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Teaching Faculty


JULIE MCKENNA (School Principal)


Laine Theatre Arts in Epsom, Surrey.


Julie has performed in several West End shows including Dinah in Starlight Express (West End and Bochum, Germany), The Stripper in The Graduate with Jerry Hall (West End and UK Tour), Lorraine in Boogie Nights (West End and UK tour), Happy Days (UK Tour directed by Henry Winkler "The Fonz" ) Urleen in Footloose (UK tour), Jan in Grease (UK tour), Frenchy and Patty Simcox  in Grease (Dusseldorf)

Julie’s film and TV credits include Victoria and Albert with Dame Diana Rigg and Penelope Wilton, Down To Earth, Blue Peter, several  German TV shows.

Julie was also a backing dancer for Take That at The Brit Awards. 

She also received 4 Yes's from the judges on BGT for her singing!

Whilst in Germany, Julie was also signed to Sony Music and Columbia Records  working with several producers around Europe where she had a few singles released. 

Julie has choreographed many Musical Productions and Pantomimes all around the country, keeping her busy when not teaching! 

Alongside her love of teaching Miss Julie is also an approved member of the British and International Federation of Music and Dance Festivals and All England Dance adjudicator.


Miss Julie has kissed Michael Buble! #truestory

Watch Julie Performing



Kelly Hartnett



A Man Of No Importance, Fiddler On The Roof, The Sound Of Music, Oliver, Heloise. She also sang in the school proms at The Royal Albert Hall (a moment her Dad is extremely proud of!)


Kelly has produced excellent LAMDA results,  for the school, alongside directing all of our full scale Musical Theatre productions. She also prepares our students for auditions perfecting acting through song and drama pieces. 

Kelly is also the main agent for McKenna Management children's acting agency.


Miss Kelly loves watching obscure Musical Theatre shows that not many people have heard of!

Studio Shots Day 1-10.jpg



Top Hat Theatre School, Arts 1 MK, and Pirouette Academy of Dance for Dance teacher training.

Evey has performed at The Royal Albert Hall, where she performed in "Pitch Battle" for BBC1, and has performed at the biggest and most exciting UK dance industry event, "Move It" at Excel in London.

at Excel in 2016 and 2017.

Evey began her dance training here at Top Hat, and we are thrilled she has joined the faculty in 2019.

Evey has gained her ISTD DDE qualifications in Modern and Tap.

Evey also heads up our junior and development festival teams, choreographing and nurturing the young students ready for performance. 


Miss Evey also works in a local primary school where she works one to one with young students with autism and learning disabilities which in turn is a wonderful asset to us here at Top Hat.


We are very lucky to have a current West End Musical Theatre Director here at Top Hat. Steve and Miss Julie worked together on Starlight Express.

As Musical Director Steve's credits include: Rock of Ages (West End) (Associate MD), Viva Forever! (West End) (Associate MD), Priscilla (RUG, West End), Priscilla (RUG,West End) (Assistant MD), Blood Brothers (BKL, U.K. Tour) (Assistant MD), Brighton Rock (BKL, London) (Assistant MD), Grease (David Ian, U.K. Tour) (Assistant MD), Cabaret (Germany) conductor/piano.

Peter Pan (Qdos), This is Elvis (BKL, U.K. Tour), Snow White (Qdos), The Band – Take That Musical (Workshop), Aladdin (Qdos), Priscilla (New Zealand), The Last Tango (U.K.& Ireland Tour), Rock and Roll Heaven (U.K. Tour), Greatest Rock Tour of Them All (U.K. Tour), Aladdin (Cambridge Arts Theatre), Steve also brings a wealth of teaching and vocal coaching experience to the team, having taught singing technique, acting through song and integrated performance at many of the UK's leading Musical Theatre colleges​​.

In addition to his extensive West End and touring Musical Theatre experience, Steve was Musical Director for Lisa Stansfield and Kerry Ellis.

Steve also gives private singing lessons here at Top Hat which is a wonderful asset. 


Steve supports Chelsea Football club, but we won't hold that against him!! 




Elise trained at Pirouette Academy of Dance and Bird College


Since graduating from Bird College with a degree in professional dance and musical theatre, Elise has gone on to achieve her ISTD advanced 2 exams in Tap, Modern, Ballet and National. She has also gone on to achieve her practical DDEs in Ballet, Tap and Modern.
Before furthering her training, Elise also trained alongside Tap Attack to develop her tap ability and was lucky enough to work with some amazing choreographers and also went on to win the Midlands tap championships twice.
Elise realised after graduating that her passion for dance laid within teaching the up and coming generations of future dancers. She uses her passion to create, innovative and engaging lessons. She loves choreographing for shows and competitions with a specialty in tap and contemporary.
She is excited to be back with the lovely students at Top Hat and to share her knowledge and love with them all.


Miss Elise has a Hungarian Puli - dog with dreadlocks and a miniature sausage dog called milo.



Miss Jodie heads up our festival team, guiding and choreographing all our routines. With many All England Final winners and festival successes under her belt... we know we are in good hands.


Miss Jodie loves interior design and travelling. 



Phillomena Dance School, Surrey and PDS Teacher Training


Emily began dancing at the age of 6, training in various disciplines and gaining her first teaching qualification aged 18.

She has performed in many productions in and around London including at the Sadler's Wells Peacock Theatre.

Emily also danced professionally in various contracts performing all over the UK.

In addition to performing and teaching, Emily has choreographed for many productions as well as choreographing numerous winning routines for local and national festivals.


Miss Emily is a wonderful baker. She loves baking cakes.

She also has a huge collection of Clown wigs, and white gloves!!! 




Top Hat Theatre School, Arts Educational, London.



Lucy had been involved in many professional pantomime contracts such as Cinderella, Aladdin, Jack and the Beanstalk.

She has also performed and played the lead in many amateur musical theatre productions and plays such as High school musical, Grease, Sister Act, Hairspray, Oliver Twist (Nancy)  Footloose (Ariel) Fame, Little Women,

Lemons x5 and Twelth Night.   

Although Lucy mainly has a background in musical theatre she has joined our team following her passion as a member of the drama department.

She has just produced her first excellent set of LAMDA results, for the school, and can't wait for the next.

She works closely with Miss Kelly, helping students to prepare for the industry- whether that’s auditions, exams, festivals or just a bit of fun ! 

Lucy is currently in industry so can’t wait to share her knowledge with our students.   


Miss Lucy’s favourite thing to do other than performing is ice skating and would love to one day compete in Dancing on Ice!



Northampton Booth Lane College


Dance company member of ZKMO, Cartel Company and Trilogy Dance.

Mathias performed at the Olympic Park, performing in front of 37,000 people at the Women’s FA Cup Final, performing in front of over 100,000 people at Dubai’s Global Village on a 6 month contract. He has also appeared in several adverts and professionals dance videos. He has also taught all over the country and worked with both kids and adults on stage performances.


Matthias once held the record for being the fastest person in Northamptonshire to run the 100m sprint! (age 12-13)

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