Principal and Teachers

Sarah Headshot
Miss Sarah Bayliss
Principal – Singing, Drama/LAMDA and Musical Theatre Teacher

Sarah trained professionally at Arts Educational Schools London. Her West End credits include; the original company of Mary Poppins, South Pacific, Witches of Eastwick, Of Thee I Sing, Singing in the Rain, Oklahoma, and Copacabana. Other West End shows include Oliver, Sunset Boulevard, and Barnum. Sarah has worked for Sir Cameron Mackintosh and Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber over the years. She was fortunate enough to work alongside Sir Matthew Bourne and Stephen Mear under the direction of Sir Trevor Nunn and Sir Richard Ayr.

Other theatre credits include; Sir Cameron Macintosh Time of our Lives at Bristol Old Vic, the national tour of Evita, national tour of Cats, Tippers at the King’s Head (London), 70 girls 70 with the amazing talent of the late Dora Bryan and the first original national tour of Mark Brambles 42nd Street. Sarah is grateful to have worked in shows alongside Barry Manilow in Copacabana with Gary Wilmot, Marti Webb in Evita, Petula Clark in Sunset Boulevard, Barry Humphries in Oliver and Hugh Jackman in Oklahoma at The National Theatre. Sarah has also appeared in many corporate shows. TV Credits include; Children in Need and Blue Peter.

Sarah has taught extensively at schools in and around London and directed shows such as The Wiz, Oliver, Barnum, and Copacabana. She has also taught at Guildhall School of Acting, Millennium Performing Arts, and Italia Conti. Sarah has been a private singing teacher since 2007. She can enter students in for singing examinations following the board London College of Music. Sarah has had many students take LCM exams from Grades 1 to diploma level.

Sarah is thrilled to have co-founded SJ Performing Arts Plymouth. Sarah is looking forward to passing on her technique and passion for singing, acting, and musical theatre to all her students. She is thrilled to be able to give her expertise to each and every student who hopefully one day will follow in her footsteps.

Jodie Headshot
Miss Jodie Nicholls
Principal – Modern, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary.

Jodie began her training at the age of 4 at a local dance school in Plymouth. Jodie instantly had a passion for performing arts and was very committed to her training. She was awarded a full scholarship at London Studio Centre to study professionally at 18. Jodie graduated with a BA (Hons) in Dance and Theatre.

Jodie has performed professionally her whole life. Credits include; pantomime Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs, Opera South West as a classical dancer, Grease Cabaret as an ensemble dancer. Jodie has performed at many corporate events. Jodie has danced throughout the UK and in the West End in productions Dance Overture, West End Live, and in the touring company of The Jazz Company. She has worked with many prestigious choreographers including Matt Flint, Emma Rodgers, and Mandy Montanez.

After performing, Jodie wanted to progress with her real passion for dance teaching. As a youngster, this is what Jodie had always wanted to do. Jodie is a fully qualified teacher and holds a DDE (Diploma in Dance Education) with the ISTD (Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance). Jodie is fully qualified to enter students in for examinations in genres Tap, Modern, and Jazz. Jodie is also a fully qualified Acrobatics teacher. She holds the AAC (Acrobatic Arts Certification) teaching certificate. Jodie is qualified to enter students in for Acrobatic examinations. Jodie is always continuing to develop her professional practice to allow her to deliver the best training to her students. She has a 100% pass rate on all student’s examination results. Jodie loves to choreograph and has a real flair in this area.

Jodie is humbled to have co-founded SJ Performing Arts Plymouth. She is delighted to be able to offer her students the best training, opportunities, and support they can receive. Jodie is so passionate about teaching and is looking forward to passing on all her knowledge and expertise to help her students flourish into the best performers they can be. Jodie is looking forward to welcoming you all to our school.

Amy Headshot
Miss Amy Colley
Head of Ballet – Plymouth and Ivybridge

Amy has danced from the age of 4 and began her training in her home town of Saltash, learning Ballet, Tap, and Modern. Amy continued to train professionally at Stella Mann College in Bedford from the age of 16 and graduated in 2009 with The Stella Mann Performers Diploma.

She progressed to dance in a variety of performances both in the UK and abroad and spent 6 months in Mumbai dancing in Bollywood films and videos. Amy suffered from a recurring ankle injury which meant her performing career was cut short. She then focused her attention on becoming a dance teacher. Ballet has always been Amy’s passion and in 2017 she attained her Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies with the Royal Academy of Dance and has Registered Teachers Status allowing her to teach and enter students for RAD ballet examinations.

Dance has always been one of the biggest joys in my life and I love helping students to feel that same joy. I am excited to expand my teaching experience and look forward to nurturing and developing dance skills in all my new students.

Amy is a qualified Level 3 Early Years Practitioner and has trained in Pediatric First Aid, Prevent training, Behaviour training, Anti Bullying training, Safeguarding, and has enhanced DBS clearance.

Vicky Headshot
Miss Victoria Whiting
Teacher – Commercial, Jazz, Modern & Tap Teacher Plymouth

Vicky graduated from Performers College in 2007 with a Diploma in Performing Arts. She was awarded ‘Graduate of the Year.’ Vicky was lucky enough to perform in numerous theatre productions, corporate events, and for artists such as Beverly knight, The Black Eyed Peas, and Meryl Osmond.

Upon returning to her hometown of Plymouth to get married and to start a family, she began teaching dance in all genres, to all ages, and has done so for the past 12 years. Her students have achieved excellent ISTD exam results in modern and tap, and she has choreographed many festival groups and solos and numbers for various local shows. What she is most proud of, is seeing students excel and gain so much more from dance than just “learning to dance.” Also, seeing many students follow their dreams by continuing a career in the performing arts.

Vicky is very excited to be a part of the SJ Performing Arts Plymouth team and is fully devoted to helping improve and inspire the next generation of dancers with her love and passion for dance.

Miss Louise Davies
Teacher – Ivybridge (Tap, Modern, Musical Theatre, Jazz, Street, Contemporary, Singing)

Louise started performing from a young age, training in all aspects of dance and singing. She performed in pantomimed from 6 years old until 16, danced competitively in dance festivals around the UK and qualified for the All England Dance Festival where she placed 3rd and performed for the national youth ballet. Louise took all her exams in Tap, Modern, Jazz and ballet to the highest standard, as well as Grade 8 singing and Piano. She received a music Scholarship for Wrekin College where she performed as head chorister around New York and Boston. She continued to train professionally at London Studio Centre, graduating with a BA Hons. Degree in Theatre Dance, where she had the chance to perform in the UK tour of Jazz Dance in her final year. Whilst training she worked with amazing choreographers, including Matt Flint, Mandy Martinez, David Leighton & Ashley Nottingham. Since graduating, Louise had the privilege to work and travel around the world from Australia to the Caribbean, Hawaii and Alaska (to name a few) with Royal Caribbean for 8 years. Louise has performed as a dancer and aerialist in shows including Invitation to dance (ballroom), Once upon a time, Can’t stop the rock, Jackpot, Marquee, Now you see it (Magic show), Fast Forward and Wild cool & swingin’. Most recently Louise has performed as Patty Simcox in Grease the musical, and has played her covering roles of Frenchy & Marty. She also covered the lead role of Sandy, stepped into the dance captain role and had a few months performing as ensemble too. She was so privileged to work with director Tony Edge, and choreographer Greg Graham, who helped her develop as a performer.

Louise is a now a fully qualified Pilates Instructor, and is qualifying for her Diploma in Dance Education in ISTD Modern Dance. Louise is so thrilled to be teaching at Ivybridge, sharing her knowledge and passion to the next generation.

Miss Jessica Mason
Teacher – Plymouth and Ivybridge (Plymouth Acrobatics, Ivybridge Acrobatics, Musical Theatre)

Jessica is a professional performer, having graduated from D&B School of Performing Arts with a Musical Theatre Diploma in 2011.

She started her dance training at 13 years of age, which was quite late compared to most of her peers. However, her passion for performance, particularly musical theatre, soon developed and she knew that she wanted to pursue a career in the profession. She attended as many classes as she possibly could in all genres of dance, and took lots of dance exams, working her way up through the grades in order to develop her technique. She also joined local amateur dramatic groups to ensure that she developed her skills and experience in all aspects of performance.

Jessica has been working professionally for nearly nine years, having recently completed her fourth contract with Celebrity Cruises. She has travelled the world and performed in some fantastic shows as Dance Captain, Singer/Dancer and Speciality Vocalist.

Jessica was also lucky enough to work with an Olivier Award winning choreographer and BAFTA nominated film director in the UK Arena Tour of ‘Street of Dreams’ the Musical, working with some of the best creatives and professionals in the entertainment industry, including Paul O’Grady, Russell Watson and Julie Goodyear.

Jessica has also been fortunate enough to work and live in Macau, a beautiful island close to Hong Kong, Beijing and Singapore whilst performing in different shows.

As well as her stage, musical, cruise, short film and voice over credits, she has also appeared on screen in various well known dramas including Mr Selfridge, Endeavour and The Royal.

Jessica is extremely passionate about her craft and not only does she love to perform, but she also enjoys sharing her experiences with others and helping them to understand and learn different styles and genres of dance and performance.

Neil Kay
Teacher -Musical Director Plymouth

I started my musical journey by learning the violin when I was 5 years old. I progressed onto the piano over the next few years, reaching a grade 8 standard on both instruments during my teens.

Heading into my late teens I attended the Northern Theatre School and went on to achieve a Level 3 National Diploma in Performing Arts and Grade 7 LAMDA Acting alongside my A-Levels.
My Theatre credits include ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum’ and ‘Canterbury Tales’, as well as being an original cast member in Alan Aykebourne’s ‘Gizmo’ at the National Theatre London.

I then went on to complete a degree in Music Composition, studying with Dr Christopher Best at Dartington College of Arts, during which time I composed many pieces for a wide variety of ensembles and had my pieces performed by professionally both in England and abroad. This included composing for Gamelan Gong Kebyar ensembles in Bali under the tutelage of I Ketut Candra in my time living and studying there.

I moved on to become a qualified Music and Drama Teacher and have been a Teacher of Music for the past 19 years, 17 years of which as a Head of Department in Plymouth. I have been Musical Director/ Director of a dozen musicals, 5 of which I composed myself.

With over 20 years experience of arranging and directing musical ensembles, Music and Drama really is my passion and I am thrilled to be joining the SJ team.