Meet the team behind the award-winning Razzamataz Theatre School franchise. Our people are at the very heart of what we do and many have been there since the very beginning.
Our Founder and Managing Director is still very much involved in the day to day running and decision-making and is supported by a team of professionals who bring their own unique skills and experience to the schools and who all share a passion for performing arts.
“We are privileged to work with young people in the performing arts, to watch them grow and help shape their experiences. I’m so proud of our team of Head Office staff and Principals for the work they do and the commitment they extend to the students of Razzamataz and the lasting legacy that we are creating.”
The quality of our entire team reflects the quality of the franchise opportunity we offer, and if you feel like you have what it takes to run a Razzamataz school then we’d love to meet you.
Managing Director and Founder
Denise is the Managing Director and Founder of Razzamataz Theatre Schools, a performing arts school franchise focused on excellence in training and creating amazing opportunities for students. Denise is a former professional dancer performing in summer seasons, cruise ships, pantomimes, European and UK tours, the Millennium Dome and the London Palladium. Her love for performing and the confidence it gave her was the inspiration in setting up Razzamataz in 2000 in Penrith, Cumbria. It was appearing on BBC’s Dragons’ Den in 2007 that really brought Razzamataz into the spotlight. Today, Razzamataz offers many additional products, has students appearing in West End shows, on TV and in major films and has created a flexible and financially rewarding business for many franchisees who are dedicated to the brand and its continued development. Denise’s passion and drive has seen a number of strategic partnerships including opportunities with Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, The Children’s University, the Children’s Activities Accreditation, The Stage newspaper, Arts Awards, TUI; home of First Choice, Thomson Holidays, Eurocamp, Universal Pictures, Top Talent Kids, Cravendale and Bannatyne’s.
Denise is a mum to two boys, football crazy Callum and Razz crazy Lewis.
Creative Director & Franchise Support Mentor
Charlotte has been with Razzamataz for over a decade joining first as a Dance Teacher at three Razzamataz schools, then she went on to become a multiple Franchise Owner and now Creative Director and Support Mentor at Head Office. Charlotte is passionate about all things Razz and is ideally placed to guide new franchisees through their own journeys. Charlotte previously trained as a professional dancer and singer at Brian Rogers College Performers. Charlotte's career highlights include performing on the Brian Conley Show, Barbara Windsor’s Hall of Fame on ITV, performing as a dancer for Lionel Ritchie, traveling to Beijing to perform for the 2008 Olympic Bid and dancing for the Queen Mother’s 100th birthday celebrations. Among her many qualifications Charlotte holds an ADPA Level 4 Teaching Qualification after successfully passing the WORLDS first accredited street dance teacher training course with Urban Strides in 2011.
Other qualifications include PTLLS Level 4 with Trinity College London through the BBO, Trinity Safe & Effective Dance Practice Certificate, a registered Arts Award Advisor and winner of the prestigious Razzamataz Franchisee of the Year title 2012 and Rebecca Rennie Outstanding Contribution Awards in 2015, 2016 and Brand Ambassador Award 2017. Charlotte is currently working towards her Qualified Franchise Professional (QFP) qualification. Charlotte is also mum to Freddie.
Head of Franchisee Support
Suzie is the current chairperson for the Scottish Franchise forum, part of the British Franchise Association, a Chamber of Commerce Business Mentor and was one of the few franchisors to franchise their brands internationally having built her own retail franchise network of around 70 franchisees in six countries over a seven year period. Suzie then went on to manage a £30m turnover corporate Franchisor, with three unique professional services franchise brands for a period of three years. Suzie has won multiple awards in the franchise industry and has worked with Razzamataz for more than ten years, implementing strategies and advice to continue to grow the business. Suzie works with the team to support our franchisees as well as hosting our annual Conferences and Regional Meetings. She has been instrumental in creating new incentive schemes that have been welcomed across the network. Suzie is a new mum to her baby daughter.Email
Public Relations Advisor and content creator
Karen and Denise met more than 25 years ago as dancers. While Denise was building the Razzamataz schools, Karen retrained as a journalist and worked for national newspapers such as The Mail on Sunday, The Independent and many magazines. Karen then diversified into PR and now with her role at Razzamataz, she is able to combine her knowledge as a performer and a media expert to help raise the profile of Razzamataz for both Head Office and the regional schools. Razzamataz has featured in national newspapers such as The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Stage and The Scotsman as well as lots of magazines and regional press. Karen is also responsible for creating our own magazine, RazzaMagazine, as well as all our student and franchisees’ newsletters, our blogs and many of our award entries. Karen has two children, a teen and a tween, and has been working with Denise for almost ten years.Email
Nick holds a First Class degree from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and has spent his entire life to date, dedicated to the world of performing arts and the theatre industry. After having originally trained as an actor and spending time working in the industry, Nick has forged a career working across education in many roles, an area where he is passionate about improving the life of young people. Along with his Head Office role, Nick is also the joint Principal and Franchisee of Razzamataz Sutton Coldfield with Gemma Hextall. The pair took over the school in September 2015 and have seen it grow by over 540%! Nick's background in working with young people in theatre, combined with success in arts management, business development, marketing and education sectors make him a valued member of the Razzamataz Head Office team.Email
Head Office Accounts
Before joining the Razzamataz team in 2012 Karen previously had been living and working in the Midlands area for almost 15 years, whilst there she gained her qualification in the Association of Accounting Technicians. Karen gained her bookkeeping experience working in the hotel industry for many years as a Financial Controller within the Holiday Inn chain of hotels. Karen’s key responsibilities include company invoicing, credit control, management accounts, payroll and overseeing our franchisee management fees. Karen is mum to her Razz crazy daughter.Email
Health and Safety Support
Jason has been in the Health and Safety industry for 20 years, now working as a safety advisor for Bourne Leisure. He has written RTSL Health and Safety policies and delivers our Health and Safety training and recruiting our excellent franchisees. Jason brings his experience to the Head Office team to help the development of our franchise opportunities.
Child Protection Support
Louise began working with vulnerable children and adults in 2006, she worked with children and adults with both physical and learning disabilities. After working with a Carlisle based charity for eight years Louise began working freelance providing training and support with safeguarding, child protection, recruitment and disability awareness. Louise holds two level 4 NVQ's in Health and Social Care and leadership and management, Level 5 in Children and Young People’s Development and Services, Level 3 Safeguarding Children and Young People. Louise has been training staff and providing help and support for children with additional needs for more than ten years.
Network Developments & Franchise Advisory Council
Hayley's career has taken many exciting turns over the last 16 years, starting out as a dancer performing around the World at Disneyland and Cruise Ships. Hayley then worked towards her MBA and gained a prestigious role in marketing with a global company. But it was always her dream to open a theatre school so she swapped her corporate career and became franchise owner of Razzamataz Medway in 2010. This proved to be a very good decision as the unprecedented growth of the school led her to bring in one of her trusted staff members as joint Principal and business owner. This has allowed Hayley to continue to offer her students amazing opportunities and to also work with Head Office to develop a number of new and exciting products that have been successfully rolled out to the whole network. Hayley also undertakes numerous projects on behalf of Head Office including partnerships with Universal Pictures, Kids Casting Call Pro, and First Choice as well as being instrumental in developing our new BMS. In recognition of the work Hayley, Emily and the team have achieved, the school has been awarded Franchise of the Year in the UK network four times , Most Outstanding School and Best New Business in Medway. Hayley won the British Franchise Association (bfa) ‘Lifestyle franchisee of the year’ award in 2018, plus the bfa ‘Franchise of The Year’ 2018 Award!Email
Network Developments & Franchise Advisory Council
Gemma is a graduate of Birmingham school of acting having studied BA (Hons) Applied Performance (community and education). Gemma is a young practitioner who is passionate about educating the community including working creatively with Birmingham’s Headway brain injury unit and a number of elderly care homes specializing in arts therapies for Dementia care. Gemma has also worked as site manager leading young people’s activities for a holiday club provider. Gemma is also a professional musician, who pursues a solo career as a singer / songwriter and has worked professionally as a guitarist and singer.
Stage Manager, Razz Early Years Development & Franchise Advisory Council
Helen Bell, Principal of Razzamataz Sheffield, launched the school in September 2012 after working for the company for four years as a Vocal Coach in Cumbria. In 2010, she graduated with a First Class Joint Honours degree in Drama & Musical Theatre from Cumbria Institute of the Arts. Her performing credits included Gertrude in Seussical, Valerie in Road and Drowsy in The Drowsy Chaperone. After her degree Helen went on to work at Razzamataz Head Office teaching in Centre Parcs and managing schools in the North. She continues to work with Head Office during large-scale productions in the West End and Disneyland Paris. Helen is very passionate about Razzamataz and the wonderful experiences provided for students. Helen is mum to her toddler son Harrison.
Event Manager & Franchise Advisory Council
Debbie trained at one of Scotland’s most prestigious theatre schools, the Glasgow Academy of Musical Theatre Arts (GAMTA) where she gained her associate teaching award with the British Association of Teachers of Dance (BATD.) Debbie went on to continue her training at Motherwell College, the first European Voice Training System Educational Affiliate. She graduated in 2011 with a BA Honours in Musical Theatre. Debbie worked for Razzamataz in 2011 in Tenerife and has since gone on to become Project Manager for First Choice. Debbie became manager of Razzamataz Carlisle in 2012 and in 2016, she took over from Denise Hutton-Gosney as the owner and Principal. Debbie works with Head Office and is instrumental in our Disneyland Paris performance opportunity.Email
Future Fund Charity Ambassador
Michael attended Performers College in Essex and his professional credits include Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (West End), West Side Story (Tour), Singin’ in the Rain (Tour), 42nd Street (Tour and Stuttgart), 3 Musketeers (Stuttgart), Elisabeth (Stuttgart), Babes In Arms (Cardiff), My One and Only (West End). He has worked with Elton John, George Michael, Geri Haliwell, Michael Buble and Gloria Gaynor. Michael is passionate about supporting students to work professionally and has raised thousands of pounds through his role as Future Fund charity ambassador. Michael is a keen runner and regularly takes part in sporting challenges.Email
David has worked in the world of design and print since the 1980s and more specifically with Denise and Razzamataz Theatre Schools LTD from the very earliest days. As well as design, David has lots of management experience having worked for local government for over a decade.
David works with Head Office and Razzamataz franchisees to create all the creative and marketing materials used throughout the schools.
ICT & Marketing Support
Ian has more than 20 years IT experience and supports Razzamataz franchisees and Head Office in number of ICT roles. He is instrumental in helping the network with SEO and Google optimisation and most importantly, he patiently supports all of our franchisees who sometimes have very little understanding of IT.
Catherine went to Oxford Polytechnic in the 70s to study book publishing. After working in many sectors, including publishing, printing, bookselling, youth work and social housing, she took my data protection exams in 2008. Catherine is now a data protection consultant working mostly with charities, third sector organisations and Cumbrian businesses. She supports Razzamataz Head Office and franchisees, helping them to comply with the GDPR, keeping the personal information of clients and staff safe. As a child, Catherine studied performing arts and wanted to be a ballet dancer or an actress. She may not have achieved these ambitions but she is delighted to be now working within the performing arts industry.