Testimonials & Alumni

The Students, Parents and Alumni of Laton Ash have had lovely things to say about the school. Here are some of their comments and career details. 

Melanie Stace - Pupil at Laton Ash for 10 Years

Melanie started at Laton Ash aged 8 and continued until the age of 18.
She then went on to train at the London College of Dance and Drama. 
Melanie became a household name as the popular co-presenter of The Generation Game and also appeared on several other light entertainment shows including the Royal Variety Command Performance.
A triple-threat performer (Acting, Singing & Dancing), Melanie has starred in a number of musicals, playing ‘Lola’ in Barry Manilows’ Copacabana at the Prince Of Wales Theatre in the West-End, Polly Baker in the popular Gershwin Musical Crazy for you.
She has also taken Principal Girl and Boy roles in many Pantomimes.

More recently, she has worked extensively in the US and Europe, presenting her one woman show in a host of venues.
Her show Sirens of the Silver Screen at the world famous Feinsteins in New York was voted one of the top 12 shows.
During 2020 Melanie decided to set up her own recording studio; Plain Sailing Studios.
Recently she has written
 a new collection of songs with IQ The Professor, aka the Music Producer Edwin J. Alvarado.
Their first song Your Love Takes Me Somewhere has well over 125,000 streams to date, and their first album Love on Rebound has now been released. 

Lucy Ashenden - Pupil at Laton Ash for 15 Years

“After leaving Laton Ash with all the knowledge, skills and preparation a young dancer could wish for, I moved to London to further my professional training and obtained a BA Honours degree in Theatre Dance from the prestigious London Studio Centre. Since graduating in 2008, I have been fortunate enough to enjoy a hugely successful career in Musical Theatre. I have performed in London’s West End in shows such as CHICAGO and GUYS & DOLLS as well as in numerous UK and International touring productions (TOP HAT, 42nd STREET, HAIRSPRAY, WHITE CHRISTMAS and SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN).

I will forever be grateful for the expert guidance, training and discipline I received as a young dancer from my teachers at Laton Ash and I cannot recommend them highly enough!”

Abi Osborne - Pupil at Laton Ash for 16 Years

“I would first like to thank Miss P & Miss D for everything they have done for me. 
I truly have enjoyed every minute of my time at Laton Ash, from my first show doing ‘Bugs Life’ to my last show in 2013!
The shows that you put on were not only amazing, but so fun for everyone involved! The ideas were amazing as well, I have been a bug, a piece of fruit, a vegetable and a Liquorice Allsort.
Thank you for all the wonderful memories I have from Laton Ash, I will really miss it, but I am definitely going to carry on dancing at Uni!”

Iona Scott - Pupil at Laton Ash for 14 Years

“I will cherish the brilliant memories I have of my time at Laton Ash!”

Tracy Dennis - Pupil at Laton Ash for 15 Years

“As a professional in the performing arts for over 22 years I’ve been lucky enough to work with some of the world’s biggest brands and celebrities. For 15 years the brilliant Pauline Ash and her excellent team of teachers (including Jackie Hutt & Donna McLaughlin) trained me in the dance skills and mind set I needed to go onto to become what I am today.

The dancing work was diverse and exciting. I’ve performed on huge luxurious cruise ships in spectacular shows, trained Cabaret & Burlesque in Paris and even became a principal dancer for the legendary Lido de Tournee. I frequently danced on Top of the Pops and The Brit awards and appeared at festivals alongside stars such as Take That, Holly Valance, The Prodigy & Westlife. 

A career highlight must be an appearance on one of Victoria Wood’s Christmas Specials. The one which featured the Ann Widdicombe Finale.

At the age of 26 I founded the IT Girls Cabaret Group, now in its 14th year and still going strong. As Creative Director for the IT Girls I have had the pleasure of working with top brands including: Sony, Mercedes Benz, Channel & The Virgin Group.”

Footnote from Miss P – 
To think Tracy’s career started in the Baby Class at Laton Ash with ‘Good Toes and Naughty Toes’!

Steph Mockett - Pupil at Laton Ash for 16 Years

“I wouldn’t be the dancer I am today without the love and support of the teachers at Laton Ash.”

Sue Beaumont - Parent

“Thank you for giving Annabel the confidence she now has – started at the age of 3 too scared to say “boo to a goose” but now goes on stage happy as Larry!”

Kane Verrall - Pupil at Laton Ash for 15 Years

“Thank you for everything you have done for me over the last 15 years I really appreciate all the support from Miss Pauline and Miss Donna.”

Since leaving Laton Ash, Kane studied Musical Theatre at Arts Educational School in London. 

He has since appeared in a number of musical theatre shows including Club Tropicana, Twang!, The Sound of Music, Dirty Dancing and Free As Air.

He is currently performing in Pantomime in Cheltenham at the Everyman Theatre (2021).

Emma Hardy - Pupil at Laton Ash for 14 Years

Emma trained at Laton Ash from age 4 to 18.
Her very first job was for Carnival Cruises where she spent two years onboard performing in the nightly shows whilst travelling around the Caribbean!
Emma has many other Theatre and TV credits including Spirit of the Dance (USA / UK Tour), Essence of Ireland (UK Tour – choreographer), Mamma Mia – The Concert (UK Tour), Brit Awards, MTV House Music Awards, The Generation Game, The Mint, and many pantomimes! (as both Principal Girl and choreographer for UK Productions).
She now runs her own very successful studios in West and North London.  

She is thankful and grateful to Miss Pauline and all the teachers at Laton Ash for giving her the foundations which have led to a long standing career as a dancer, choreographer and teacher. 

Victoria Cole - Pupil with Laton Ash for 16 Years

“Miss Pauline and Miss Donna taught me the discipline of dance. We always worked hard but there was also a lot of laughter as well.”

Gayle Wilkinson - Parent of current Laton Ash student

Written at the 40th Anniversary Show – “We are a mere drop in your ocean of 40 years! But for the past 4.5 years Rachael has loved every moment and had her first stage experience which she will always treasure (as will I).”
(8 years on Rachael is still dancing at Laton Ash, studying Grade 6 Ballet & Grade 5 Modern)

Comments from some of our Silver Swans

Ballet with Miss Pauline is lovely. The teaching is well structured with a sense of progression. Technique is explained clearly. I really enjoy the social aspects and it is the only hour each week I truly relax…………Nicola.

Gentle, chilling exercise!………..Annie

What a lovely lesson, a first for me visiting my sister. Such clear and precise instruction with care and humour. I must find a group near me………….Sarah

Enjoyable lessons given by an excellent teacher. A real pleasure to return to a childhood love…………..Doreen

Am loving my Silver Swans class, a real joy to ‘dance’ again after 30 years! Miss P is a superb teacher……….

Silver Swans is great fun with structured teaching. I call it ‘Physio to Music’ ENJOYABLE ! what more can I say?………….Nona

The best two hours of my week, so sad when they end………..Jackie

Joyful way of exercising…………Jane