About us

Artisan Theatre School provides children from the South Coast lessons with professional teachers within all areas of the Performing Arts. Students working with professionals who have experience and expertise in their field, allows our students the opportunity to develop their talents to exceptionally high levels. Artisan believes in working with each student as an individual and finding the right classes for them, so whether that’s all 3 disciplines acting, singing and dancing or a combination of all three be it just acting, just singing, just dancing- students are offered the opportunity to try out all aspects of our school to then choose what feels right for them. We offer free trials on all classes!

Artisan is fresh in its approach to teaching, unlike other part time theatre schools Artisan uses up to date methods and techniques in all classes with every performance class shaped towards an end goal- that children learn to ‘let go’ of any inhibitions, believe in themselves and support each other in learning how to create their craft connecting to a performance that is real to them. All of the Artisan teachers believe in showing children how to connect, as opposed to simply instructing them on what to do. This is no good to them, as it doesn’t unlock that spark which is the key to unlocking exciting performances.

Meet the Artisan Team

Samantha Blackwell

Acting Teacher and Principal of Artisan

Samatha started drama classes at the young age of 6 in her hometown of Bournemouth. She went onto gain all of her LAMDA acting exams to grade 8. At 17 Samantha auditioned and successfully gained a place with the National Youth Theatre, which confirmed her passion for acting and continued on to audition for drama schools In London. Samantha gained a place and was awarded a full scholarship at the accredited Arts Educational School of Acting, where she trained for three years and gained her B.A Hons in Acting. Samantha is a certified and experienced LAMDA tutor with an extremely high pass rate in all LAMDA grades from grade 1-8.

Since graduating Samantha has worked professionally both on screen and off, work includes episodes on Coronation Street, CBBC, commercials, and internet series as well as devised work. Samantha’s professional experience within the industry and training allows her to teach in a unique way, focussing on the ‘think, feel, show’ technique and methods used in professional full time theatre schools.

Samantha is proud to coach not just those pursuing their talent but also to those with enthusiasm and a real love for the arts. Samantha‘s passion and love for acting is a key skill in developing the confidence of each individual child. Samantha has always believed in coaching children of all ages within the arts, enabling students to pursue their dreams in a friendly, fun and professional way.

Emma Norton

Singing Teacher of Artisan

Emma started singing at the age of 10 gaining level 8 in her singing examinations by the age of 15.

She has performed in various theatre productions from working alongside Earl Carpenter (The Phantom, Phantom of the Opera, 2005-2007 and 2011-2012) to singing in the Royal Albert Hall.

More recently she has worked professionally in a southern tour of a Christmas carol and locally as an events singer in a Cabernet group.

Now a singing teacher Emma is honoured to be educating others and sharing her passion for music. Her enthusiasm for the discipline drives her to enable others to realise their potential in a fun and friendly atmosphere.

Emma Lyford

Dance Teacher at Artisan

Emma started dancing at the age of 6 in Portsmouth and quickly went on to attend lessons in all genres from Tap, Modern and Ballet through to Rock n Roll, Jazz, Latin American and Disco. After senior school went on to train professionally to become a teacher at Southampton's 'Roynon Dance Centre' where she left as a fully qualified dance teacher in many styles for all ages and grades under the ISTD board.

Emma has been teaching all over the UK for the past 7 years and also still performs professionally. With the southern based entertainment company Manic Stage Productions, Emma has performed at many high profile events, corporate occasions and theatres and loves entertaining and being on stage. She is also a sky high stilt walker and one of her hidden talents and favourites is to perform as a flaming fire dancer.

Over the years she has taught for many state and private schools and dance schools all over the UK but also manages and teaches at BBC's Strictly Come Dancing's 'Brendan Cole Dance Academy'. It has been great fun over the years and I love putting together dance routines and pieces for children to get excited about and perform and see the children's ability and performance grow.

Holly Edmondson

Dance Teacher at Highcliffe & Wimborne

Holly began dance at a very young age and wanted nothing else than to become a dancer when she grew up. She studied BTDA and RAD ballet, tap, modern and acrobatics, completing all grades.

At the age of 19 she went on to train in musical theatre at Italia Conti Academy, in London, for 3 years. She graduated with one of the top marks in her year and began a career in dance and musical theatre.

Holly has worked all over the world, including on cruise ships, dancing abroad, and pantomimes, hotels, and tours in the uk. She has extensive knowledge of the industry and has also been freelance dance teaching for over 12 years at various schools and companies around the UK.

She is thrilled to be joining the very talented pupils and teachers at Artisan Theatre School, and cannot wait to start!

Georgia Lambert

Drama Teacher - Wimborne & Ringwood

Georgia began performing at the age of 8 locally to Bournemouth and Poole with a passion for singing and acting completing all singing grades and gaining dance ribbons in modern, Latin and tap. College took her to the National Singing Competitions 3 times before the age of 17 and cemented her passion to train professionally. LAMDA trained she returned to the area and continued to coach amateur dramatics for the next 10 years while she raised a family. During this time Georgia performed in various theatre productions including Les Miserables, several Pantomimes and numerous straight acting plays. She still performs locally as a casual folk singer on occasion. Georgia feels incredibly privileged to work with team Artisan and their amazing students in a theatre school unlike any other!

Suzy Hill

Vocal Coach - Southampton

Suzy has been performing for many years, earning both her grade 8 in singing and a BA Hons Degree in Professional Musical Theatre from the Arden School Manchester. Suzy has worked as a professional singer for the Walt Disney company and won several awards in performing including the prestigious WHSmith Award of excellence in Musical Theatre. Suzy is experienced in teaching children of all ages and abilities and strives on building up confidence, nurturing the individual needs of each and every one of our performers.

Isla Rose

Drama Teacher – Southbourne Classes

I have been dancing singing and acting since the age of 3. At the age of 16 I moved to London to start at The Urdang Academy for 3 years and then went on to do my degree with Guildford School of Acting. I have worked as a professional performer and choreographer in shows all over the world and I am very excited to be able to share what I’ve learnt with everyone. As a teacher it is a joy to inspire the next generation of performers and to work with you all at Artisan!

Tara Daisy Valentine

Dance Teacher Southbourne & Ringwood

Tara has worked as a professional dancer and teacher for the last 7 years. Tara has worked all over the world with backgrounds in TV, stage and film. Originally from Cambridge, Tara studied at the accredited ‘Bodywork’ theatre school before working in London and recently moving to the South Coast. Tara has worked for Universal, Warner Bros, X Factor, Sadlers Wells, Bourne Leisure & SBTV amongst many others. Whilst on contracts Tara began to teach more to other colleagues, which led to running auditions for Bourne Leisure’s entertainment recruitment and teaching for many leading stage schools such as Pauline Quirk Academy, KD Theatre, Theatre Train, Stagecoach and most recently teaching a successful stageacademy for TUI’s 5 star resort in Rhodes, coming first in the world for customer satisfaction reviews. Tara loves teaching for Artisan Theatre School and sharing her passion with all of the students who are open minded and willing to learn new styles of dance.