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  5. The Murielle Ashcroft Award 2023

11 August 2023

We are very proud to announce that the 2023 Murielle Ashcroft Award recipients, for their outstanding creativity, loyalty, and commitment to the Modern Theatre Faculty, are Jackie Barnes and Cathy Stevens

Thank you for your decades of expertise, knowledge, and logistical talents in delivering our Janet Cram Awards!

Jackie Barnes FISTD Cert.Ed

DDE Assessor | Lead Examiner | Teaching Team Member | Mentor

Jackie Barnes initially trained with Sue Stephens and was proud to join the very first year group of students at Performers College. It was here where she gained her Associate Teaching qualifications in Tap, Modern Theatre & Ballet. Jackie then worked as a professional dancer, for choreographers such as Dougie Squires, Anthony Johns, Brian Rogers, and Ray Cornell, for over 10 years.

When Jackie decided to return to teaching, she gained her Fellowships in both Tap & Modern Theatre and went on to become an Approved Tutor, to be able to train dance teachers of the future. Jackie became an examiner in 2004 and was invited to teach at both ISTD Tap Awards and Janet Cram Awards and was a member of the Modern Theatre Faculty Committee from 2011 to 2021. Whilst on Committee, she expanded the Janet Cram Awards and lectured for both faculties, in the UK and internationally. She wrote Unit 4b of the ISTD’s DDP (Level 6) teaching qualification and is a DDE & DDP mentor, and DDE Assessor. 

Cathy Stevens FISTD BCPA

DDE Tutor | Examiner | Teaching Team Member | Mentor

Cathy trained at Bird College under the guidance of Miss Doreen Bird and after graduating secured performing contracts on the QE2. Cathy danced and choreographed extensively, including West End shows including “Underneath the Arches” at the Prince of Wales Theatre, and “Hi de Hi!” at the Victoria Palace Theatre alongside television appearances, pantomime, trade, and fashion shows. After Cathy’s performing career, she developed and ran her own theatre school in Surrey for over 20 years as well as teaching at vocational schools including Bird College, The Centre PAC, Italia Conti Academy and Elmhurst Ballet School.

Cathy is a Senior examiner for the ISTD Modern Theatre and Tap faculties and was a member of the Modern Theatre Committee for 13 years. During this time, she organised and developed the Janet Cram Awards for over a decade, initially with Myra Tiffin and then with Jackie Barnes. She is a member of the Modern Theatre Teaching Team and examines both in the UK and Internationally and is the founding member of the “Body Control Pilates Academy” having qualified in 2005.

 Cathy is also a partner in the Approved Dance Centre ‘DanceTeachersInc’ which is based in Lingfield, Surrey. DanceTeachersInc trains both new and experienced teachers to further their ISTD teaching careers from DDE to Fellowship.

Hear more from our recipients here:


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