Student Success 2013-2016

This page is an opportunity to share some of the many Dance and Theatre Arts successes from our archives that individual GSS students have achieved other than with their exams and festival work.  Our 'GSS News' page records some of the school's successes and our 'Graduate Students' page is a great opportunity to see the achievements of students as they gratduate to full time vocational training or professional performances.

Audition success for Ellie (Dec 2016)

Congratulations to Ellie Benge who has successfully auditioned for elite musical theatre training company 'Musical Theatre Masterclass'. Ellie will start her training in January with leading musical theatre professionals such as,
Michael Xavier (Sunset Boulevard & Show Boat), Natalie Andreou (Wicked & Mama Mia), Kelly Ewins (Singin' in the Rain & We Will Rock You) and Patron Sir Matthew Bourne!


Congratulations on this fantastic achievement Ellie!

Audition success for Matilda (Dec 2016)

Congratulations to Matilda Blake who has successfully auditioned for the Stage Box Elite Team London! Matilda will train with some of the finest professionals in the industry, including double Olivier award winning West End and Broadway Choreographer Stephen Mear, and leading West End Musical Director, Nigel Lilley.  Matilda joins fellow GSS pupil, Scarlet Roche, who is already in the team.


Congratulations Tildy on this fantastic achievement - we are so proud of you!

Casting success for Winnie (Nov 2016)

Congratulations to Winnie, represented by PD Management, who has been cast in a television commercial for Hair Braids!

World Tap Championships (Nov 2016)

Good luck to Kieran Jefferies, Ruby Roche, Gabriella Virgillio, Tilly Robison, Amelie Bassett-Reid, Miss Jess and all of Tap Attack who are on their way to Germany to the World Tap Championships!


Have an amazing time, we can't wait to watch you all!   Go Team GB!

Scarlet - 'Stagebox' Elite Team (Nov 2016)

GSS student Scarlet Roche in the 'StageBox' London Elite Team performing "Newsies" - well done Scarlet!

Ella reaches finals of the Ballet Awards (Nov. 2016)

Congratulations to Ella Jones who reached the finals of her first ISTD Junior Ballet Awards after dancing beautifully in her class.


Well done Ella - a great achievement.

EYB success for Frankie (Nov 2016)

Congratulations to Frankie who successfully auditioned for the English Youth Ballet's production in Salisbury. Frankie also successfully got down to the final 8 for the scholarship audition. Congratulations Frankie!




SALOS - "The Wizard of Oz" (Oct 2016)

14 GSS students performed in the SALOS production of "The Wizard of Oz" at The Wyvern Theatre; the children were part of the ensemble and played Munchkins, Citizens of Oz and 'Jitterbugs'.  GSS Drama student, Sally Rudd, played the lead role of Dorothy with fantastic reviews.  


"The Wizard of Oz" was Directed by GSS Drama Teacher, Russell Langdown, and Choreogprahed by Miss Gemma. 

English Youth Ballet (Oct 2016)

Megan Dalton, Alexia Kuchta, Scarlet Roche, Winnie Diggens, Ellie Bannister and Joanna Miller performed in the English Youth Ballet's production of 'Sleeping Beauty' at Oxford's beautiful New Theatre.


The girls all danced beautifully and it was a pleasure to watch their performances - we all felt very proud. 

Successful audition for Meghan (Oct 2016)

Congratulations to GSS student Meghan Williams who has successfully auditioned for 'West End Kids'. Meghan will start her weekly training in London this coming January. Congratulations, we are so proud of you

Land Rover Commercial for Tilly (Sept 2016)

We are very excited to see the Land Rover commercial featuring Tilly Robison being released this month.  


Well done Tilly - fantastic achievement.

Elmhurst success for Emily (Sept 2016)

Congratulations to Emily Mackay who has successfully auditioned for the 'Elmhurst Young Dancers Programme'.  Emily will start her weekly training at Elmhurst this Saturday alongside her training at GSS.


What a fantastic achievement Emily - we are so proud of you!

BTUK training for Mary (Sept 2016)

Congratulations to Mary Martin who successfully auditioned for Associate training at Ballet Theatre UK.  Mary commences her training at BTUK this month alongside her training at GSS.


Well done Mary - we are really proud of you and hope you enjoy it.

SYP - "Grease" (Aug 2016)

Our students had a great time performing in the Wyvern Theatre's Summer youth Project's production of "Grease". 



We had 30 students who successfully auditioned (over 15% of the whole cast!) and some of our students were cast in principal roles:


Tom Fisher (Doody)

Kieran Jefferies (Sonny)

Amy Gordon (Cha-Cha DiGregorio)

Scarlet Roche (Teen Angel)


Well done to you every single one of you - everyone performed brilliantly and GSS Teachers felt really proud watching you.

English Youth Ballet Success (July 2016)

Congratulations to Megan Dalton, Harriet Masterman, Alexia Kuchta, Scarlet Roche, Winnie Diggens, Ellie Bannister and Joanna Miller who have all successfully auditioned for the English Youth Ballet's production of 'Sleeping Beauty'.

A special congratulations to Megan Dalton who received the JNR Half Scholarship out of 133, and Winnie, Scarlet & Ellie who reached the final 10 for the SNR Scholarship out of over 100.


Congratulations to Ellie Bannister who was awarded the Full Scholarship! Well done, we are so proud of you all on this fantastic achievement and can't wait to watch!

Audition Success for Scarlet (July 2016)

Congratulations to Scarlet Roche who has successfully auditioned for the Stagebox Elite Team London! Scarlet auditioned along with over 300 performers for one of the 25 places.

The Stagebox Elite Team will train with the industry's finest in London, including double Olivier award winning West End and Broadway choreographer, Stephen Mear, and leading West End Musical Director, Nigel Lilley.

Ruby & Amelie in Freed Publicity (July 2016)

Wow - amazing pictures!  Ruby Roche and Amelie Bassett-Reid, modelling beautifuly for FREED Dancewear!


Fanntastic girls - well done.

PD Management Success for Rhiannon (July 2016)

Congratulations to GSS student Rhiannon Mackay on successfully auditioning to be represented by PD Management Agency. This is a fantastic achievement Rhiannon - we are so proud of you!


Rhiannon joins our other students who are also represented by PD Management:


Matilda Robison

Ellie Benge

Matilda Blake

Finn Gaulton

Megan Dalton

Joanna Miller

Georgia Skinner

Further training for Tom (July 2016)

Congratulations to Tom Fisher who has successfully auditioned for YDA ( Swindon's Youth Dance Academy). Tom will start his training in September.


Congratulations Tom on this fantastic achievement, we are so proud of you!

Audition Success For Harriet ( July 2016)

Congratulations to Harriet Masterman who has successfully auditioned for the Elmhurst Extended Associate Programme.  Harriet will start her training in September alongside her training at GSS


Well done Harriet -  we are so proud of you!

Singing Success at RWBA Festival (June 2016)

Congratulations to all the Musical Theatre students who competed at the Royal Wootton Bassett Arts Festival. You all sang beautifully with fantastic results:

1st Place - GSS Intermediate Class who were awarded the 'Ros Hollands Cup'

2nd Place - GSS Senior Class

3rd Place - GSS Junior Class

A big thank you to our fantastic Musical Theatre teacher Miss Amy!

Students Cast in Professional Panto (June 2016)

Well done to all of our students who auditioned for the Wyvern Theatre's 2016/17 Pantomime 'Cinderella.'


We are delighted that Kaitlyn Hill, Chloe Hill, Amy Gordon, Joanna Miller and Megan Johnson have been cast as dancers in the Juvenile Chorus.


Well done girls - we are so proud of you.


The Pantomime will run at the Wyvern Theatre from Sat 10th Dec. 2016 to Sun 8th Jan. 2017; follow the link for tickets.

Tring Park Audition Success (June 2016)

Congratulations to Megan Dalton on successfully auditioning for Tring Park's Classical Ballet Academy. Megan will start her training in September alongside her continued training at GSS.


Megan joins fellow GSS students who also attend Tring:


Scarlet Roche

Louis Ogle

Ella Jones


Well done to to you all.

Winnie to continue at Royal Ballet (May 2016)

Congratulations to Winnie Diggens on successfully re-auditioning for The Royal Ballet Mid-Associates.


What a fantastic achievement Winnie, we are so proud of you!

Audition Success for Chloe & Kaitlyn (May 2016)

We are so delighted to announce that Kaitlyn and Chloe Hill have successfully auditioned for the Wilkes Academy's full time 16+ course.


Although we will miss you both so much, we are so proud and excited for you!


Congratulations girls - this is a fantastic achievement !

Curtain down on West End performances (May 2016)

May 2016 saw the final Ellie Benge & Scarlet Roche's final performances as Veruca Salt in the West End production of 'Charlie & the Chocolate Factory.'  Scarlet originally played the role for 18 months from Nov 2013-April 2015, and then moved to the Savoy Theatre, London to play Baby June in the Olivier Award-winning production of 'Gypsy The Musical' for six months, before being asked to return to 'Charlie' for another six months from Dec 2015-May 2016. 


Ellie has been playing the role of Veruca for a year since April 2015 and was offered an extended contract to perform in the show until the Spring of 2016. 


The girls loved their performances at the world famous Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London as part of the hit musical's cast.  Miss Gemma and Russell were pleased to attend both of the girls' opening & final performances and felt very proud to hear the lovely speeches that were made on stage at the end of each show.


Whilst in 'Charlie,' Ellie appeared in the show's publicity material and video trailer and Scarlet appeared on the BBC's Children in Need. 


Whilst in 'Gypsy,' Scarlet appeared on BBC's Live Recording of the show, which is being released on DVD.  The show, which starred the acclaimed Imelda Staunton, had its official Opening and star-studded Press Night on Weds 15th April and Scarlet received great 5* reviews from critics and audiences alike:


"Some of her [Staunton's] best moments come when she's choreographing the astonishing Scarlet Roche as her nine-year old daughter Baby June"  (Daily Mail)


"The girls certainly shine, especially the astonishingly accomplished Scarlet Roche who played Baby June at the performance caught with a pyrotechnic display of forced-stage smiles, on pointe prancing, and coy yips of self-satisfaction"  (The Hollywood Reporter)


"Every actor plays his or her role to perfection, from the astoundingly talented squeak in pink that is Scarlet Roche – I’d give this Baby June a contract on the spot"  (The Arts Desk)


"the Alpine trills of Scarlet Roche’s scene stealing Baby June" (


"There are also great performances from the supporting cast, in particular Scarlet Roche as the young squeaky-clean ‘Baby’ June" (Tom Eames-Digital Spy)


"Momma Rose (Staunton) leads her little troupe across America as vaudeville expires around them and the money runs out, and when her favourite baby June (a squawkingly brilliant Shirley Temple type from Scarlet Roche"  (What’s On Stage)


"The Ensemble too were excellent.  They set a soaring pace with the exuberant song and dance number Let Me Entertain You. Baby June, the precocious star of the vaudeville act played by Scarlet Roche at this performance had fantastic timing and not too much of the brat to be unappealing"  (Sardines Magazine)


"Assured support from Scarlet Roche as a cartwheeling Baby June"  (The Guardian)


Congratulations to you both - this has been a fantastic achievement!  We are so proud of you.  Thanks also to all of the GSS students and families who have supported the girls.

ISTD Tap Awards Finalists (May 2016)

Congratulations to Lauren, Kieran, Amy and Ruby who danced beautifully at the ISTD Tap Awards today.


Well done to Ruby, Kieran and Amy for reaching the finals! Only 10 dancers were chosen out of 60 from each section!


Congratulations to you all - we are so proud of you!

Success at Janet Cram (May 2016)

Congratulations to Ruby Roche, Tilly Robison, Scarlet Roche, Winifred Diggens and Amy Gordon for dancing so beautifully at the ISTD 'Janet Cram' Modern Awards.


A special mention to Ruby and Amy who were awarded places in the finals- and to Ruby who was also awarded the Junior Class Prize!


Congratulations girls - we can't wait to watch you in June!


Tilly to appear in TV advert (March 2016)

Congratulations to Matilda Robison who has successfully auditioned for her first commercial.


Tilly will shoot the commercial for Land Rover in March.


We are so proud of you Tillly!

Success for Scarlet at Ballet Awards (March 2016)

Congratulations to Scarlet Roche for being awarded a place in the finals of the Grade 5 class at the ISTD Ballet Awards. We were delighted that Scarlet was also awarded the prestigious

A fantastic achievement - well done Scarlet!

Student Success At Drama Festival (Nov. 2015)

Drama students from the ages of 6-16yrs participated in the Wootton Bassett Arts Festival on 14th & 15th November 2015.  It was the second year that GSS has entered this competition and we were delighted with the performances of the students, as well as the results of the competition.  Highlights including taking 1st, 2nd & 3rd Places in the Senior Devised class and winning the Trophies for: Senior Devised Drama, TV Newsreader & Duo Mime classes.


Well done to all of the students who performed - we received great feedback individually and collectively as a school.

Students perform in Tap Attack Gala (Nov. 2015)

Congratulations to GSS students Amelie Bassett-Reid, Ruby Roche, Gabriella Virgilio, Kieran Jefferies, and Tilly Robison on their fantastic performances at Tap Attack's Dinner Dance Gala  - and a special congratulations to Miss Jess for her outstanding performance! What a fantastic evening - congratulations to all!

Megan to star in NSPCC Campaign (Sept. 2015)

We are really pleased that Megan has been cast for the NSPCC's Christmas 2015 Campaign.  Megan will be featured in the still images for poster publicity, as well as the national television advert.


Congratulatons Megan. 

Matilda films her first TV commercial (Sept. 2015)

Congratulations to Matilda Blake who has successfully auditioned for her first television commercial.  Matilda is looking forward to filming her advert for Dominos Pizza very soon.


Well done Matilda - we are really proud of you! 

SYP - "Hairspray" (August 2015)

GSS students were amongst over 200 young people who participated in the Summer Youth Project performance of "Hairspray" at the Wyvern Theatre.  Miss Gemma, Russell & MIss Amy all enjoyed watching so many of our students performing, including Oli Cowen, who played the principal role of Corny Collins.


Congratulations to you all!

Success in All England Finals (July 2015)

Congratulations to students who have competed in the All England Dance Finals in London.  Particular congratulations to Sophie Powell and Scarlet Roche who were awarded 2nd Place in the Tap duets.  This is a fantastic result in the national finals! 

Megan Dalton - Film shoot! (July 2015)

GSS student Megan Dalton has been booked for a feature film shoot via PD Management - Congratulations Megan!

GSS students represent England in the Dance World Cup (June 2015)

We were so excited that Sophie Powell and Scarlet Roche were selected to represent Team England at the Dance World Cup, which was held in Bucharest, Romania from 26th June - 4th July 2015.  Over 18,000 competitors from 38 countries competed at their country qualifiers, and a panel of 4 UK judges selected the dancers to represent Team England.  Last year, the English team comprised of dancers who represented just 12 dance schools across the country, so this is a huge achievement.  


Sophie & Scarlet competed in their classes with dances performed at recent festivals, all of which were choreographed by Miss Gemma.


Scarlet and Sophie were awarded 2nd Place with a Silver Medal for their Tap Duet


Scarlet was awarded 2nd Place with a Silver Medal for her Modern Solo


Scarlet was awarded 1st Place with a Gold Medal for her Song & Dance solo - this makes her a World Champion for her age group!


Scarlet was also awarded the overall Shield at the Gala for her Song & Dance from the Children and Minis age categories.


Congratulations girls - we are so proud of what you achieved!

This is the greatest all-genre dance competition for children and young adults around the world and we felt excited and privileged to represent England.

Gabriella Virgilio - Tap Attack (June 2015)

We are so pleased that Gabriella Virgilio has successfully auditioned and gained a place as a Tap Attack Associate.  Tap Attack is a world reknowned Tap company which provides students with a unique training in the genre..

All England Dance 2015 - Regional Finals (May 2015)

Congratulations to the following students who have been awarded Honours marks at the All England Regional Finals and have now qualified to compete att the Finals in London in July 2015:


Matilda Robison - 2nd Place with Honours in the Modern Solo 7-8yrs.

Lauren Ayres - 2nd Place with Honours in the National Solo 15-21yrs.

Scarlet Roche & Sophie Powell - 3rd Place with Honours in the Tap Duet


GSS students also gained a host of Distinction with Special Commendation certificates, which is a great achievement at this level of competition.


Well done girls, we are really proud of you all.

GSS students successfully audition for Swindon's professional Panto!

Well done to all of our students who auditioned for the Wyvern Theatre's Pantomime 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.'


We are delighted that Kaitlyn Hill & Chloe Hill have been cast as dancers in the Juvenile Chorus, and that Ruby Roche & Georgia Skinner have been cast in 2 of the children's roles as Dwarfs!


Well done girls - we are so proud of you.

Beth Fisher - Successfully gains place at Italia Conti (March 2015)

We are really proud that Beth Fisher has successfully auditioned for the prestigious Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts and has been offered a place for Sept. 2015.  Italia Conti is Britain's and the world's oldest theatre arts training school.


Well done Beth - this is a fantastic achievement!

Scarlet Roche -ISTD Imperial Classical Ballet Awards Gala (March 2015)

We are pleased to congratulate Scarlet Roche on being awarded 2nd Place in the Grade 4 class at the ISTD Ballet Awards - a fantastic achievement!  Scarlet was presented her certificate by the internationally renowned dancer, Adam Cooper.


As a scholar from the 2014 competition, Scarlet also performed in the ISTD Imperial Classical Ballet Evening Gala.


Well done Scarlet!

Student Success at Tilehurst Festival (Feb. 2015)

A belated congratulations to Chloe Hill for winning the Choreography Cup, and Scarlet Roche for winning the Intermediate Ballet Cup, at the recent Tilehurst Festival.


Well done girls - great work!

Joanna Miller & Tilly Robison - English Youth Ballet (Nov 2014)

We are delighted that Joanna Miller and Tilly Robison will be performing with the English Youth Ballet in their professional production of 'Swan Lake' at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury.  Performances take place on 24th & 25th April 2015


Joanna had such a great time performing with EYB in 2013, that she chose to audition again! 


Take a look at the article in the Swindon Advertiser.


Well done girls - we hope you have a great time!

Success for Drama classes at the RWBAF (Nov 2014)

On Sunday 16th November, the senior and intermediate drama classes competed at the Royal Wootton Basset Arts Festival.


We were so pleased that the children performed to such a high standard and also that they represented the school so well.  A festival environment is always challenging, but this was the first time in a drama festival for nearly all of our students, yet they coped so well and did themselves proud. 

It is always lovely to have accolades and we celebrate those, however we hope that the students have gained a lot from this experience of creating and performing.  The adjudicator said that the school had produced lovely work and that we should be very proud.
The two entries from the Intermediate class came joint 3rd in the 11yrs & under Group Devised class, and groups from the Senior class gain a 2nd place and 1st Place in the 12yrs & over Group Devised class, winning the Mark Flitton Trophy.  Georgia Skinnner won the 'Television News' class, and also won a trophy. 
Well done everyone - we are really proud of you.

Ruth Flame to perform in "White Christmas" (Oct. 2014)

Congratulations to Ruth Flame who has been invited to play the principal role of Susan in Ray Dance & Judith Sharp's forthcoming production of "White Christmas" which will be performed at the Arts Centre 10th-14th December.


Well done Ruth - we know you will be great



Ruth will be joined by GSS Seniors: Morgan Ogle, Ulani Seaman, Isobel Daglish & Bella Bees, who will play the Chorus Girls.

Joanna Miller - Youth Dance Academy (Sept. 2014)

Congratulations to Joanna Miller who has successfully auditioned to join the Swindon Youth Dance Academy; the YDA is a training programme for young dancers demonstrating exceptional potential and the commitment and passion for a career in dance.

Well done Joanna!

Ruth Flame & Izzy Daglish (Sept. 2014)

We are delighted that Izzy Daglish and Ruth Flame have successfully auditioned to participate in additional training and performance work with the Elite Troupe of the  'Spirit Young Performers Company' in London.  Izzy & Ruth will be travelling to London each Sunday to join the group!


Congratulations girls - we hope you enjoy it!

Scarlet Roche - ISTD Ballet Award Finals (March 2014)

The Gemma Short School of Dance is delighted to announce that Scarlet Roche was successful in gaining 3rd Place in the Grade 3 Class at the National ISTD Ballet Awards Competition in London.


After a challenging class, Scarlet was put through to the final element of the competition where around 60 dancers had been shortlisted to 20; it was from this group that Scarlet was awarded 3rd Place for technical ability and artistry.


The Ballet Awards are one of the most important events of the ISTD's competitive calendar and always attract the highest standards from dancers from across the country. 


This is a great achievement and Scarlet should be really proud of herself - we certainly are!


Congratulations Scarlet!

Lauren Ayres & Felicity Coster - Tap Attack! (Dec 2013)

Huge congratulations to Felicity Coster and Lauren Ayres on successfully gaining places in the Tap Attack Midland Associates! 


Tap Attack is a national company which combines world revered choreography with established and talented tap dance performers.  


Well done girls we are very proud of you!

Scarlet Roche - 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory', Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London. (Nov 2013)

The Gemma Short School of Dance is delighted to announce that Scarlet Roche has been successful in gaining the principal role of Veruca Salt in the Olivier Award winning West End musical "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory".  Scarlet, who went through a long audition process, started a 6 week rehearsal period in October and has joined the cast, directed by Sam Mendes, alongside stars such as Nigel Planer (Grandpa Joe) and Douglas Hodge (Willy Wonka).  Scarlet's opening night was on Friday November 8th at the world famous Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, and Miss Gemma and Russell were lucky enough to attend.  We were delighted to have over 100 GGS families on a school trip to watch a performance in March.  Scarlet will be performing in the musical regularly until December 2014.


Congratulations Scarlet on this fantastic achivement; we hope you enjoy every second of this amazing experience and we are so glad you got a Golden Ticket!  


Click on the link below to a feature on Scarlet in the Swindon Advertiser


Click on the link below to see Scarlet's biography from the 'Charlie' programme.

Joanna Miller and Scarlet Roche - 'Swan Lake', New Theatre, Oxford (English Youth Ballet)

We are delighted that Joanna Miller and Scarlet Roche will be performing with the English Youth Ballet in their professional production of 'Swan Lake' at the New Theatre, Oxford.  Performances take place on 20th & 21st September 2013 and GSS students and families will be attending the matinee performance on the Saturday.


Good luck for the performance girls - we hope you have a great time!


Click here to see the lovely piece in the Swindon Advertiser

Scarlet Roche - English Youth Ballet

GSS are proud to congratulate Scarlet Roche for a second time! Scarlet has won the Full Scholarship at the English Youth Ballet. Scarlet who auditioned along with 130 dancers was awarded the only Full Scholarship for their production of "Swan Lake". We are all very proud of you Scarlet and can't wait to see you dance in the production in September. Well Done!

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