Our team are what makes Razzamataz the award winning Theatre School that we are.
Founded by seasoned performer and Managing Director Denise Hutton-Gosney, Razzamataz has gone from strength to strength thanks to our passion, hard work and winning business franchise formula – a formula that in 2007 grabbed the attention of multi-millionaire businessman Duncan Bannatyne on Dragons Den.
We can also boast that our Head of Franchisee Recruitment is one of the UK’s most sought after and experienced franchise consultants Suzie McCafferty.
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 launch Razzamataz in 2000 in Penrith, Cumbria, whilst a choreographer & dance captain at Oasis Holiday Village in Penrith, and a part time fitness instructor. The popularity of our curriculum was so overwhelming that quick expansion to neighbouring Carlisle was next in 2001, then Dumfries, West Cumbria, Keswick, Kendal and Paisley! Denise then decided to invest in Franchising her business & Glasgow, Edinburgh & Derby were also born from trusted team members before her famous appearance on BBCs Dragons’ Den in 2007! Duncan Bannatyne was an investor for 7 years, it was in 2007 Denise also became a mum for the first time, and juggled being a Mumpreneur!
We have worked with huge brands like TUI; home of First Choice, Thomson Holidays & Sensatori where Denise & her team grew it from a 2 teacher pilot to a 40 strong team operation! We are proud to have partnered with; Universal Movies, Warner Brothers, The Bannatyne Group, Center Parcs, Haven, Direct Line Insurance, Cravendale....to name but a few! Today we are almost a 50 strong network and are proud of our student successes such as Tamara Smart from Barnet on the ‘Worst Witch’ and Disney film 'Artemis Fowl' and our franchisee successes such as Hayley Limpkin from Medway Winning the coveted Bfa ‘Franchise of The Year’ Award in 2018.
We have developed many additional products such as; Razz Parties, Razz Schools Clubs, Razz Tots, Razz Project Intense and more recently Razz Early Years. Denise is equally very passionate about charity work & giving back to the community. We have also proudly taken on our students across the network to perform at Disney Paris, he Indigo at the o2 London and Her Majesty's Theatre in London's West End on several occasions.
As a network we have awarded around half a million pounds worth of scholarship places to young people; the strong ethos of Razz is to make the arts as accessible to as many people as we possibly can. Over the years Denise has personally raised in excess of £100,000 for; Ethiopia, Yorkhill Hospital, Carlisle floods victims, RVI Childrens Cancer unit, Save The Children, Mencap and more recently for JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund) and Diabetes UK as her own young son was diagnosed with T1 diabetes aged just 2; doing crazy things like trekking 40 miles across Hadrians Wall and the famous ‘3 Peaks’ Challenge in 24 hours, plus Tough Mudder for our own charity ‘The Future Fund’. Denise worked hard to set up this charity in 2010 from her own experiences of being at College and sadly having to come home due to financial difficulties. The Future Fund supports our students with grants to help them pay for things like resources, travel, accomodation...to allow them to continue their Performing Arts dreams.
Creative Director & Franchise Support Mentor
Charlotte has been with Razzamataz for over a decade joining first as a Dance Teacher at 3 Razzamataz schools, then onto become a multiple Franchise Owner and now Creative Director and Support Mentor. Charlotte previously trained as a professional dancer and singer at Brian Rogers College “Performers”. During her Performing career Charlotte's 'highlights' include performing on the Brian Conley Show, Barbara Windsors Hall of Fame on ITV, performing at the “Ria Stadium” in Amsterdam as a dancer for Lionel Ritchie, traveling to Beijing to perform for the 2008 Olympic Bid and dancing for the Queen Mothers 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.
Head of Franchisee Recruitment & Franchisee Support
Suzie is the current chairperson for the Scottish Franchise forum, part of the BFA, a Chamber of Commerce Business Mentor and was one of 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’s main role at Razzamataz is recruiting our excellent franchisees and assisting with the development of our franchise opportunities.Email
Public Relations Advisor & Franchisee Support
Karen and Denise met more than 20 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. Latterly Karen 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 and The Scotsman as well as lots of magazines and regional press.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 and also the business and theatre venue world - always in theatre focussed roles. Along with his Head Office role, Nick is also the joint Principal and Franchisee of Razzamataz Sutton Coldfield with Gemma Hextall, having jointly taken over the school in September 2015, they have lead the growth of the school 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 see him an excited and proud member of the Razz Head Office team.
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.Email
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.Email
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 8 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 peoples 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 over ten years.Email
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 with the Open University and then snapped up a marketing role global blue chip field marketing company CPM. Whilst at CPM Hayley quickly climbed the ranks from field executive to Regional Manager for BSkyB to having the full responsibility of managing client's field marketing budgets of some of the UK's top brands, Paramount Pictures and Virgin Atlantic. Hayley joined the Razzamataz network in 2010 as Franchise owner and Principal of Razzamataz Medway.
A year into setting up her first franchise, Hayley set up a second franchise, and also took on the role of Franchise Support Manager. Now with a large school and a gorgeous little 4 year old to keep up with, Hayley has sold one of her businesses and currently undertakes projects on behalf of the Franchisor, setting up new partnerships / affiliations for the Razzamataz network, including Universal Pictures, Kids Casting Call Pro, and First Choice.Hayley and her team developed, designed and launched a new product for the Razzamataz network - Razz Project Intense classes. This product is now being rolled out nationally across the Razzamataz network. Hayley is now co-owner and founding Principal of Razzamataz Medway alongside Emily Miller.
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.
Nick Furlong & Gemma Hextall
Network Developments & Franchise Advisory Council
Nick and Gemma support Head Office with Network Developments and are part of our Franchise Advisory Council. Both are joint Principals at Razzamataz Sutton Coldfield.
Nicholas trained at Birmingham School of Acting (now Royal Birmingham Conservatoire) studying applied performance (community and education), graduating with a First Class BA (Hons) degree. Having been acting and performing from a very early age Nicholas has also built up a wealth of experience teaching drama, including time spent teaching in the U.S.A. Nicholas also has experience as a project co-ordinator and administrator, as well as a number of technical theatre roles including production management, stage management, sound and LX operating and show calling. Nicholas' previous theatre management experience also includes business development work as hire and events officer as well as being a key holder and duty manager at a large regional theatre venue.
Gemma is a graduate 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. Having worked creatively with Birmingham Headway brain injury unit and a number of elderly care homes in Birmingham 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 also has experience as a project administrator and lead facilitator across multiple disciplines and age groups, including drama and singing teaching.
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 Tots 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 have a heavy involvement in their West end productions, Disneyland Paris and Razz Tots classes and training. Helen is very passionate about Razzamataz and the wonderful experiences provided for students. Every child that attends our classes works hard to be the very best they can be and it is a pleasure to see them grow, develop and enjoy themselves week on week.
Event Manager & Franchise Advisory Council
Debbie trained at one of Scotland’s most prestigious stage 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 onto 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 between Razzamataz and First Choice and became manager of Razzamataz Carlisle in 2012 as well as teaching drama, dance and singing at Razzamataz schools in Dumfries and Penrith. In April 2016 Debbie became owner and principal of Razzamataz Carlisle, taking over from Denise Hutton Gosney who launched the school in 2001. Debbie is heavily involved in our Disneyland Paris performance opportunity.Email
Future Fund Charity Ambassador
Michael started attending his local dance school at 7 years old. Aged 16 he went to train professionally at Performers College in Essex. 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 has a wealth on knowledge in the performing arts industry and brings it to his students at Razzamataz.
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.
These days he runs his own small graphic design business and supports Razzamataz franchisees and Head Office in number design and print roles.
ICT & Marketing Support
Prior to launching Ian had spent 2 Years studying I.C.T in Carlisle College and a further 3 years at the University of Northumbria. He continued to live and work in Carlisle, launching and developing a number of businesses. He has since gained almost 20 years IT experience, and supports Razzamataz franchisees and Head Office in number of ICT roles.Email