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THE TEAM

SHONA HALFORD
Founder/Principal

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Born with an innate passion for the performing arts, Shona took her first graceful steps into the world of dance at the age of 2.  Shona’s love for dance evolved, leading her to embark on her first professional contract at the young age of 17 where she travelled to Greece for her first professional dance contract.  This early opportunity marked the beginning of a journey filled with captivating performances and invaluable experiences.

 

One of the pivotal moments in Shona’s career was her introduction to the Panto world in 1991 with the legendary late Jimmy Logan, with whom she danced in her very first pantomime.  Shona also enjoyed Panto as pro dancer with Tony Roper (‘Rab C. Nesbitt’ and writer of ‘The Steamie’) and Greg Hemphill (‘Chewin’ the Fat’ and ‘Still Game’), this collaboration not only solidified her reputation as a professional dancer/singer but also opened doors to an array of exciting opportunities.

 

Throughout her career, Shona had the privilege of sharing the stage with esteemed TV stars such as The Cannon and Ball Show, Bobby Davro, and Bernie Clifton. These collaborations showcased Shona’s talent and earned her a place among the industry's most respected artists.

 

Her journey continued to ascend as she danced with the iconic "Stars in Their Eyes" TV stage show. 

 

As a professional singer, Shona’s powerful vocals have graced stages around the world. Performing to audiences aboard cruise ships, bringing the joy of music and dance to international audiences.

Adding to her list of impressive accomplishments, Shona had the unique opportunity to sing alongside Tony Hadley, the lead singer of Spandau Ballet, creating a forever cherished musical experience.

 

Beyond her many achievements on stage and in front of the camera, Shona has produced, directed and choreographed many shows around the country.  Shona’s love for travel has taken her to numerous countries, where she had the privilege of sharing her talents with diverse audiences. 

 

In 2005, Shona realised a lifelong dream by opening her very own theatre school. This endeavor allowed Shona to share her wealth of experience and knowledge with the younger generation of aspiring performers.  Her dedication to nurturing talent has left an indelible mark on the lives of countless students.

 

As Shona continues to inspire the next generation of performers, her journey stands as a testament to the dedication and passion to the performing arts industry. 

Craig started as a student at MTDA in 2006 at the young age of 10.  He then volunteered to be a class assistant and from there naturally went into teaching. He has been teaching at MTDA ever since.
 

Besides teaching drama and singing at MTDA, Craig also directs the two yearly MTDA productions and is stage manager for these productions.
Craig has taught drama abroad from the age of 18. He worked abroad for 4 consecutive years in countries such as Lanzarote, Tunisia and Ibiza, where he returned for his final year.

 

Craig attended Glasgow Clyde College to study acting and performance for three years, completing his HND.  He graduated in 2016 and signed with Coulter Hamilton Rae shortly after.   Since then, Craig has worked in theatre and television quite regularly.  On television, Craig has appeared in programmes such as “Clique” , “Limmy’s Show” , “The Nest” and most recently in “Karen Pirie”.   You will also spot Craig in many commercials such as “Scotch Beef” , “Glasgow Clyde College” , “Teaching in Scotland” and the very successful “Don’t Be That Guy” campaign which reached over 6 million people world wide!
 

Craig has recently finished a production of “Trainspotting Live” at the Edinburgh Fringe festival.  He was lucky enough to play both “Sick Boy” and “Begbie” on separate occasions.
 

CRAIG McDOUGALL
Deputy Principal
Head of Drama

Singing Coach

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At Christmas, Craig performs in Pantomime in parts such as “Prince Charming” , “Aladdin” “Prince Frederick” and “Jack”.  He has performed in The Alhambra Theatre Dunfermline in “Jack and The Beanstalk” and “Sleeping Beauty”.  In Kilmarnock Palace Theatre Craig has performed “Cinderella”, “Aladdin”, “Snow White” and this Christmas Craig will be playing Jack once again in “Jack and The Beanstalk”


Over Craig’s career he has been lucky to work with some very talented people such as Martin Compston, David Hayman, Joe McFadden and Robert Carlyle.

NIAMH DEVENEY
Head Of Dance

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NIAMH DEVENEY - HEAD DANCE TEACHER

Niamh has danced since the age of 3 with a variety of schools across Glasgow and trained in variety of different styles, including ballet, modern, jazz, commercial and contemporary.  She also trained with the Junior Associate Programme at Scottish Ballet.

 

In 2019 she moved to Edinburgh for 3 years to gain her BA (Hons) in dance and drama with Performing Arts Studio Scotland.

 

After finishing her degree in 2022 Niamh joined the Edinburgh based Unearthed Dance Company for their Edinburgh Fringe show “Ahead of the Curve”.

Recently Niamh has finished up a sucessful run again at Edinburgh Fringe Festival with the highly acclaimed Unearthed Dance Company for a second year. 

 

Aside from her love of performing, Niamh’s passion lies in teaching. She’s big on energy and big on fun, teaching a variety of different styles and all she ever asks is that you try your best and enjoy yourself!

Chris graduated from Queen Margaret University with a degree in Drama and Performance. During this time, he studied all aspects of theatre from acting and writing to directing and producing. He appeared in numerous university stage productions which were showcased at Summerhall. 

 

As part of this course, he also and toured schools and coached drama classes with high school students.

Chris furthered his teaching career with Stagecoach Theatre in Malta. He worked as an assistant teacher at their intense summer school for four summers and worked lights and sound for their second end of school musicals.

 

Since then, following his dream of becoming an actor, appearing in dozens of short films for Screen Academy Scotland, RCS and UWS, which have gone on to win awards and be screened at film festivals such as the BFI Future Films and British Short Film awards. More recently Christopher has began his journey into television - where he worked on ‘Mayflies’ starring Martin Compston and Tony Curran.

 

Chris is looking forward to getting started at Shona Halford MTDA and to help the team support and develop young performers on their journey in performance!

CHRIS DUNN
Drama & Acting Assistant

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EMILY HALFORD Musical Theatre

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Emily has been a student at MTDA for over 14 years and has loved engaging in all classes. She has went from student to class assistant, student teacher and now one of our lead dance instructors here at MTDA.

 

Emily has danced in various theatres around the UK and abroad. Over the last years, she has been chosen to dance in professional pantomimes at The Kings Theatre, Glasgow for First Family and The Palace Theatre, Kilmarnock for Imagine Theatres alongside Film and TV stars including: Gregor Fisher (Rab. C Nesbitt) & Leah McCrae and Sally Howitt (River City).

Recently,  Emily has been teaching dance classes on board P&O's newest cruise ship THE ARVIA.  Sailing around the Mediterranian visiting various countries.

When Emily is not at the studio, she is currently in her third year studying an MA (Hons) in Primary Education at The University of Glasgow.

 

Emily would say that her favourite part of the job is being able to pass on her experiences and what she’s learned onto another generation of students. 

MEGAN CARBERY
Dance Teacher

Megan started as a student at MTDA when she was 7 years old in 2005 when MTDA first opened the doors.   Megan has performed in over 15 shows as a dancer within the school and now teaches both Senior and Intermediate dance classes. 

Megan has also competed in many competitions across the country as a dancer with the MTDA performance team, including internationally at Disneyland Paris and performing in their pre-parade. Megan has also appeared in the BBC Drama WATERLOO ROAD. 

Megan graduated from the University of Aberdeen with MA (Hons) in Psychology. Megan is currently a Primary School Teacher after completing her Post-Graduate at the University of Strathclyde.

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AIMEE QUEEN
Dance Teacher

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Aimee started MTDA in 2010 as a student and then progressed to a class assistant.  Aimee now teaches both junior and intermediate dance classes.  She loves teaching the classes and getting to see all of the kids improve every single week, it is the most rewarding job

 

Throughout Aimee's years at MTDA she has been able to partake in amazing opportunities and experiences. This has included performing at Her Majesty’s theatre in London, performing as a dancer in Dirty Dancing at the Pavilion Theatre Glasgow, dancer at the Royal Concert Hall Abba Show and her panto debut, Peter Pan in the Glasgow Hydro with Former X Factor star Stacey Solomon.  

 

Aimee also performed in Disneyland Paris for 5 years where she took part in a showcase in the park and danced in the the Disneyland parade.  Being part of the award winning team that was able to bring home trophies after competing in the International Federation of Dance and Performing Arts.

 

Aimee is currently studying the BA (Hons) Primary Education Course at the University of the West of Scotland to for fill her dream working with children and giving them the best start to life.

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