not in the west end that you haven’t ‘made it’. The fact you’re working, doing what you love everyday and earning a living is surely enough! Don’t forget, you were once a first year starting out in your catsuit for jazz and tap shoes with no lases, oh wait... that was me!!!


Amy Carey

Amy Carey

My training at the Hammond lay the best foundations to help me pursue a professional career as not only a dancer, but also an actress, singer and a model.
The variation of skills I learnt I think made me versatile and able to feel confident in trying anything that was required either in an audition or a job.
I think this is what makes Hammond special, it has a wide range of amazing teachers all able to teach you essential technique in all genres which has helped me dip in and out of different performing worlds such as musical theatre to commercial.

Since graduating in 2011, some of my performance credits include “Thursford Christmas spectacular”, Cunard Cruise Line “Queen Elizabeth” and “Queen Mary 2”, “Tonight at the London Palladium” ITV1, Legoland “Legofriends” (swing), “Humans” channel 4, “Age Before Beauty” BBC1 and various corporate gigs and pantomimes.

Alongside I have also modelled in adverts, idents and fashion shows for brands such as GHD, Dyson, QVC, Look Fantastic, Calvin Klein, Wella & The Apprentice.
Thank you to all the inspiring teachers that helped me at the Hammond to feel prepared for this challenging yet exciting and fulfilling career!


Eve Hughes Butterly

Eve Hughes Butterly

I thank my stars that I was awarded to study at the Hammond School - having only started dancing at the age of 17 and from a lower class family history it was a miracle that from 2009-2012 I had the pleasure and privilege of attending the Senior School Professional Dance Diploma programme. If it wasn't for those 3 fantastic years at the Hammond I wouldn't be standing here today having travelled and worked internationally, met incredible, innovative and creative choreographers, teachers, mentors and directors and performed amongst supremely talented professionals and celebrities alike whom I can call my colleagues and lifelong friends.

The Hammond boasts teachers of excellence across all genres; from Classical Ballet to Modern Jazz and Commercial Funk who really care about your development and artistic flare. Not only did they nurture and continually challenge my raw talent but they also truly cared about my wellbeing as a performer and wanted the very best success for each and every student. Amongst many things, The Hammond taught me that respect; equally to others and yourself in the Arts industry is paramount, I feel that this is such a vitally important tool. It is with great thanks and appreciation that I owe my success today to everyone at the Hammond school- I work for the largest cruise ship corporation in the world - Carnival Cruise Lines, in my 6 years with Carnival I have worked my way from dancer, to dancer/singer, to asst. dance captain, to dance captain and now to Cast Manager with experience of Dance Supervisor.

In between my contracts I have attained my BA Hons degree in Professional Dance and recently I have qualified as a Yoga teacher. I will always recommend students from all walks of life, with various abilities, strengths and qualities to experience your training and start your career at the Hammond.


Georgia-Rae Rivers

Mannings Lane is home to a place that not only strengthens you as a dancer... it strengthens you as a person. From pliés to paramount life skills, nothing went untaught by the excellent faculty members. The discipline instilled in me throughout my three years has carried me through my professional career and through life teaching me how to deal with adversity and how to push to be the best person and performer I can possibly be. I count myself as an extremely lucky individual to have had knowledge and insight about our industry from such wonderful, caring teachers who all want nothing but the best for you. The Hammond is truly a magical place.


Jordan Li-Smith

To me, Hammond has always been much more than a training & an education. Hammond gave me discipline, it gave me drive and it stirred my passion to do more. That’s just some of the core values and traits that I’ve carried into my work, but more importantly, my life, as I’ve grown. I made life long friends there, fellow students and teachers alike (I even met my wife there). 8 years holds a lot of good times, and bum times, but the constant is simple to remember: The Hammond is a very special place. I would defy anyone who wouldn’t walk through the doors of Hoole Bank House and say that isn’t so.


Kelsie-Rae Marshall

The Hammond allowed me to become an individual performer which has helped me in the industry. The Hammond worked on my weaknesses which made me into a more rounded performer and praised my strengths to give me the confidence to get to where I am today. The dance training is world class and i am recognised as a technical, strong and artistic dancer which I wouldn’t have gained from any other training. Since Graduation I have worked in both dance and Musical Theatre, Dancing for Carnival Cruise Lines, Spirit Productions, Royal Carribean and the BBC. My Musical Theatre Credits include Demeter in CATS, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Dirty Dancing, The Producers and Emmie in Brass the Musical. I wouldn’t have got to where I am today without my training at the Hammond. It didn’t just give me amazing training, The Hammond also gave me amazing friends and memories that I will have for life.


Lamaar Manning

Lamaar Manning

My time at the Hammond was full of learning experiences and growing as a person as well as a dancer. I came to the Hammond with 0 technique but I was willing to fight for my technique and all my teachers pushed and helped me to achieve it. I learnt how to talk and carry myself in a processional manner for the industry and also learnt that I have to push myself in every area of dance because the industry is tough, versatile. The Hammond is not as big as other dance schools and therefore that meant me and my friends got more attention and care and it was filled with a good energy and warmth so that I felt comfortable in my classes to fail which as a dancer I learnt there that I have to fail many times in my classes before I start seeing improvement and success.

By my last few months at the Hammond I was offered a job on The Quantum of the Seas, on The Royal Caribbean cruise lines which was a brand new ship.

When I came home from the Ship, in the first week I had a audition for The Voice UK, Artist: Pixie Lott who was performing her brand new single “Baby” and I also booked that.

Then from there everything fell into place and people recognised how versatile I was.

I Booked Reebok in Barcelona

Katy Perry - BBC1 Big Weekender

X factor (full season) 2017

River Island Autumn Campaign

MTV EMAs - Rita Ora

Brit Awards - Rita Ora

Global Awards - Rita Ora

8 out of 10 Cats countdown

German Idol (full season)

Stormzy - Wireless Festival

Kylie Mingoue - The Voice

Schuh Campaign

The Bi Life Campaign

Canary Wharf Autumn Fashion Event

X Factor 2018


Megan Flanagan

Megan Flanagan

My 3 years at The Hammond taught me so much and I'm so grateful to everyone there who helped me in my journey of entering such a rewarding industry. My training not only gave me the physical tools I needed to work professionally but also mentally prepared me. Since graduating I've worked with Costa cruises and over the past 2 years I've worked as dance captain for Bor productions onboard MSC cruises. Taking on the role of dance captain was a big responsibility and even though I was nervous to accept it at first my training at Hammond ensured I was ready and capable, we were always encouraged to 'self clean' our numbers for showcases and this experience made doing it in a professional environment much less daunting. The teachers at Hammond have my utmost respect for the sheer passion they have for the subjects they teach and I am forever grateful that I trained at such an incredible place.


Michael Keen

Michael Keen

Getting into a school like the Hammond was something I only thought happened in films. But it happened to me. And I couldn’t have wished for a better training. I needed a lot of it! As it’s not a huge school like some of the others, you have a lot more attention from the teachers and are a valued member of the school.
There’s also a certain level of structure and discipline that I don’t think is taught much in any school anymore. My class was like a family for three years and I made some of my best friends to this day there.

I have the utmost respect for the faculty (whom I owe my career to) and fondest memories of my three years of fun, hard work, aching muscles, endless kicks and turns, curtain calls and life lessons.

Thank you.


Rachel Farr

Rachel Farr

I started at the Hammond when I was 14, splitting my time between dance training and academic work, while being well looked after as a boarder. After achieving good grades in my GCSE’s I started the post-16 course to obtain my professional diploma in dance. While getting very high quality dance training in many genres to develop me into a well rounded performer, I also had the opportunity to continue my academic studies by taking Art A level, and also the Pilates teacher training course, which gave me invaluable information on anatomy and how the body works in addition to allowing me to become a fully qualified Pilates instructor.

During these three years I also gained certificates in my Advanced 2 ballet (RAD), tap (ISTD) and modern (ISTD). Becoming head girl for my graduate year also helped me to develop my leadership skills alongside my performance skills. The Hammond gave me incredible opportunities, such as being coached for Giselle by Sir Peter Wright. During my graduate year I was thrilled to be offered a job by Norwegian Creative Studios, for a contract on the Oceania Riviera. After loving my first contract onboard this ship performing very high quality shows , I was delighted to be offered a second, and I am proud to be dance captain of my cast this contract. Being at the Hammond taught me the skills needed to become a successful performer, but also many other things that I will use throughout my entire life. I am so proud to have been trained at the Hammond.


Sophia Carmen

Sophia Carmen

At the age of 18 I began my journey at Hammond with a burning desire to perform. I had the fire in my belly, the passion, but not necessarily the technical ability to succeed to my full potential. This is where my phenomenal teachers at Hammond came in. Teaching me the rights and wrongs, the dos and don’ts and most importantly, the ins and outs of the industry. They fully prepared me for the best and the worst case scenarios. Being industry ready is something you always assume that you are when you label yourself a dancer, but there are so many unknowns that many other conservatoires miss out. But not Hammond.
I truly believe that those 3 short years that flew past me at Hammond took in a dreamer and created an artist.
My time at Hammond taught me many trades from technicality to creating stage presence and confidence that allowed me to be seen, from professional etiquette, to artistic direction. All of which has lead me to creating, directing and performing my very own show on Norwegian Cruise Lines. Not only did I spend the 2 years post Hammond working as a production cast dancer for a well established cruise line, I am now a headlining guest entertainer aerialist for that same cruise liner. Hammond taught me how to climb the ladder of this industry, to start from the bottom and slowly but surely work my way up. To always push and work towards my true goal. To not shy away from hard work. Because nothing worth having comes easy. - Sophia Carmen, Guest Entertainer & Aerial Acrobatic performer of Duo Odyssey.


Sophie Wright

Sophie Wright

I trained at the Hammond from the age of 11-18. I was so lucky to have received such well rounded training from so many fantastic teachers. The technique and experience that I got for so many dance styles whilst I was at the school, I feel has really set me up for a successful career.

I have gone on to perform in many shows and have continued to work since I graduated and I largely owe this to the school and the strong foundation they provided me. I am currently performing in my dream show, Cats and I hope to continue working in musical theatre. I loved my time at the Hammond and appreciate the brilliant training that I received while I was there.


Tom Cummings

In 2008 I joined the Hammond on the professional Dance course at age 16. Immediately I felt at home there, though equally daunted by the task that lay before me. The following three years were undoubtedly some of the most trying, painful, elating, and subsequently rewarding years of my life so far. The training was challenging and relentless, but support was always at hand; be it from friends or teachers, all of whom were trying their best for us all to manifest our potential. Since leaving the Hammond I’ve been fortunate enough to work with the Headliners Theatre Company onboard P&O cruises, before joining New Adventures for a UK and international tour of Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake. I’ve now set up my own company, Renaissance Dance Theatre, and I’m eternally grateful for all of my time at the Hammond, a crucial and irreplaceable facet of my development.


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