To touch, to move, to inspire. This is the true gift of dancE

Welcome to Strickland Cook Theatre School

We are an established theatre school based in West Yorkshire with studios in Halifax, West Yorkshire.


We have become the premier Dance and Theatre School in Halifax and are renowned
for producing high quality dancers and performers. 

  • We teach classes in Ballet, Modern/Jazz, Tap, Musical Theatre, Theatre Craft, Contemporary,
    Lyrical, and Drama.
  • We have a dedicated ‘Tiny Tots’ class teaching children from 2 years of age to introduce children to
    the wonderful world of dance.
  • All children have the opportunity to enjoy lessons as a ‘Once a week’ hobby or train to a professional level.
  • Children can train for Competitions, Shows & Pantomimes and we train our pupils for IDTA examinations.
  • Most importantly – we are a friendly school and offer a warm and welcome environment for your child
    to learn the disciplines of dance whilst having fun and making new friends.

Pupils can come just once a week for a hobby they purely enjoy. The children are encouraged to take IDTA examinations in all theatre subjects if they wish but they are not compulsory and they can also be involved in the school shows.

Or, for the children who take dancing/performing more seriously they can attend more classes per week and private tuition to take it to a higher level. These pupils can then enter competitions around Yorkshire, pantomimes our school productions & IDTA examinations from Grades to Majors in all theatre subjects.

We offer a large range of subjects for students to study including Ballet, Tap, Modern Jazz, Theatre Craft, Contemporary Dance, Lyrical Dance, Street Dance, Musical Theatre, Drama.

We don’t overcrowd the classes and when a class becomes too large
we split it so each child gets a high level of care and attention.

Fully qualified staff and we train to gain a high standard of Dance & Drama technique.

Classes are enjoyable yet structured for the children to become the best they can be.

Dance is great exercise and allows children to express themselves and become confident about themselves and develop their creativity and a love of dance whilst allowing them to achieve their full potential.

We encourage the children to express their individuality along with working as a team and supporting fellow pupils.

Every Child Matters

We are a happy, friendly school

Safe environment

All children welcome – girls & boys encouraged and no-one discriminated


Ballet for pleasure, Ballet for more serious-minded. This classical style of expressive movement has something to offer for everyone. read more

Ballet dates back to the 17th century. The conventional steps, grace and fluidity of movement are still found in Ballet today. Choreographers have been influenced by composers through the ages. Ballet has a technique which is the foundation of all dance.

Tap Dancing

Tap is rhythm – rhythm is tap. Its origins are many and varied. Americans claim its origin dates from the African Jazz age. read more

The Irish stake their claim to the Jigs and Step Dancing. The English relate back to northern Clog Dancers but whichever one chooses to believe, Tap is as popular today as it was in the heyday of the great Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly musicals. Evergreen shows, 42nd Street and Crazy For You, and the more reecnt Stomp and Tap Dogs highlight the great diversities of style and music in tapping. The IDTA has recently launched its new Tap Grade Examinations. Thousands of examinations and medal tests are held each year for childrens, students and professionals and a wide range of tests are available for adults of all ages. A gentle, rhythmical and enjoyable way to keep fit!

Modern Jazz

Modern Jazz is fun. You will learn to develop many different movements reaching to a broad choice of varying rhythms and musical styles. read more

Classes are structured to begin to prepare the physical strength and flexibility required to demonstrate emotion through interpretation of any musical genre, one minute you may be dancing to the rhythm of a drum, the next to a funky jazz style. You may explore contrast between expansion and relaxation or learn to isolate in a slick stylish mood, whatever the atmosphere of the class, it will be a wonderful opportunity to react and interact with other members of the class and really dance to express your feelings.


The name “Contemporary Dance” describes a range of techniques and styles used in classes, workshops and dance choreography. read more

Contemporary dance was developed in the early 20th century as a reaction against the rigid techniques of ballet. Pioneers such as Isadora Duncan and Martha Graham searched for ease of movement using the body’s natural lines and energy, allowing a greater range and fluidity of movement than conventional dance techniques. Contemporary dance is characterised by its versatility: contemporary can be danced to almost any style of music, or united with other dance forms to create new styles of movement. Contemporary seeks to work with the natural alignment of the body, and is therefore safe and accessible for beginners. At the same time, the ease of movement promoted by contemporary dance technique allows experienced dancers to push new boundaries of body movement.

Theatre Craft

This most exciting dance form encompasses the wide spectrum of productions that are Musical Theatre. read more

Shows like Grease, My Fair Lady, Bombay Dreams, The Lion King etc all diverse styles but all embraced by the Theatre Craft Title. A dance form for theatrical performance, preparing the body physically through exercise and stimulating artistic ability through dance movement, improvisation and interpretation of music. The use of hand props, make up and much more – it provides all the ‘must have’ qualities for today’s amataeur and professional dancer.


Lyrical dance is a fusion of ballet with jazz and contemporary dance techniques. read more

This style has its primary basis in ballet, combining the many technical elements of classical ballet with the freedom and airier aspects of jazz, contemporary and modern dance. It is commonly set to popular music with vocals as well as rich instrumental portions of a pop song. Lyrical inspires choreographers and dancers to use movement to interpret music and express emotion.


So you wanna be a star? Or maybe you just want to have the moves – and the fun – of the stars. So start with the IDTA’s Musical Theatre Syllabus! read more

A fusion of all modern music and dance styles, Musical Theatre takes you to inspirational heights. The spotlight’s on you!


We train pupils for IDTA examinations in
ALL theatre subjects which include:



Modern Jazz

Theatre Craft

Musical Theatre

Exams are not compulsory but are recommended in order for your child to gain a strong technique and monitor progress.

Exams start with ‘Rosettes’ at age 3. These exams are taken with the
teacher assisting the children to
ensure that they are not daunted, but
are introduced to an exam situation.

The children then progress through the IDTA examination system in each subject from Preparatory to Grade 6. Serious students may then move on to their professional examinations and Student Teaching qualifications.

We are very proud of the fact that our school has maintained a 100% pass rate with very high attainment grades gained.

IDTA Theatre Awards

From Grade 4 – outstanding students who gain over 90% may be nominated for an IDTA Theatre Award. 

We are very proud of the fact that we have had a number of our students nominated every year with many reaching the finals and gaining
special commendations.

Dancing Competitions and Festivals


These are for the very dedicated students who attend classes 2, 3 or 4 times a week. We enter three competitions per year around Yorkshire. Competitions give the students a sense of achievement and a drive to become the very best dancer / performer 
that they can.


Students who are regularly placed 
1st, 2nd or 3rd in sections may enter Championships. The school has had many Championship winners and runners up over the years.



For very dedicated pupils who have regularly won in Competitions and Championships, they have the opportunity to enter heats of
Miss Dance and Dance Master
once they reach the age of 16.
The school has had many Miss Dance and Dance Master finalists over the years.
In 2016 – Strickland Cook was the winner of Miss Dance !



Our school puts on regular shows that include every pupil in the school. This gives each child a chance to perform
in big theatres such as the
Victoria Theatre, Halifax and the Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield
in front of family and friends
and shows how all their hard work and commitment in class has helped
towards them becoming a performer.


From the age of 8 years and above,
our pupils who enter solo sections in competitions are given the chance
to perform in the
Huddersfield Light Opera Companies annual family pantomime at
the Lawrence Batley Theatre

School Rules

Whilst we keep our classes enjoyable – to learn to dance pupils must also follow our rules to gain discipline, good behaviour and respect. If pupils follow the basic rules – learning to perform is a more enjoyable experience.

  • We ask all pupils to wear the school uniform (please see the teachers).
  • Grooming – please come to classes well-groomed with the hair neatly dressed in styles suggested in our school
  • Please be on time – otherwise you may miss the crucial warm-up stage of the class.
  • Try not to miss many lessons so as not to fall behind. Please inform the teacher if you will be missing a lesson
  • Most of all – work hard, be the best you can and have fun!!

Charity Work

Each year the school chooses local children’s charity to support.
We feel that it is important for our students to think about children that
are far less fortunate than themselves and encourage them to raise funds to support our chosen charity.

Over the years we have supported and raised thousands of pounds for many local charities, some of which include:

  • The West Yorkshire Forget Me Not Trust
  • The Laura Crane Trust
  • The Candlelighters
  • The Andrew Spencer Memorial Trust
  • The Leeds Children’s Heart Surgery Fund
  • Roy Castle Tapathon

Our latest annual campaign provides supprt for The Salvation Army, whcih includes our Christmas Angel Tree and Easter Egg Collections.

Miss Pam

Miss Pam has been dancing since she was 3 years old and has run a dance school for fifty years with many of her past pupils securing professional contracts all over the world.

Miss Pam has also been involved with the Huddersfield Light Opera Company since she was seventeen, playing many lead roles. She has also choreographed and produced many of the Light Opera shows and has choreographed every pantomime since 1977.

Alongside this, Miss Pam has worked on many junior shows, and has choreographed for many other companies within the region including 12 years with Halifax Light Opera.

In the late 60’s,  Miss Pam choreographed two episodes of Junior Showtime for television.

Miss Zoe

Miss Zoe started dancing at the age of 2,  and was trained by her mother Pam Strickland until the age of 16 during which time she won many medals and trophies.
For two consecutive years she was
West Yorkshire Senior Ballet Champion
West Yorkshire Senior Tap Champion
West Yorkshire Senior Modern Champion.

Another great achievement for Miss Zoe was to compete in the national Miss Dance Finals where she made it to the final 12 girls.

Miss Zoe has also appeared in many shows and played lead roles which include the title role of Annie, Lola in Copacabana, Polly in Crazy For You along with many other parts with the Huddersfield Light Opera Company and many other societies in and around
West Yorkshire.

At the age of 16, Miss Zoe moved to London to start her professional training at the prestigious Laine Theatre Arts.
After her training, Miss Zoe had a 10 year career as a professional dancer working in television, pantomimes and old time musicals and working with stars such as David Essex, Barbara Windsor, Barry Cryer, Roy Hudd,
Les Dennis and others.

One of Miss Zoe’s proudest moments came in 1992 where she performed in front of
Prince Charles & Princess Diana in the
Royal Variety Perfomance at the
Dominion Theatre, London – televised by the BBC, where she worked alongside many celebrities that included Barry Manilow, Michael Crawford, Michael Ball, Brian Conley.

Miss Zoe was also lucky enough to travel the world working as a dancer for top cruise lines Costa and then Carnival Cruise Lines
where she met her husband Tony and they now have two children Isabelle and Max.

On returning to the UK, Miss Zoe gained her IDTA dance teaching qualifications and opened the Halifax branch of Strickland Cook Theatre School in 2001, initially starting at St Andrew’s church hall where many of our current students also started. It’s wonderful to see how they have progressed through the years and also helped to make it the warm and friendly environment it is today.

Miss Sarah

Miss Sarah

As a young dancer, Miss Sarah participated in numerous competitions and regional championships where she won several junior and senior titles, she also competed in the
Miss Dance of Great Britain Finals.
Miss Sarah also performed with several amateur operatic societies including Huddersfield Light Opera, Halifax Light Opera and the Take Two Theatre Company in Wakefield.

In 2000, Miss Sarah began her professional training at Doreen Bird College in Kent. During her time at Birds she performed at the Lindbury Studio Theatre at The Royal Opera House, London, The Shaw Theatre, London and the Peacock Theatre in London’s West End. She also performed in Europe with the Bird Theatre Company, and graduated with a BA Hons degree in Dance and Theatre.

Miss Sarah went on to work for Spirit of the Dance Productions, performing in Spirit of the Dance and Broadway Spectacular in the USA, as well as extensively touring Europe and China. In 2004, Miss Sarah performed in the Qdos pantomime Cinderella at the Bristol Hippodrome alongside comedian Julian Clarey.

In 2005, Miss Sarah fulfilled her dream of becoming a Can-Can dancer at the world famous Parisian cabaret the ‘Moulin Rouge’ performing in ‘Feerie’, and she also toured with the Moulin Rouge to Germany and Brazil. Miss Sarah’s last professional dance job, and career highlight was performing in the world famous Rio de Janeiro carnival in 2009 with the cast of the Moulin Rouge.

Since moving back to West Yorkshire, Miss Sarah has trained as a Secondary School teacher and taught A Level Performing Arts, BTEC Level 3 and Level 2 Dance
at Ryburn Valley High School.

Here’s a small selection of some of the lovely comments we have received over the past few years:

My daughter is always so excited to go to dancing class

Our daughter had been attending a different school and there was no structure to the lessons so a friend recommended 
we try Strickland Cook Theatre School and now she is able to combine the disciplines of dance whilst having fun.

Our children have been attending since they were 3 years old and we have all made so many friends that going
to dancing class is something that we all look forward to.

From the very first lesson my daughter had – we were made to feel welcome. Everyone was so friendly and helpful.

Our son attends drama classes at Strickland Cook Theatre School – he says that the classes are so much fun
and have loads of variety each and every week.

Our daughter has been dancing for more than 5 years now and we are so proud to see how she is developing as a dancer
and performer along with passing all her dance exams with very high marks – thank you Pam & Zoe.

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Putting up Christmas Trees is good for the soul! 💗 Our studios are all decorated ready for our students tomorrow along with our 2 Angel Trees. #christmas #angeltree #happydays #SalvationArmy #thinkingofothers👼😇🎄☃️🤶🏻🎅

Really need more hours in a day at SCTS HQ!!! What a busy year! Excited for our Christmas Cabaret Night on Saturday! #christmas #busyyear #scts 🎁🎈🥳🎄🤶🏻🎅

Huge congratulations to our beautiful 🌟MEGAN MASTERSON 🌟
Winner of the Four Counties Festival Miss Dance Heat & through to the 2020 finals in Blackpool!
Fantastic news sweetheart, we’re so very proud of you XXX

🌟🌟🌟An amazing 3rd place in the South East Yorkshire Junior Modern Championship today for our amazing HERMIONE BOOTH! Forever proud of your hard work, dedication & achievements sweetheart! 🌟🌟🌟

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