Jo Higlett - Principal
Jo began dancing at the rather early age of two, when convenience required her to be taken to classes at the same time as her older sister. Immediately finding her passion she went on to train intensively in Tap, Modern and Ballet. Until leaving for university, she spent her time competing and performing – in a variety of festivals, shows and pantomimes – alongside achieving high marks in each progressive ISTD/RAD exam.
Whilst studying History, she began her ISTD teaching qualifications, and upon graduating, combined teaching with auditioning and performing. She was quickly employed at a variety of schools and studios across London and, once committed to teaching full time, took on the next level of qualifications. In 2012 she fulfilled her childhood ambition and opened her own school – Clifford Studios - in her grandfather’s name.
The excellent exam results achieved by all pupils Jo has entered is testament to her skills as a teacher; adding Pilates to her repertoire in 2009, and BarreConcept in 2015, further enhancing her ability to train pupils to a high standard.
Jo finds teaching both fascinating and fulfilling and continues to further her study of dance education via the ISTD. In September 2014 she embarked on her Licentiate teaching qualification, which, upon completion, will allow her to train teachers as well as become a Fellow of the ISTD.
Lucy Harley - Ballet
Born in Oxfordshire, Lucy discovered a love for dancing at a young age, training and passing exams in Tap, Modern and Jazz. However Ballet has always been her real passion and in 2011 she was delighted to be accepted onto the BA (Hons) Ballet Education course at the Royal Academy of Dance.
Throughout her training, Lucy was employed at various schools across London where she gained invaluable experience teaching children from the age of two, up to adults. Having graduated and gained Registered Teachers Status, she has continued her work at these schools, and many more, as a qualified teacher.
Lucy also works for the RAD as both a teacher and a CPD administrator. In 2016 she was made a Tutor + Examiner on the Certificate of Ballet Teaching Studies meaning she is teaching teachers as well as children.
Lucy is committed to developing and progressing the technique of her students at all levels, and finds encouraging enjoyment and creativity in her pupils extremely rewarding.
Ellis Fitzherbert - Tap + Modern
Ellis began her training aged 3, studying Ballet, Tap, Modern + Jazz (in her later years being taught by Miss Jo). During this time, alongside studying the ISTD + RAD syllabuses, she appeared in numerous professional productions. These included the UK tour of Evita, Spiller’s Pantomimes (Junior and Senior dancer), Paper Moon Company (Music Hall at Leicester Square Theatre and Trafalgar Square), Kingston International Youth Arts Festival and the 100th anniversary gala performance of Wimbledon Theatre.
Ellis has been an assistant teacher since the age of 15, embarking on her official teaching qualifications in 2014. She has now achieved her ISTD Diploma in Dance Instruction in both Modern and Tap and is continuing to further her teaching qualifications at DanceTeachers Inc alongside teaching at various schools in Surrey.
Jane Gay - Front Desk
Having attended dance lessons herself as a child, Jane sent her daughters – one of whom is Miss Jo – to classes as soon as possible. She is a wealth of knowledge on juggling extra curricular activities with work/school as well as dressing, hair and costumes. Having retired from lecturing in Education at Kingston University, she now lives in Somerset and returns to London weekly to run the Front Desk at Clifford Studios; taking uniform orders and keeping the parents in order before + after class!