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Meet our staff

Rachel Young


“I love AAPA because it’s big enough to be able to sustain all our events and projects but small enough that all our staff know every student’s name. Satisfaction of the families who spend time with us – both parents and children – is the most important thing.” After graduating from law at Aberdeen University Rachel Mearns drastically change direction, following her dreams and founding Aberdeen Academy of Performing Arts. She has been involved in establishing and judging ‘Gymnastique Magique’, a competition in Disneyland Paris and, more locally, launched Dance Compete Achieve, a competition for young performers. Rachel was also instrumental in establishing the UK-wide Terpsichore of the North ballet competition, which attracts top international industry judges. 

Pre-primary to level 4/5 ballet from American Ballet Theatre Training | Tap, Modern/Jazz, Theatre Craft Ballet Associate/ Licentiate qualifications with BATD and IDTA | Membership Highland with BATD | Fellowship Ballet with BATD | Musical Theatre Associate Performing diploma from Trinity College London | Musical Theatre Teaching Licentiate Diploma from Trinity College London | Anatomy and Physiology Diploma from IDTA | Level 1 and 2 pre-school gymnastics with Scottish/British Gymnastics | Level 2 and part level 3  Acrobatic gymnastics with Scottish/British Gymnastics | Level 1 and 2 in safe stretching with Alixa Flexibility



“I love AAPA because I know we’re providing so much more than just a dance, musical theatre or gymnastics lesson. We’re teaching young people to work as part of a group that relies on each other.”Your child will love Sali’s energy and ideas, a result of her time acting in children’s theatre and being an entertainment team member for Thomson Holidays. Her great knowledge about anatomy and stretching for dancers and gymnasts will keep them safe.

First class BA (Hons) in Drama from the University of Sunderland | HND in Performing Arts from Liverpool Community College | ATCL Musical Theatre Performance Diploma from Trinity College London | Grade 8 in Musical Theatre from London College of Music | Licentiate Musical Theatre Teaching qualification Trinity College London | Level 1 Acrobatic Arts | Level 1 and 2 Acrobatic Gymnastics with Scottish/British Gymnastics | Anatomy and Physiology Diploma from IDTA | Injury and Prevention Certificate from AcroTrix | Level 1 and 2 in Safe Stretching with Alixa Flexibility


Agency Director – AAPA CAsting & Talent Management

“I love AAPA because it offers so much opportunity for talented youngsters to follow their dreams, from getting into top London colleges after starting their career with AAPA to winning worldwide competitions to taking centre stage on the West End.”

From being a professional director, actor and singer to working with casting agents and behind the scenes in production, Jennifer is the person to represent your child and their emerging talent.

Performed professionally in the UK and US | Worked in TV, film, theatre, print and corporate film | Principal of Aberdeen College of Performing Arts | School drama teacher | BA (Hons) in theatre from Sam Houston State

University in Texas | Training in contemporary drama at Royal Academy of Dramatic Art | GTC Scotland Full Registration teaching certification | TEA teacher certification


Susan Williamson

Acrobatic Gymnastics teacher


“I love AAPA because it gives me an opportunity to be so much more than just a teacher.
We’re models, mentors and social workers – almost like a third parent to many students.” 

Level 1 and Level 2 Acrobatic Gymnastics Scottish / British Gymnastics | Pre-School Gymnastics Scottish / British Gymnastics | Level 1 and 2 Safe Stretching Alixa Flexibility 


Alisdair Sneden

Singing & musical theatre teacher

“I love AAPA because musical theatre offers so much more than just performing in or watching a show. Your children will be equipped with skills for school and beyond.”

Having kickstarted his singing career at the age of eight and since trained intensively and performed with big industry names, Alisdair couldn’t be better placed to guide your budding
singer, whether they’re interested in musical theatre, classical, pop or jazz.

Studied Music Education at the University of Aberdeen | Musical Theatre Diploma from London College of Music | Associate of Trinity College London | Studied voice under the guidance of John Dallas (Falkirk) and Kate Hughes (Aberdeen) | Backing vocals for West End and Films | Musical director at Giz Giz Youth Theatre | Official accompanist for NYCOS’ Aberdeen branch from 2014-19 | Choral director for Spectrum Singers (Kemnay, 2016-20) | Co-director for Chalmers Mackay youth theatre productions | Musical director for Ten Feet Tall’s Jack and the Beanstalk at Aberdeen Arts Centre (2018) | 

Mark Cameron

Musical theatre & boys’ dance teacher

“I love AAPA because it’s a family. Everyone is equal, everyone is unique, everyone has their own talents, and everyone is a star with the right to shine.”

Having performed everywhere from Paris and Tokyo to Florida and Australia, choreographed Broadway shows, taught dance to all and judged prestigious competitions, Mark is the ultimate inspiration for your young dancer.

NC in Performance Arts and Stage Dance from Edinburgh’s Telford College | BA (Hons.) Diploma from London Studio Centre | Judge of Follow Your Dreams dance competitions in the UK | Various Pantomimes | Jazz, Musical Theatre and Commercial dance teacher at The MGA Academy stage academies, Fierce Theatre School, Creative Stage, Centre Stage of Performing Arts, Scottish Youth Theatre and Aberdeen College of Performing Arts | Professional dancer at Disneyland Paris, Celebrity Cruises, Transocean Tours, Princess Cruises, P&O Australia and Cirque de Soleil in Las Vegas | Choreographer across the UK within his company Mark Cameron Dance

Katheryn Officer

Dance & musical theatre teacher


“I love AAPA because it’s special to see younger students learn from the older ones – and the older students learning, too. You’re never too young to craft leadership and management skills!”