Marlene Duniam F.I.D.T.A - Founder
Marlene trained in London under the guidance of the former president of the IDTA Mr Dennis Drew. At this time Marlene gained her teaching qualifications with the IDTA in Ballroom, Latin and Freestyle, which she first gained from the age of 21. Marlene danced from the age of 5yrs and continued until she trained professionally. Marlene moved to Norfolk and opened her own dancing school - Marlene's School of Dancing. Starting with one or two small Saturday classes in local village halls, the school has now progressed to a full time studio. Marlene continued her training in Theatre subjects to which she achieved Fellowship level. Marlene has felt very privileged to teach all ages and is very proud of the standard the school has achieved. In January 2020, after 40 years of achievements and school success, Marlene felt it was time to hang up her dancing shoes and was proud to pass her school over to Natalie.
Natalie Day F.I.D.T.A - Principal
Natalie had always danced as a child at Marlene's School of Dancing since the age of 5 years when it first opened. Working through the medal test system in Ballroom, Latin and Theatre subjects and performing in the end of the pier show Seaside Special, Natalie knew she wished to pursue a career in dance and therefore since the age of 18 has taught at the school full time in all subjects.
Natalie began her dance teacher training in 2003 where she gained 98 for her first professional teaching qualification and was nominated for a John Dilworth scholarship. 50 teaching qualifications later through training with Examiner Miss Patricia Straw, Natalie now holds 5 Fellowship qualifications in Ballet, Tap, Modern-Jazz, Theatre Craft and Freestyle. Alongside these she has gained her Dance Exercise Diploma, Gymnastic Dance Diploma and Zumba instructor (ZIN) qualification. Natalie is currently training for Examinership and dreams to become an Examiner within the IDTA.
Natalie has adjudicated across the country including the Nationwide Freestyle and Rock 'n' Roll finals and the Nationwide Streetdance finals held at Blackpool. Natalie has entered students into graded examinations up to Advanced 2 standard as well as training teachers across the county. A regular lecturer for the Anglia area day of dance and with her strengths held in Tap dancing, Natalie has been the Tap demonstrator for the examiners upgrading course and has lectured in London for the Theatre Awards. In 2019 Natalie was nominated for the John Knight Fellowship of the year award for Tap after gaining 98 for her Fellowship exam and was successful in winning the award.
Natalie has recently held the position of chairperson for the Norfolk and Suffolk Area for the IDTA and ran as committee member for 5 years. Natalie prides herself on keeping classes fun whilst training the students to a high standard, and is very proud that we have had over 20 students successfully gain places at the most prestigious colleges in the country, with strength and versatility in all subjects.
Gillian Bonnett A.I.S.T.D, A.I.D.T.A - Teacher
Gillian started dancing at the age of 3. As a child she performed with Colchester Operatic Society at The Mercury Theatre in various musicals including:- Annie get your Gun, Carousel, Half a Sixpence, and later as a teenager in The Music Man; Fiddler on the Roof and Godspell to name but a few. This gave her the passion to pursue a professional career in dance and musical theatre. Gillian trained professionally at Performers College for 3 years where she gained her teaching qualifications in Ballet, Tap, and Modern Dance before graduating in 1995. During her time at college she danced in various cabarets at the Grosvenor House Hotel and appeared at Wembley’s’ pre match entertainment for Rugby league cup alongside Sir Cliff Richard. Gillian had also performed promotional work for Top Rank at many venues around the country and as a singer performed in the first wide screen TV pilot musical ‘Atlantis’ at the BBC. Between professional engagements Gillian taught Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Modern in her home town of Colchester. In 1997, 1998 and 1999 she danced with the Robert Marlowe Dancers for 3 summer seasons in the highly acclaimed Seaside Special ‘The end of the pier show’ in Cromer. And also 3 consecutive pantomime seasons with Paul Holman Associates at The Playhouse Theatre, Weston-Super-Mere in Aladdin staring Stefan Dennis (Paul Robinson from Neighbours), Snow White staring Anne Charleston (Madge from Neighbours) and Cinderella staring Adele Silver (Kelly Glover from Emmerdale) and Jack
Douglas from the Famous Carry-on films.
After moving to Cromer in 2000 she started teaching at Marlene's School of Dancing where she enjoys sharing her passion for dance and passing her skills onto people of all ages.
Millie Duniam - Guest Teacher
Millie first started dancing at 3 years old here at Marlene’s School Of Dancing. Of course dance runs in the family! Millie had the privilege of performing in Seaside Special as a juvenile dancer for 8 years, from the age of 5 to 13. At 16 she moved to London to further her professional training at Millennium Performing Arts. During her training Millie danced infront of the Queen at the London Palladium for Dame Vera Lynn’s 100th birthday. Millie graduated in 2018 coming away with the third year award and choreography award. Millie is professionally trained in all styles of dance and musical theatre, with her speciality being Commercial and Hip Hop. After graduating, Millie became a member of Empire Dance Crew and has appeared in many TV appearances alongside the dance crew. She has also featured in many music videos, including Parra For Cuva, Rude Kid, My Bad Sister, Mandidextrous and Ryan Dean.
Millie's teaching credits include Studio 68, Pineapple, The London School Of Economics University, the Brit School, Futinity Crew and is the resident Commercial teacher at Millennium Performing Arts. In 2019 Millie became a dancer for the UK tour of Michael starring Ben - The ultimate tribute to Michael Jackson.
In between her busy schedule, Millie teaches here at the school as resident street and commercial teacher and we are honoured to have her talents at the school!
Sophie and Polly Duniam L.I.D.T.A - Guest Teachers
Growing up in the school, twin daughters Sophie and Polly Duniam's success started at a young age when they landed the lead roles in the children's television programme 'Home Farm Twins'. At 16 they left Norfolk to train professionally at Laine Theatre Arts. Since graduating from the college in 2005 they have performed in music videos for Pixie Lott, Duffy and Rita Ora's Video 'I will never let you down'. Before going on a UK tour with Rita Ora the girls landed a world tour with the Pet Shop Boys and Take That as backing singers and dancers. They have performed on many prestigious TV shows including The X Factor, The Brit Awards, Graham Norton, Paul O'Grady, Johnathon Ross, Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway and Never Mind the Buzzcocks and on stage alongside Dame Darcey Bussell in 'Viva La Diva', 'We Will Rock You' in Zurich, and Thursford Christmas Spectacular. The girls have their own band 'My Bad Sister' which gig worldwide. The girls have trained with the IDTA to Licentiate level with the most recent of their qualifications being Sophie attaining 96 (Distinction) for her Level 4 Diploma in Tap and Polly gaining her BodyBalance instructor qualification. The girls love to visit their home town when they can to run Easter and Summer Schools for the students at the school.