Johnny Shentall-Lee

Lisa Scott-Lee

Adele Duffy

Naomi Keighley

Aiofe McLeod

Fiona Claire Shields

Beth Hawkes

Molly Plane

Sarah Sutherland

Caitlin Rutherford

Julia G

Johnny Shentall-Lee

DPA Creative Director and Choreographer

Johnny trained at the prestigious Performing Arts ‘Performers’ College in the UK, gaining his teaching qualifications and a professional diploma in Performing Arts, before going into the commercial dance industry and becoming a successful dancer for artists such as Diana Ross, Robbie Williams, Steps, Atomic Kitten, Five and Sophie Ellis Bexter. He has performed on numerous TV shows such as The Brit Awards, Stars In Their Eyes, Shooting Stars, Abba Mania, CDUK and Top of the Pops, to name a few. Other TV credits include the ITV series ‘Celeb Air’ and MTV series ‘Totally Scott-Lee’.

Following his career as a commercial dancer, Johnny then went into the Music business and signed his first record deal with the band Boom! enjoying a top 15 hit and supporting Steps and Five on their UK Arena tours. He then signed his second record deal with Hear’say, achieving a No.6 hit in the official UK charts, as well as touring and recording in Europe and America.

Johnny made his Musical Theatre debut with the first UK tour of Starlight Express playing Hip Hopper 1 and Greaseball. He made his West End debut in the original West End Cast of Footloose, playing the principle role of bad boy ‘Chuck’ and also understudied and played Ren and Willard. Other theatre credits include the ‘Jack’ in Jack and the Beanstalk, the ‘Prince’ in Snow White for Qudos and the ‘Prince’ in Cinderella for Bill Kenwright.

Johnny has gained extensive teaching and adjudicating experience, including 2 years at London’s ‘Arts Ed’ as their Street Dance Teacher, Head of Professional Diploma dance at PPA Academy UK, along with guest teaching at Performers College, Masters and Guildford School of Acting. He is known for his dynamic teaching style and his classes are very popular with his students, both in the UK and Dubai. His students have gone on to achieve successful careers in TV, Music and the West End, including three of the Les Mis Cast, which recently performed at Dubai Opera in November.

Johnny is Founder of Dubai Performing Arts Academy, fondly known as DPA, with his wife Lisa Scott-Lee from Steps, and also runs his DPA Events company alongside, utilizing his skills and talent as a Creative Director and Choreographer in the music, stage and fashion world. He has produced, directed and choreographed catwalk shows for the likes of River Island, House of Frazer, BHS, La Senza, Porsche Design, Hugo Boss, Salam Stores, Karen Millen and Harvey Nichols. Recent events include Rugby 7’s, UNICEF Charity Gala Ball, Jumeirah Beach Hotel Halloween Flash Mob, Yas Mall Abu Dhabi Fashion Week and lots more. Johnny is able to provide his DPA students with numerous performing opportunities throughout the year, regularly featuring in his professional events with local and international brands, acts and performers.

Lisa Scott-Lee

DPA Founder and Principal

Lisa is a member of the successful British pop group STEPS, who have achieved worldwide sales of over 20 Million records and performed to audiences over a Million, earning them the prestigious Brit Award amongst numerous awards and Platinum record discs, having achieved global success.

Steps have performed and produced 6 sell-out UK Arena tours and World tours. As a result, Lisa is an accomplished performer with many years of experience in the TV, Radio and Music World, gaining valuable years of experience as a Professional Singer, Dancer, Creative Director and Producer. Over the last 10 years, Lisa has performed over 1000 shows across the UK and Europe, China and Australia as a solo recording artist. She has appeared on, and presented, numerous TV shows.

Steps embarked on their 20th Anniversary celebrations in 2018 to mark their 20 years in the Music Business and the Entertainment Industry, which resulted in 2 further sell out Arena Tours and a No.1 Platinum selling album ‘Tears on the Dance Floor’ and 2 sell out European Arena tours, including a performance at Dubai Opera.

Steps new album What The Future Holds was released 27th November 2020 which enjoyed a No.1 UK iTunes chart position and global success. Steps are looking forward to their UK Arena Tour in 2021 and celebrating their 25th Anniversary in 2022.

Lisa is a qualified Teacher of Dance with the Internationally recognized examination board ISTD (Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing) based in London and has successfully entered students for Musical Theatre, Dance and Drama Examinations.

Lisa has over 150k followers on her social media platforms and is a well known Celebrity and Influencer. Aside this, Lisa is extremely passionate about The Arts and passing on her wealth of knowledge and experience to the youth of today and the talent of tomorrow.

Adele Duffy

Professional Commercial Dancer Modern, Tap and Street Dance Teacher.

At just 5 years old Adele started dancing at Julie Young Dance Studios in her hometown of Perth, Scotland. She took part in many showcases and regularly travelled the country to successfully compete in Tap, Modern and Ballet competitions.

Adele then decided to move to London to pursue her passion to become a professional dancer. She began training at Performers College, where she was selected to dance in many TV performances including BBC Children in Need, ITV Text Santa and ITV Splash.

After graduating from Performers with a Trinity Diploma in Dance and Musical Theatre, Adele was chosen to dance alongside Olly Murs at the Brit Awards. Adele was then awarded with her first opportunity to dance and travel the world as a professional dancer onboard P&O Cruises.

Adele moved to Dubai to be part of the company at The Act Theatre for two years, playing the lead role of Alice in Alice in Wonderland in Dubai’s longest running and most successful theatre dinner show. After settling in the UAE, Adele has been asked to dance in a number of events including the Opening of Formula 1 Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi, dancing for artists such as Enrique Iglesias and Florence and The Machine, The Rugby Sevens and at Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE.

Adele loves performing and is grateful that she is able to continue to showcase her talents alongside her passion of teaching Dance. Whilst travelling the world performing, she has always found time to teach and enjoys working with children to help them follow their dreams. Adele is a valued and popular full time member of the DPA Team. She loves passing on her experience from her vast professional background and is looking forward to sharing her determination, energy and experience with each and every student.

Naomi Keighley

Head of RAD Ballet

Naomi grew up in Lancashire, UK and took her first ballet class when she was 4 years old. She was quickly inspired by the seniors at her local school and was eager to follow in their footsteps. She trained to an advanced level in RAD Ballet and IDTA Tap and Modern, as well as competing in numerous styles of dance for 9 years. Alongside this, she trained intensively with The Royal Ballet School and The Hammond School as an associate ballet student. She had so many fantastic opportunities to perform and learn over these years and knew from the moment she stepped on stage that being a dancer was the career she wanted to pursue.

At age 16, she auditioned and gained a place at Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in London. This was an incredible 3 years, where she was lucky to train with the best teachers and choreographers in the industry. She also performed and choreographed in shows at The Royal Opera House and Sadlers Wells Theatre. She graduated with a BA Honours Degree in Ballet & Contemporary and went on to dance professionally with Contemporary Dance Company Phoenix Dance Theatre.

She attained her Professional Dancers Teaching Diploma with the Royal Academy of Dance in 2016 and became a certified Progressing Ballet Technique Instructor in 2018. She has since been Head of Ballet in a school in Dubai and entered hundreds of students into RAD exams, and she is proud to have received excellent results across all the grades. She is also delighted to have several past students be accepted into full time vocational dance courses abroad.

She considers herself beyond honoured to inspire and be a role model for the generations of young dancers that follow.

Aiofe McLeod

Aiofe began studying all genres of Dance, Acting and Singing at the young age of 2; in the Midlands U.K. She took her examinations with B.T.D.A and gained Distinctions for a variety of dance styles. Aiofe also gained Distinctions in Musical Theatre and Classical Singing exams. Aiofe attended auditions as a child and was fortunate to be cast in ‘The Nativity’ the Christmas hit film, which was a great experience.

At 16, Aiofe was accepted into The Urdang Academy where she earned a Level 6 Diploma in Professional Musical Theatre. Throughout her training she was rewarded with many leading roles in Urdang shows, such as Chicago and Spring Awakening.

Ever since Aiofe was a young adult, she knew she had a passion for teaching and choreography. Watching her mother run a dance school gave her a real insight into the creative side of it. She then began to teach alongside, attending her training at Urdang, and fell in love with the art of teaching.

Aiofe has been teaching Musical Theatre to a wide age group over the past few years and is now excited to share her experience and training with the DPA family.

Fiona Claire Shields

Operations Manager

Fiona was born and raised in the West of Scotland. She took her first dance class at the age of 3 at the Juliann School of Dance. Here she attended classes and completed exams in Latin American, Ballroom, and Freestyle Disco. Fiona furthered her training at the Ian McLeod Theatre School in Jazz, Ballet, Street, and Contemporary to Intermediate level. Fiona graduated from university with a BA Honors in Law whilst completing her professional teacher’s qualifications under the BATD (British Association Teachers of Dancing).

Fiona has been very fortunate to have taught within the UK, across Europe and the Middle East gaining a depth of experience in working with children and adults of all ages and backgrounds. Additionally, Fiona has run workshops, teacher training and adjudicated for the BATD within Scotland.

Upon moving to Dubai in 2016, Fiona joined a school teaching fulltime and heading up the Events within the academy. She organized multiple events throughout the calendar year; annual shows, workshops, and major international trips and competitions such as World Dance Competition, Florida.

Fiona joined DPA March 2021 as Operations Manager. She is thrilled to be on board and is passionate in supporting the teaching team and talented students of DPA.

“I do believe the most rewarding part of teaching will be what you don’t necessarily see, in that the lessons and memories given will be passed on to someone else, the everlasting art.”

Beth Hawkes

Head of dance and ISTD.

Beth grew up in London and fell in love with dancing at the age of four, at The Del Sarto School of Ballet, studying Cecchetti with Juan Sanchez.

She went on to train at Redbridge Classical Dance Studios, where she trained to an Advanced Level in both RAD Ballet and ISTD Modern and Tap. Alongside this, she gained her Gold Bar in Latin American and Ballroom with the IDTA competing and medalling in numerous competitions across the country.

At 18, Beth gained a place at the prestigious Laine Theatre Arts in Surrey where she continued her dance training. Beth achieved her Diploma in Dance Instruction in Ballet, Tap and Modern is currently furthering her training studying for her Diploma in Dance Education.

Beth has taught in Dubai since 2014 and is thrilled to be joining our growing DPA Team as ‘Head of our ISTD Tap and Modern Department’. The ISTD are one of the world’s leading dance examination boards with the widest range of dance genres available. The creative and inspiring syllabus provides all rounded training, encouraging students to reach their full potential to create the best dancers they can possibly be. Beth has been entering students with the ISTD for 6 years, entering hundreds of students from Primary to Advanced 2 with fantastic results.

Beth is absolutely delighted to join the DPA team as Head of Dance. She is excited to share her enthusiasm, passion and energy with you all, and she can’t wait to guide the talented students at DPA and see what they can all  achieve together.

Molly Plane

Dance and Vocal Teacher

Molly has been performing since the age of three at her hometown Norwich. She trained to an advanced level in ISTD Tap, Modern and Ballet at her dance school as well as taking part in festivals, shows and Pantos.

At 18, she went to The Centre Performing Arts, where she studied Musical Theatre and Teaching on an accelerated 2 year course, where she gained her Diploma in Dance Education in Ballet, Tap and Modern. She is currently furthering her training studying for her Diploma in Dance Pedagogy and Licentiate in Ballet, Tap and Modern.

Whilst at college she was lucky enough to represent her college in 2 dances at MOVE IT as well as performing in musicals with the college, including, A Slice Of Saturday Night and Carrie (where she played Carrie).

Since graduating she successfully auditioned for Costa Cruises and was offered a place on the Costa Mediterranean, however due to COVID this was cancelled.
Molly has been teaching for 2 years (where she has been teaching a wide range of genres) and has successfully entered students into exams with fantastic results.

Molly is excited to join the team at DPA and cannot wait to pass down her passion and joy of performing to the next generation.

Sarah Sutherland

DPA Operations and Business Director

Sarah has recently joined the DPA team as Operations and Business Director.

Upon attaining her Bachelors in Sports and Exercise Science from Robert Gordon’s University in Aberdeen, Scotland, Sarah was offered the opportunity to make her dream from 14 years old come true; and moved to Dubai in 2011 to set up a swim school.

After 3 successful years for the swim school, the company elaborated and added more sports under Sarah’s guidance, and included sports such as gymnastics, karate and multi-sports camp.

Sarah then moved on to join the team who established the NBA brand in the Middle East where she was an integral part of the team which opened, operated and managed the NBA Basketball School in Dubai. Starting with Camps in early 2018, the team were eager to open a full time Basketball School from September 2018.  Working with a team of knowledgeable coaches and operations staff, the team grew the School from 40 players in September 2018 to 290 players in May 2022. 

Sarah is delighted to be working with Lisa, Johnny and the whole DPA team, and is looking forward to getting to know the DPA students and families. 

Caitlin Rutherford

Vocal Coach

Born and raised in Scotland, from an early age Caitlin loved music and performing. At the age of 3, Caitlin started dance classes in her local town where she studied both ISTD and RAD syllabus until the age of 17, completing dance exams up to Advanced levels.

Caitlin moved to Aberdeen at 17 and studied Music Education at University, whilst further developing her studies on voice, piano and saxophone, which she had started at a very young age. Caitlin’s vocal training allowed her to understand a variety of styles of music, with a strong focus on classical and musical theatre, and the techniques within these. Caitlin always had a passion for musical theatre and had performed in many productions as a child and chose to continue this in her university years, successfully performing in lead roles. In 2015 she graduated from the University of Aberdeen and worked as a Secondary Music teacher for 4 years. Caitlin also taught at a theatre school teaching Musical Theatre classes and offering private singing and piano lessons.

Caitlin moved to Dubai in 2019 and has worked in a British International School for 3 years as a Music and Drama teacher. Caitlin is extremely excited to utilise her music skills and focus on teaching Voice and Musical Theatre to the talented students at DPA.

Julia G

Originally from the UK, Julia has over 20 years of experience in The Arts sector, initially training as a performer in both Acting (Tring Park) and in Musical Theatre (Guildford School of Acting) where she gained a BA Honours in The Arts. She has also since completed her MA in Professional Voice Practice (Royal Birmingham Conservatoire) and participated in various CPD arts training programs in the UK and Europe.

Following success as a performer in theatre including London’s West End, and for television, Julia now favours coaching and being part of creative teams, working for theatre companies, arts charities and in the education sector. Some of her credits as a Voice and Acting Coach range from the British American Drama Academy (BADA), Drama Director with Welsh National Youth Opera, Voice Coach with National Dance Company Wales (International Tour) and Resident Artist with Marlborough College.

She is incredibly enthusiastic about enhancing the creativity of everyone she works with and is really looking forward to being part of the DPA team.