Strickland Cook Theatre School Dance Troop


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Pamela StricklandZoe CookSarah Birley-SteadLaura Crowther
Eddy ByrnesChloe ByrnesHarriet Fisher

Pamela Strickland

Pam has been dancing since she was 3 years old and has run a dance school for fifty years with many people securing professional contracts all over the world. Pam has also been involved with the Huddersfield Light Opera Company since she was seventeen playing many lead roles. She has also choreographed and produced many of the Light Opera shows and has choreographed every pantomime since 1977.

Alongside this, Pam has worked on many junior shows and has choreographed for many other companies within the region including 12 years with Halifax Light Opera.

In the late 60's she choreographed two episodes of Junior Showtime for television.

Pam now runs Strickland Cook Theatre School with her daughter Zoe.

Zoe Cook

Zoe started dancing at the age of 2 and was trained by her mother Pam Strickland until the age of 16 during which time she won many medals and trophies. For two consecutive years she was West Yorkshire Senior Ballet Champion, West Yorkshire Senior Tap Champion & West Yorkshire Senior Modern Champion. Another great achievement for Zoe was to compete in the national Miss Dance Finals where she made it to the final 12 girls. Zoe has also appeared in many shows and played lead roles which include the title role of Annie, Lola in Copacabana, Polly in Crazy For You along with many other parts with the Huddersfield Light Opera Company many societies in and around West Yorkshire.

At the age of 16 Zoe moved to London to start her professional training at the prestigious Laine Theatre Arts. After her training Zoe had a 10 year career as a professional dancer working in television, pantomimes and old time musicals working with stars such as David Essex, Barbara Windsor, Barry Cryer, Roy Hudd,Les Dennis and others.

One of Zoe's proudest moments came in 1992 where she performed in front of Prince Charles & Princess Diana in the Royal Variety Perfomance at the Dominion Theatre, London televised by the BBC and she worked alongside many celebrities that included Barry Manilow, Michael Crawford, Michael Ball, Brian Conley.

Zoe was also lucky enough to travel the world working as a dancer for top cruise lines Costa and then Carnival Cruise Lines where she met her husband Tony and they now have two children Isabelle and Max.

On returning to the UK, Zoe gained her IDTA dance teaching qualifications and opened the Halifax branch of the school in 2001 starting at St Andrew's church hall where many of our current students also started. It's wonderful to see how they have progressed through the years and also helped to make it the warm and friendly environment it is today.

Sarah Birley-Stead

As a young dancer Sarah participated in numerous competitions and regional championships where she won several junior and senior titles, she also competed in the Miss Dance of Great Britain Finals. Sarah also performed with several amateur operatic societies including Huddersfield Light Opera, Halifax Light Opera and the Take Two Theatre Company in Wakefield.

In 2000, Sarah began her professional training at Doreen Bird College in Kent. During her time at Birds she performed at the Lindbury Studio Theatre at The Royal Opera House, London, The Shaw Theatre, London and the Peacock Theatre in London's West End. She also performed in Europe with the Bird Theatre Company. After graduating with a BA Hons degree in Dance and Theatre Performance, Sarah went on to work for Spirit of the Dance Productions, performing in Spirit of the Dance and Broadway Spectacular in the USA, as well as extensively touring Europe and China. In 2004 Sarah performed in the Qdos pantomime Cinderella at the Bristol Hippodrome alongside comedian Julian Clarey.

In 2005 Sarah fulfilled her dream of becoming a Can-Can dancer at the world famous Parisian cabaret the 'Moulin Rouge' performing in 'Feerie'. Sarah also toured with the Moulin Rouge to Germany and Brazil. Sarah's last professional dance job, and career highlight was performing in the world famous Rio de Janeiro carnival in 2009 with the cast of the Moulin Rouge.

Since moving back to West Yorkshire, Sarah has trained as a Secondary School teacher. She currently works at Ryburn Valley High School, where she teaches A Level Performing Arts, BTEC level 3 and level 2 Dance and KS3 Drama. With her love for dance and musical theatre Sarah also teaches at the Strickland Cook Theatre School where she can pass on her experience as a professional dancer to the young dancers.

Laura Crowther

Laura is our resident Musical Theatre and Singing Teacher. Originally trained as a dancer by Pam she then went on to study singing at the Royal College of Music in London. After graduating

We are delighted to have Laura as part of the team.

Eddy Byrnes

Eddy is an IDTA qualified Gym instructor and has recently joined our teaching faculty and resident Gym / Acro coach.

Chloe Byrnes - Student Teacher

Chloe is currently studying towards her IDTA teaching qualifications and has recently become a Pre-Associate of the IDTA

Harriet Fisher - Student Teacher

Harriet is currently studying towards her IDTA and RAD teaching qualifications and has recently become a Pre-Associate of the IDTA.