Rollo Academy
of Performing Arts
T: 0115 941 0928


Location: Home > Faculty

Susan Rollo
Susan started dancing at the age of 5 at the Tozer School of dance under the direction of Sheila Tozer. At 17 she gained her teaching qualifications in ballet, tap, modern, Greek, national, ballroom and Latin American.

Susan went on to open her own school, the Rollo Academy, at 23, when 5 months pregnant!
Since then Susan has gained her Fellowship in ISTD Modern entering thousands of students into exams with excellent results.

Being the Principal of the school for so many years, Susan has overseen the success of many students who have gone on to perform professionally including both her daughters.
Sam Rollo
Sam first began dancing at the Rollo Academy at the age of two where she completed her final exams in ISTD tap and modern. At 16 she went on to Bird College for vocational training achieving her Teaching Associates, College Diploma and position of Head girl. Sam has spent her professional career dancing around the world, performing in shows in Japan, Paris and London and working extensively for Princess Cruises as Dance Captain and Project Coordinator. Her more recent experience includes Jazz and Partner Work teacher at The Centre Performing Arts College in London and Jazz and Ballet Tutor at Loughborough University for 8 years. Sam is now a full time teacher and choreographer at the Rollo Academy and enjoys sharing her professional experience with the students.
Gemma Rollo
Gemma began her training here at the ‘Rollo Academy’ and then at 16, went to Doreen Bird College where she gained her teaching qualifications and her Diploma. For the last 13 years, she has worked in many areas of the industry, mostly performing on the cruise ships, but also shows in the UK and touring, film and video and Commercial work.

Gemma enjoys coming to the school to pass on her experiences through her teaching and choreography, bringing her new career interest of working in the fitness industry with her to the children and the parents of the school.
Sarah Macleod-Cahn
Sarah began her musical training at age five playing the violin. Not long after she was encouraged by her music teachers to begin vocal training, and as a youngster performed as both a singer and in orchestras throughout the West Midlands, as well as completing her classical music grades.

In 2001 she attended the University of Nottingham, where she recently completed her PhD. Alongside her academic studies Sarah continued her vocal training and has performed as a soloist in numerous staged productions, concerts and galas.

In addition to teaching both private and group singing classes, Sarah is currently a workshop leader for Opera Start East Midlands and between 2005-2008 was Regional Co-ordinator and workshop leader for Streetwise Opera.

Sarah has also successfully lectured and tutored hundreds of students at both the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University.
Jessica Priestley
Jess began dancing from the age of 3 and later joined The Rollo Academy where she completed her Advanced 2 ISTD exams in Modern and Tap and Advanced 1 Ballet as well as Advanced Foundation RAD.
Jess has taken part in several professional pantomimes and has gained many trophies and awards at dance competitions
At the age of 18 she successfully auditioned for Bird College in Kent and was offered a DADA however she decided not to move away and chose to pursue a career in teaching becoming a Primary School teaching Assistant and then gaining her ISTD DDI teaching qualification.
Jeremy Cort
Jeremy trained in Acting under Geoff Bullen (RADA) and London’s East 15 Drama School (Physical Theatre). He has performed in a wide range of productions from Greek Tragedy to Pantomime (English and Italian, Commedia Dell’arte, styles) and has appeared in TV programmes such as Peak Practise, Dalziel and Pascoe, Crossroads and more recently Doctors. For the past 15 years, Jeremy has been involved with managing and leading drama workshops for young people (aged 7-19), producing and directing theatre projects for Nottinghamshire County Theatre Company, and coordinating out-of-school performance projects for Gifted and Talented dancers, musicians and actors (which included running an Arts Award provision). He has also taught Drama in schools up to A Level. For 5 years Jeremy has been Manager/Workshop-Facilitator at Nottinghamshire County Council’s (NCC) Saturday morning ‘11th Session’ Dance and Drama Workshops in Arnold before becoming a full-time Coordinator for NCC’s Arts and Sports for Children and Young People department. Youth Theatre projects he has produced/directed includes performances at Nottingham’s Lakeside Arts Centre (Djanogly Theatre), Royal Concert Hall, Albert Halls, Sheffield Crucible and Derby Theatre. Productions have included Arabian Nights, Great Expectations, Frankenstein, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, A Dream Play (Caryl Churchill adaptation), Insect Play, Return to the Forbidden Planet (musical), The Crucible, The Red Shoes (Kneehigh Theatre Company adaptation) and so on. He has also worked on smaller-scale devised pieces for Holocaust Memorial Day, Mask and Mime, Street Theatre (for outdoor festivals at Rufford Country park) etc and trained students in vocal work for high-profile ‘Presenter’ opportunities.
Jeremy is particularly interested in Contemporary Theatre, and multi-art form projects, and is a keen musician and visual artist.
He is delighted to have the opportunity to work with the talented and enthusiastic young people at Rollo Academy.
Frank Simms
Frank Simms is an actor, producer and director originally from Nottingham and now based in Derby. Frank trained at ArtsEd London following 15 years at the Rollo Academy of Performing Arts.
Frank’s became co-producer and creative director for Derby based Ashrow Theatre prior to their productions of ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ and ‘The Merchant of Venice’ in autumn 2014 while playing the roles of Jack and Bassanio respectively.
Following ‘Earnest’ and ‘Merchant’ Frank led the Direction and script development for new writing - ‘Troublesome People’ which toured the UK in 2015 to excellent reviews.
In 2016 Ashrow Theatre will be producing another piece of new writing ‘Declining the Future’ which will be staged at Oxford and Buxton festivals and possible performances in the East Midlands. As well as co-producing the piece, Frank is expecting to return to the stage as one of the 4 actors. Additionally Ashrow have been recommissioned to provide street theatre in Derby as part of the CQ Saturdays.
He first worked with Ashrow as an Actor playing the roles of Biondello and Curtis in The Taming of the Shrew and Telegin in Uncle Vanya as well as providing choreography where required. Theatre credits also include; ‘She Loves Me’ (All Star Productions); ‘Elegies’ (Language Laid Bare); ‘Carousel’ and ‘Singin in the rain’ (Catford Broadway); PC Ping Pong in ‘Aladdin’ (Blue Genie); ‘The Night Before Christmas’ (Jamie Wilson Productions); ‘Into the Woods’ (Landor) and ‘Pirates of Penzance’ (Union Theatre). Additionally Frank has worked as a dancer for The Milo Miles Dance Company; recorded voice overs; directed and choreographed for a number of children’s groups.
Screen credits include; Anders Helstrup in NASA's Unexplained Files (Discovery); Gordon in Amelia’s Letter (Stella Vision); Simon French in The K Initiative (Dimension2) and Daniel Truman in Elder Jackson (Box Productions Switzerland).
Since autumn 2015 Frank has also been a partner in a new Actors agency – Ashrow Talent Management, representing Artistes in the East Midlands and all over the UK.
Shanade Williams
Hip Hop
Shanade first began dancing at the Rollo Academy at the age of 5, taking exams in ISTD ballet tap and modern. At 18 she moved to London and joined the London Theatre School, where she trained further in jazz, ballet and commercial dance. This is where she found her passion for hip hop and other commercial styles of dance. Shanade is currently at DeMontfort University in Leicester, where she is studying a degree in Dance.
Megan Smith
Megan began dancing from the age of 3 in Ballet, Tap, Modern and Acrobatics. She later joined The Rollo Academy at the age of 10, completing Advanced ISTD exams in Modern, Tap and Ballet.
At the age of 19, Megan's professional career had begun by gaining employment with Mediterranean Entertainments, performing overseas. 
Megan is currently at The University of Derby studying a BA Honours Degree in Dance. This is where Megan discovered her passion for contemporary dance and is due to graduate in 2017

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