Midlands AcAdemy of 
Dance & Drama - Est. 1967

Anthony van laast CBE

Anthony Van-Last - MADD Patron

Anthony Van Laast CBE is a choreographer, mainly for the stage, concerts, television and film. His works have appeared in the West End and on Broadway.


Van Laast was born 31 May 1951[1]Sussex, UK.[2] He received dance training at the London School of Contemporary Dance, and both performed and choreographed with the Company.[3]

Among his prominent stage works as a choreographer are the musicals Sister Act (2011 on Broadway and 2009 West End),[4] Bombay Dreams (2004),[5] Mamma Mia! (2001),[6]Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1993), Annie Get Your Gun (1986, West End),[7] and Song & Dance (1982, West End).[8]

He received a nomination for the Tony Award, Best Choreography, jointly with Farah Khan for Bombay Dreams.[9] For his work on the musical Hair (Old Vic) and for The Beggar’s Opera (the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Barbican), he was nominated for the Olivier Award, Best Theatre Choreographer in 1994.[10]

His television and film work includes the concert Sarah Brightman: Symphony in Vienna (2008),[11] Beauty and the Beast (2017 film),[12] and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1.[13]

He co-directed and choreographed EFX, the Las Vegas stage show at the MGM Grand starring Michael Crawford in 1995.[14] He has choreographed for Holiday on Ice, including “Extravaganza” in 1997, “Hollywood” (2002), and he is the artistic director for “Mystery” (2009).[2]

Van Laast was awarded the MBE for Services to Dance and Choreography in 1999.[3]

In 1979 he worked with Kate Bush in preparation for her: The Tour of Life

Van Laast is a patron of the Urdang Academy as well as the Midlands Academy of Dance & Drama.

He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2019 New Year Honours for services to Dance and Choreography.


Katie Bagshaw

Ballet Tutor

Katie started dancing aged 3 years old. She went on to gain a place at The Royal Ballet School age 11 and later completed her training at Elmhurst Ballet School where she graduated and gained a Level 6 Trinity Diploma in Dance age 19.

Throughout her time at vocational school she danced at The Royal Opera House in The Royal Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker, La Sylphide and Swan Lake.

Katie began working at the youth company Midland Theatre Ballet in 2013, and after finding her love for teaching she now works full time at The Lisayne Ballet School where she trains The Royal Academy of Dance syllabi to a variety of different age groups.

She is thrilled to be part of the MADD family over the Spring term!

Ryan Lee Seager

Musical Theatre & Jazz Tutor

Ryan-Lee Seager Actor/Director/Choreographer 

West End/Tour/International musicals include Fame, Blood Brothers, Rent, West Side Story, Guys and Dolls, Kiss Me Kate, Seussical, American Idiot, We Will Rock You, The Wedding Singer, Rock Of Ages, Sweeney Todd, Here Come The Boys ( Strictly Come Dancing) and also  27, Streets, Another Way all brand new british musicals. Rock Of Ages (Uk Tour) Resident Director/Resident Choreographer.  Fame (Uk Tour/West End) Associate Choreographer. 

TV credits include The Xfactor, Strictly Come Dancing, The Royal Variety Performance, Bo Selecta.
Tv Commercials Vision Express and We Buy Any Car.

Music Artists- Justin Bieber, Pixie Lott, Beverly knight, Paulo Nutini, Olivia Somerlyn, Kingsland Road, Anastacia.

Stewart Avon Arnold

Dance Tutor

Stewart was one of the foremost black Jazz and Lyrical artists of his generation and the original pioneer of Lyrical Contemporary Jazz in the UK, developing the genre from as early as 1979 to the present day and co founding the first jazz company in the UK called Jazz Theatre London (1980). Trained at the London School of Contemporary Dance, his dancing heritage originates with the Martha Graham technique, with the likes of Bob Cohen, William Luther, Jane Dudley and Anthony Van Laast as his teacher/mentors that have been his springboard from which he has developed his unique style and genre, consequently becoming one of our most acclaimed and sought after International Dancer Teacher and Choreographer. For many years Stewart has been constantly involved in a variety of top West End shows, including Wayne Sleep’s ‘Song and Dance’ as a soloist dancer. He was guest choreographer for Wayne Sleep’s dance company ‘Dash’ and danced/guest choreographed for the award winning BBC tv series “The Hot Shoe Show”, joint- choreographer on ‘The Wiz’ at the Hammersmith Lyric Theatre, and featured as a soloist dancer in Johnny Depp’s film ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’. Choreographing Pop promo’s for artists such as David Grant, Elton John, Kid Creole, and working exclusively with Kate Bush over the last 30 years. He also had his own dance series on Channel 4, along with Claude-Paul Henry, called ‘Streets Ahead’, and toured Europe along with Anthony Van Laast and Claude-Paul with their own Dance Company called ‘Souls in Motion’ and took his own concept musical ‘Dancing and Singing the Blues’ on the same European circuit directing as well as choreographing the show.