Special Achievements

Gillian Banks Theatre School winners of 2010 business award for working with the community

One Laine All the Way

(Added December 2008)

A pupil at the Gillian Banks Theatre School is set for the next 3 years after gaining a place at the Laine Theatre Arts School in London for which they will give her a scholarship for the  full 3 years totalling around £45000 worth of tuition.

Megan Louch from Bramley has been training at the Theatre School since the age of 4 and has studied all subjects consisting of Ballet , Ballroom , Latin American ,Tap ,  Jazz , Theatrecraft , Gymnastics , Irish , Line Dancing , Street Dancing as well as musical theatre skills through which she has taken her Grades in Musical Theatre for singing and dancing. She has progressed onto circus skills now and has trained in trapeze and rope work on which she has performed numerous times at the Civic Theatre in circus routines.

Megan has received 4 nominations for Miss Dance from the International Dance Teachers Association  and visited Manchester Northen Music School  to perform in the North of England finals.

She has performed in numerous locations with the Theatre School including Cruise ships – Disneyland , Paris – The Royal Albert Hall – Sadler’s Wells Theatre – Her Majesty’s Theatre where Phantom of the Opera is performed and The Queen’s Theatre , West End where Les Miserables is performed and The Shaftesbury Theare where Hairspray is housed

Megan Louch

Megan auditioned at Laines Theatre Arts on the 30th October and was offered one of 60 places from out of 1500 applicants. She attended an audition day where she performed a jazz and ballet class followed by a musical theatre workshop before performing a solo dance , song and monologue in front of the judges. This resulted in an unconditional scholarship being offered for 3 years and not needing to be recalled in April for further auditions. As readers will know Laines is one of the top theatre arts schools in the country with direct links into the West End and many many success stories in the professional world of theatre

Gillian said ‘ Megan is a lovely dancer who works so hard at everything she does , she will train even further and go on to work professionally for many years to come ‘ .

The school continues to train children from the age of 2 to dance , sing and act and has seen many successes with people working all over the world in professional theatres / cabaret venues but Megan will be their first into the West End so the entire school will be following her progress and looking forward to going to her west End debut in 2012 following her graduation from the Laines Theatre Arts


Young Ambassador for Rotherham

We are very proud of Megan Louch who was nominated to become a Young Ambassador for Rotherham in conjunction with Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and Rotherham Partnership for her outstanding achievements within the school and also in her academic studies.

Pictured here at the awards with Nick Cragg ,Patron of the theatre school and John Silker, deputy President of Rotherham Chamber of Commerce and manager of Hellaby Hall hotel.

Congratulations to Vicky Greensil and Alex Layte who won Rotherham Councils Young Sports Coach of the Year and Young Volunteer of the Year respectively. The awards were presented by Roger Stone, the leader of the council. Vicky now coaches gymnastics for the school and it is fantastic to have her on board.

The Professional Organisations who examine the school have all awarded pupils of the school with nationally recognised commendations including 7 top musicians in South Yorkshire from the London College of Music , 6 pupils put forward for Miss Dance of Great Britain , Distinction grades from the London College of Dramatic Arts. Pupils from the school have gone onto train at the Northern Ballet School and are now appearing on Television and in professional productions all around the world. Nominations to appear at the Sadler's Wells Theatre in London which is the Dance Theatre of the Country and invites to perform in Lille , France for ceremonial dinners all contribute to the success of the school and help build links with the Professional Performing Arts world in London and the heart of the industry. The reputation of the school has also led to links with the Local F.E. College to deliver GCSE Dance to pupils at ages 16+ through AQA the examining body for all the schools in Britain.



Through the ATHENA Awards, Rotherham is proud to have honoured Dr. John Andrews, Gillian Banks, Wendy Battersby, Victoria Bown-Copley, Julie Kenny CBE, Hilary Massarella, Lawrence Morton, Julie Quarrington, Parveen Qureshi and Patricia Revell for:

  1. Actively assisting women in realising their full leadership potential
  2. Demonstrating excellence, creativity and initiative in their business or profession
  3. Providing valuable service by contributing time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community

A lady from an ex-mining village in South Yorkshire found herself making European history as Rotherham hosted the ATHENA Awards on Friday night. The prestigious American ceremony, which honours those opening leadership doors for women, was brought to England for its European debut by Rotherham Chamber of Commerce. The judges selected Maltby's Gillian Banks as the recipient of the HSBC-sponsored ATHENA Sculpture for inspirational work at her Theatre School. Host Gaynor Barnes, from ITV's Calendar, announced the result in front of over 250 people at Hellaby Hall as Gillian received her award from Wakefield-born singer, Jane McDonald. Also present was Martha Mayhood Mertz, the original founder of the ATHENA Foundation in 1982, who journeyed from the States especially.

Gillian began her business twenty years ago by hiring a church hall and holding classes for six children from Maltby, which at the time was a thriving mining village with a majority of working class people, principally employed at the Pit, with no inclinations towards performing arts. Over the years, Gillian developed the classes whilst studying further qualifications and gaining experience, and moved from church halls to school halls, to her own, purpose-built studios in Maltby. She now runs a 200-strong Theatre School, qualifying students through 4 nationally-recognised examining boards but, all the while, still catering for the members of the community who need help with finances and support to allow their children, and themselves, to attend classes every week.

"It's such a good feeling that we have been recognised for all the hard work and I thank my family, staff and everyone at the Theatre School for believing in me," said Gillian. "The Chamber have been like my guardian angels."

Nine other local people were also recognised for achieving excellence and making a difference to the community. The celebrated ten were:

Dr John Andrews, Rotherham New Life Centre ; Gillian Banks, Gillian Banks Theatre School; Wendy Battersby, Gemini Media ; Victoria Bown-Copley, Eagle Design Studio; Julie Kenny CBE, Pyronix Ltd.; Hilary Massarella, Safe@Last; Lawrence Morton, Wales High School; Julie Quarrington, Exemplar Health Care; Parveen Qureshi, United Multi-Cultural Centre and Patricia Revell, Macmillan Cancer Relief.

Rotherham Chamber President, John Wainwright, added: "To have honoured ten very special people at the Awards was quite something, especially as it was the first event of its kind in Europe. The night was all about pride and celebrating achievement and we are elated to have held aloft those making a difference to their business, their locality and their community. Rotherham is proud to recognise all our ATHENA honourees."

Fundraising on the night made 1,110 for Rotherham Chamber's President's Charity Fund which will be distributed to worthy causes in the area. The evening began with a live TV interview from the Awards as Gaynor Barnes spoke with Martha Mayhood Mertz on ITV's Calendar News.

The event was sponsored by HSBC and the Learning and Skills Council. Individual photos of the 10 finalists . Further information on the ATHENA Foundation


A Disney dream for a group of talented young dancers in Rotherham will take place this month - with Rotherham Chamber playing their backstage part!

A donation from the Chamber President's Charity Fund of 3000 has helped pay for spectacular costumes as The Gillian Banks Theatre School perform at the Fantasy Theatre in Disneyland, Paris.

The students will be ambassdors of the United Kingdom, representing Mardi Gras Promotions and the Disney Corporation with 37 students performing in the French capital and 143 travelling to watch and support.

They will be performing Brand new day from The Wiz, New Beginning themed on tropical birds, Show Girls from the Lido, Paris, and Cowgirls from the Lido, and Gypsy King's Vamos a Bailar.

They are also competing at Sadler's Wells in London with 30 schools from across Britain for a place to perform in New York, America and are also performing at The Royal Albert Hall in London in May next year.

Chamber representatives attended their final rehearsal in England at RCAT Studio Theatre on Monday 23rd August where the cheque was also presented. "We would like to thank Chamber President, Nick Cragg, and all the members of Rotherham Chamber for their generous sponsorship this year" said Gillian Banks.

We wish them all the best in Paris and London.

Earth Titans Cheerleaders

Earth Titans Cheerleaders

Earth Titans Cheerleaders provided by Gillian Banks Theatre School.

Alex H,
Alex W,
Alex L

Alex HAlex WCarrie  
Nicola Kirsty Alex L  

Lille November 2004

Cabaret for Mr Kintz who received his honourary medal for good business

Lille  November 2004

Jive Bunny

Jive Bunny launch of new Album December 2005
Jive Bunny  Album launch, December 2005
Jive Bunny  Album launch, December 2005

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