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Our Teachers

Our Teachers




The Orchard Dance Academy was created in 1981 by Jean Orchard, an ex-professional dancer, and has been providing classes in Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire ever since.

Jean, a Mother of 4 (and now proud grandmother!) is well experienced in dealing with children of all ages and has seen her pupils go from being toddlers through to dancing professionally on stage in many countries around the world.

Jean started dancing at the age of 5 and by the time she was 10 had gained a place at the Bush Davies Ballet School where she studied full-time for 5 years. From there she went on to study at the Italia Conti in London – where one of her teachers was ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ judge, Arlene Phillips.

Jean then appeared on TV and danced professionally in numerous Pantomimes, Spring & Summer seasons – both in the UK and abroad. The highlight of Jean’s career was when she danced in a 6-month season at the London Palladium, and in the same year had the opportunity to perform in a Royal Command Performance for HRH Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

Jean has won the Caldecourt Cup for her contribution to her home village of Stoke Poges – where she has lived since 1978. Jean prides herself on having a close relationship with all the pupils and their parents, and feels so privileged to have taught so many wonderful students over the years. 



Annelise began dancing at age three at the Orchard Dance Academy, taught by her mother Jean. During this time she performed with The English Youth Ballet and in a professional Qdos Pantomime. At age 18 Annelise then went on to train at the highly accredited Performers College, gaining a distinction in a National Diploma in Musical Theatre. During her time there she trained in all styles of dance, as well as acting and singing. 


Since graduating, Annelise has had the opportunity to travel all over the world, performing on both stage and screen. Her Credits include: Glinda in ‘The Wizard of Oz’ (Hammond Productions), Dancer - BRIT Awards, Dancer (P&O Cruises), Dancer - ‘Puttin On The Ritz’ UK Tour (Spirit Productions), Dancer - ‘Hooray For Hollywood’ China Tour (Spirit Productions), Singer/Dancer (Carnival Cruiselines), Dancer ‘Big Brother’s Bit On The Side’, Choreographer/Dance Captain ‘Cinderella’ (New Pantomime Productions). 


Annelise is also a qualified ISTD teacher, and has always taught at The Orchard Dance Academy alongside her performing career. With a particular interest in Tap and Modern, Annelise loves having the opportunity to bring her knowledge from the stage to inspire her students and ensures her classes are always full of fun! 

Jessie Messer-Stalbow.jpg

Jessie Messer-Stalbow 


Jessie started dancing at the age of 3, and joined the Orchard Dance Academy aged 6, studying Ballet, Tap and Modern, under the guidance of Mrs Orchard. Over her years of training, Jessie progressed up through many Ballet, Tap & Modern grades, taking numerous ISTD exams, including Intermediate Ballet and Intermediate Modern. 


During her time at the Orchard Dance Academy, Jessie successfully auditioned for the English Youth Ballet, a professional Qdos Pantomime, and performed in countless Orchard Dance Academy stage shows. 


At age 18 Jessie went on to train at Millennium Performing Arts College in London, studying Dance & Musical Theatre. Jessie has always had a passion for teaching, and has regularly returned to the Orchard Dance Academy to choreograph at show time. 


In recent years Jessie has pursued a career working as a dog trainer for an assistance dogs charity, teaching and mentoring staff, volunteers and clients. She has also gained her Level 3 qualification in British Sign Language. 


Jessie is currently working towards completing her ISTD DDE Ballet teaching qualification and is delighted to begin her new teaching role at the Orchard Dance Academy. She hopes she can inspire lots more young dancers and share her passion for performing.

Whilst in training at the Orchard Dance Academy, many of our students have successfully auditioned for both The English Youth Ballet and Christmas pantomimes, allowing them to develop their performance skills further and have an insight into the professional world of dance.


We are delighted when any of our students decide to pursue a career in dancing following on from their time at the Orchard Dance Academy. We are proud to say that some of our previous students have gone on to train at these prestigious vocational dance colleges

Our Students

We are delighted to say some of our students have gone on to perform aboard Luxury Cruise lines, in Professional Pantomimes, in UK and International Tours and at even performed at the BRIT Awards. 



Without such a wonderful teacher there is no way I would have got as far as I have now. Even after leaving the Academy, you have continued to support me though my 3 teaching exams which I have successfully passed. I hope to be a teacher who is looked up to as much as you are (I just got my teaching qualifications in Ballet, Tap and Modern).

- Kathryn Fowler

I can’t believe that my ambition of getting into Dance College has actually been achieved and, without a doubt, I believe that without you and your incredible teaching, guidance and support that I wouldn’t have made it. You’ve created this passion for dance that I have and always encouraged it and believed in me.

- Jessie Messer Stalbow

The shows are, as everyone always says, amazing fun and uniquely professional. Your dedication and hard work show in the high standards of every pupil and in how attached we’ve all become to you and to dancing. I really can’t imagine having grown up without your school; it seems like such a central part of who I am. I’m having to say goodbye to a lot of things as I move on to university, but the Orchard Academy will be one of the hardest to part with.

- Hannah Duncombe

You have taught me the virtues of patience and practice … You have taught people manners and respect and, most of all, I think you have provided a home from home: a place where people feel safe and welcome when other things in their life aren’t going well … I made some excellent friends along the way, lifelong friends – your school is so special in providing those … As a teacher, a role model and a friend, you have always been there.


- Anna Spooner

I’ve been with Orchard Dance Academy since I was two and a half years old, that’s 15 years! You watched me grow from being a little girl to what I am now.


- Sophie Fowler

It seems so surreal that I am heading off to Laine Theatre Arts and I am truly thankful that you have been my teacher because I have learnt so much and improved greatly under your guidance.


- Olivia Koewius

Jessie’s dancing is the most important thing in her life, and you have inspired and nurtured her talent, and created the wonderful shows that have been the highlight of her year … I am also sure that whatever Jessie goes on to do, the Orchard Shows will always have a unique and special place in her memory and her heart – and in mine.


- Sue Stalbow (parent)

Thank you so much for so many wonderful years of dancing that I will never forget! I have so many fantastic memories of class work, exams, choreographic shows, fetes, displays and shows over the fifteen years that I’ve been at Orchard.


- Olivia Murphy

Even though I am not a ‘natural dancer’ you have been an excellent teacher and I have learnt so much. I also enjoyed coming so much because the atmosphere was so friendly and you care about all of us.


- Lotty Howitt

You can take the girls out of Orchard – but you can’t take Orchard out of the girls … FACT!

- Hannah & Katie Duncombe

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