Faculty

Urdang’s highly skilled teaching staff, who are leading professionals in their field

We understand the value and balance of experience and teaching skills, with many tutors still pursuing performance careers as dancers, actors, singers, directors and choreographers in the industry. Students continue to have significant and positive exposure to industry leaders. A large number of guest professionals, West End casting directors and choreographers are invited to the Academy to work with and talk to the students as part of the musical theatre programme, for performance assessments and mock auditions. Select a faculty member to view their bio:

Rob Archibald – Head of Musical Theatre BA PG.Dip.Perf PGCLTHE LRAM FHEA Dip.SBM/IHM

Rob heads up the musical theatre department and is Creative Director for the third year musicals. He was formally the Head of Singing & Music at LAMDA in London, following his role as Head of Singing at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, London. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and is also a qualified Massage Therapist. Rob originally studied as an actor/singer/dancer and his credits include: Les Miserables, Batboy, Ragtime, Grease, Riverdance, Jerry Springer – the Opera, Carousel, Ragtime, The Wild Party, Moon Landing, Grab Me A Gondola, Dude! Where’s My Teddy Bear?

As Musical Director his credits include: Oliver! Grease, Little Shop of Horrors, The Drowsy Chaperone, The Secret Garden, Parade, Sweeney Todd and most recently, MD/Arranger for Linzi Hateley – True Colours.

Rob also regularly coaches professional performers/productions around the UK. Recent credits include: Soul Sister (Savoy Theatre) and Loserville (Garrick Theatre) and the Glee Club Challenge (Indigo 02). As a composer his credits include: The Laramie Project, The Temperamentals and his debut album ‘Scrapbook’ with fellow composer Verity Quade, featuring many West End performers. He co-wrote the song ‘Confidence is Consciencless’, featured in the Sky TV documentary ‘Life Is Beauty-Full’.

Lynsey McDougall – Head of Dance

Lynsey was born in Glasgow where she began her dance training from a young age and gained the National in Diploma in Professional Musical Theatre from Urdang Academy.

Since graduating Lynsey has performed in numerous music videos including ‘On the Radio’ for the Concretes and was a featured dancer for Bent Attitude Dance in ‘Flood’. In 2008 Lynsey decided to focus her career on teaching and choreographing becoming a full time member of Urdang. She has gained the level 5 DTLLS qualification and is a member of the Institute for Learning and a registered teacher with the British Ballet Organisation.

In 2011 Lynsey was promoted to Head of Dance and has been instrumental in developing the curriculum and training of both the Musical Theatre and Dance Diplomas. Lynsey has been one of the college’s main choreographers for many years and co-ordinates all dance content for Urdang alongside the Artistic Director. She also travels nationwide giving external workshops and is heavily involved in judging competitions such as The Kent Dance and Festival4Stars as well as being part of the team that has represented the Urdang Academy at Move It.

Nathan James MA(Dist.) Fellow and Examiner ISTD FIDTA MBBO MIfL (QTLS) – Head of Degree and Academic Studies

Nathan trained in the Midlands and has worked in a variety of areas as a dancer/singer. He has danced for Celebrity and Princess Cruise Lines, performed in several pantomimes for Qdos Entertainment at the Birmingham Hippodrome and appeared in tours in Copacabana and Hello, Dolly. Nathan’s last musical appearance was in 42nd Street in Stuttgart.

As a teacher, Nathan has taught at many vocational colleges in the UK at both diploma and degree level.

Nathan has worked at the Urdang Academy since 2008 teaching tap and jazz, as well as choreographing for annual productions. Nathan was also part of the academic team that developed the delivery of several modules on the course and is a dissertation tutor for 3rd year students. As Head of Degree and Academic Studies for both the undergraduate and diploma courses, Nathan is keen to bridge the gap between training as performance practitioners with the ability to develop strong analytical and research skills.

Nathan is a Fellow and Examiner for the ISTD Modern and tap faculties as well as a dance adjudicator for the British and International Federation of Festivals and All England Dance. He gained his Cert Ed. and qualified teacher status with the British Ballet Organisation and Trinity, London, alongside being awarded an MA in Professional Practice with Distinction from Middlesex University. Currently Nathan is in his final year as a PhD in Dance student at the University of Roehampton. During the research process Nathan has spent much time in the USA interviewing stars of the golden age of the Hollywood musical and contemporary musical theatre choreographers – of which has been integrated into his own teaching here at Urdang.

Neil Kagan BA (Hons) Theatre Studies – Head of Production/Technical Manager

Neil trained at Roehampton University, where he was awarded a B.A. (Honours) in Drama and Theatre Studies. An experienced puppet and prop designer and maker, his work includes productions with the Royal Academy of Music, Tam Tam Theatre, English Pocket Opera, The British Council, London School of Musical Theatre and the Half Moon Young People’s Theatre among others. After working in a freelance capacity with Urdang, Neil joined the staff full time in 2007 as a permanent Stage Manager before helping to develop his current post of Head of Production and Technical Manager. In addition to this role, he also teaches on the Degree programme leading the Performance Culture module and is a tutor on the Dissertation module where his research areas include performance and cultural theory, technical theatre and contemporary performance practice.

Nathan “NEO” Gordon is a highly respected choreographer, creative director & dancer in the UK & abroad. He graduated from Middlesex University with a BA (Hons) in Dance in 2008 where he studied Contemporary, Jazz and Ballet. Neo has over a decade of professional experience within the Hip Hop & Commercial dance field where he danced & choreographed for a diverse range of artists & established companies.

NEO was one of the creative directors, choreographers & dancers for Flawless Entertainment for 10 years. In 2015 he launched his solo career as a choreographer and creative director. His choreographic style has been described as “Flo” which symbolises the connection he finds between the music and the movement he creates.

With his precise, innovative, dynamic & current choreography, NEO has travelled worldwide to teach, choreograph & perform including Los Angeles, New York, China, Hong Kong, Dubai, Singapore, India, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy. His professional experience ranges from television & film, to live concerts, corporate & theatre with his work viewed by millions. Credits include: StreetDance 1 and 2, X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent, London 2012, Beyonce, Kylie Minogue, Madonna, JLS and Kate Moss.

In September 2015 he joined the Urdang Academy as Assistant Head of Dance and is excited for this new journey ahead.