0151 709 3323
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35 Sefton St. Liverpool L8 5SL

Our History


Shelagh Elliott-Clarke, the daughter of a wine merchant’s clerk from Birkenhead, was born in 1905; one year after the Imperial Society of Dance Teachers (ISTD) was founded.


She became an influential character, along with Zelia Raye, Janet Cram, Marjorie Davies and Olive Ripman, contributing to the birth of the Modern Theatre Faculty in 1932 and making it the jewel in the crown of the ISTD.

Miss Clarke was chairmen of the Modern Theatre Faculty from 1970 until her untimely death in 1974. She had a varied and relentless career in performing arts, but her first love was teaching.


The Shelagh Elliott-Clarke School of Dance and Dramatic Art was established in 1925, making us one of the oldest theatre schools in the world. As a formidable and well-respected woman in the world of the arts and entertainment in the mid-twentieth century, she tirelessly expanded her vocational school and college into one of the most famous and successful training facilities in the country.


From 1974 until her retirement in 2003, Miss Annette Thompson continued the work of Miss Clarke and the school went from strength to strength with a reputation of producing highly polished talented students who have taken the name of Elliott-Clarke around the globe.

Suzanne Sharkey Google Profile

Principal Suzanne Sharkey


In 2003, Suzanne Sharkey became only the third Principal of the school in over 80 years. Miss Sharkey has overseen the move to state of the art studios and has introduced a range of new classes to reflect the changing landscape of the modern entertainment world.


Due to the success of 'Shelagh Elliott-Clake Memorial Trophy Day 2013' it is with great excitment we can announce plans to make it an anual event.

A celebration of technical strength and artistry is a fitting tribute to the great lady.

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In association with...

Education Centre
European Union Social Fund
Imperial Serciety of Teachers of Dance
Royal Academy of Dance
Knowsley Community College