MEET THE TEAM
CREATOR & DIRECTOR
FELICITY 'FLICK' HALFPENNY
Felicity Halfpenny is a Choreographer, Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer who loves to combine her passions for fitness, musical theatre and teaching into one.
Unfortunately when Felicity was 21, she suffered an injury and her sternum and ribcage were separated. Felicity has worked over the past decade to heal the injury and understand the body in more depth by qualifying as a massage therapist whilst working as a Health Mentor, Personal Trainer and class fitness instructor. Felicity looks forward to being able to follow her passions of dance and fitness again and bring the joy of Musical Theatre Fitness to the world!
Felicity trained as a dancer from a young age and was always involved in shows and singing wherever possible. She continued to develop her dance and vocal talent through studying at the Urdang Academy in London on their Musical Theatre program. From there, Felicity trained as a group exercise instructor and gained her qualification as a Master Level 1 Personal Trainer from the Australian Institute of Fitness, before venturing to work on a Cruise Line, teaching Ashtanga Yoga, Pilates, Spin, 1-1 training and group sessions. Felicity recently qualified in supporting Pre & Post Natal clients with with exercise and nutrition and is currently studying her Level 2 Children's Fitness qualification to be able to bring MTF to ages 5-15.
Felicity has had a love of musicals since her mum took her to watch Fame on the West End when she was 13. The magic of the show and the sheer talent of the performers blew her away! Ever since that moment, Felicity has always loved the joy that theatre brings and the important messages it conveys. She continues to work in theatre and enjoys everything that the arts offer!
She wanted to combine her experience in fitness and dance with the love of musicals, and of course Disney, and from that, 'Musical Theatre Fitness' was born. Felicity truly believes that within the four class program, there is a class for everyone and all abilities. Work It Out, Tone It Out and Stretch It Out focus on developing general fitness, conditioning and flexibility whilst Dance It Out offers the chance for anyone, no matter their dance ability, to enjoy dancing!
Felicity has choreographed for a number of shows including, Legally Blonde (Churchill Theatre, Edinburgh), Kinky Boots (Edinburgh Fringe Festival), The Wedding Singer (Kings Theatre, Edinburgh), Made in Dagenham (Churchill Theatre, Edinburgh), Rock of Ages (Churchill Theatre, Edinburgh), Popstars: The 90’s Musical (Churchill Theatre, Edinburgh), Jekyll & Hyde (Churchill Theatre, Edinburgh), The Addams Family (Edinburgh Fringe Festival) and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Edinburgh Fringe Festival). She has also performed on stage as Margot in ‘Legally Blonde’ (Kings Theatre, Edinburgh), Kathy in ‘9 to 5’ (Kings Theatre, Edinburgh), Ariel in ‘Footloose’ (Kings Theatre, Edinburgh) and as Mayor Matilda Hyde in 'All Shook Up' (Churchill Theatre, Edinburgh). She has recently been cast as Joanne in RENT and will be performing this with BARE Productions in Edinburgh Fringe 2023.
ZOE 'ZELLIS' ELLIS
Zoe began dancing at the tender age of 4, and after being involved in several amateur productions, she was given the title role in the musical "Annie". Her role in Annie, at just 12 years old, made Zoe realise that performing was the life she wanted to lead.
Growing up Zoe trained as a dancer and singer, successfully completing her ISTD and RAD exams in Ballet, Tap, Modern and Spanish dancing. Zoe also completed her GCSE in Dance when only 14 years old, and was rewarded an “A” grade.
After her A Levels, Zoe attended the Urdang Academy where she trained as a Professional in Musical Theatre on a full scholarship. Alongside her training, Zoe also obtained her Level 4 teaching qualification with the British Ballet Organization (BBO), majoring in Classical Ballet. After graduating, she continued her career as a successful performer on the West End and across the globe.
In the intervening years, leading to the Urdang Academy Zoe had auditioned for and performed in numerous local productions in order to get as much performing experience as possible. These productions included Jesus Christ Super Star, Fame and West Side Story.
Zoe has been involved in many productions over the years since graduating from the Urdang Academy, including Dick Whittington (Midlands Tour), Potters Theatre Company (Potters Leisure Resort), City of Friends (Dubai), Sweden ABBA Tribute (Nationwide) and The Circus of Horrors (West End and UK Tour).
“My love for the arts has never left me and I am delighted to be joining Musical Theatre Fitness as a new instructor!”
DANNIELLA 'DJ' JACKSON
Danniella's love of Musical Theatre started at an early age, training in Dance, Acting and Singing. Alongside this Danniella performed in various shows, competitions and festivals across her local area.
After her A levels and completing a Diploma in Performing Arts, Danniella went on to complete a Foundation in Musical Theatre at Stageworks Performing Arts, Cambridge, before training in Professional Musical Theatre with a full scholarship at the Urdang Academy, London.
Whilst in training Danniella completed her qualification in Fitness Instructing alongside her Dance exams.
After graduating she continued her career as a Professional Singer and Dancer; touring the UK before working onboard Cruise Ships.
Danniella has performed in ‘Elegies’ (Shaw Theatre, London) ‘The Boyfriend’ (Her Majesty’s Theatre, London) and ‘Westend to Broadway’ (UK Tour).
Danniella then continued her career at sea, and across 4 years working on numerous Cruise Ships performed roles such as ‘Sally Bowles’ in Cabaret, ‘Baby’ in Dirty Dancing, ‘Fantine’ in Les Miserables as well as working alongside professional Italian and Brazilian opera singers in the renowned Classical show ‘Musica Maestro’.
Upon returning to land life Danniella has worked as a professional solo vocalist touring the UK as well as teaching Musical Theatre classes and Fitness classes to a vast client base. She has also choreographed and performed in musicals such as ‘Oliver’, ‘Seussical’ and ’Shrek’.
‘I am beyond excited to be joining Musical Theatre Fitness as an Instructor, combining my two loves of Fitness and Musicals! And above all fun!’
GILLIAN "GILLYBEAN" DRYBURGH
Gillian's love for Musical Theatre started at an early age after the movie “Oliver!” got stuck in her DVD player and she spent every night performing a two-man show with her twin sister for a whole year and competing in talent competitions as Dodger and Oliver (true story).
Growing up, she performed with Youth Musical Theatre Scotland in productions such as “Annie”, “Les Miserables”, “Sweeney Todd” and many others where she found her love for live, on-stage performing.
Whilst studying Professional Musical Theatre, Gillian had fantastic opportunities and was chosen as one of the dancers for Ken Dodd’s UK Happiness Tour and in her third year was selected as Dance Captain for their musical production of “Loserville”. It was during her third year that she also found her passion for fitness alongside her dream to perform.
Since graduating in 2016, Gillian has performed many roles across the UK including Belle in “Beauty and the Beast”, Cinderella, Lucy in “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe”, Glinda in “The Wizard of Oz”, Little Red in “Red Riding Hood” and many more. Gillian has also successfully landed roles in TV commercials, feature films and children’s presenting.
“Becoming a Musical Theatre Fitness instructor alongside chasing my performance dreams so early on in my career is a dream come true and I have no words to describe my excitement and LOVE for the wonderful community MTF has built”.
MICHAELA "MICKEY" TURNER
Michaela started dance classes at the age of three and studied ballet, tap, modern and jazz. Her love for dancing grew over the years and so she decided to take this one step further and applied to Edinburgh College at 16 years old, where she enrolled in the NPA Dance Level 5 Course. Whilst training at Edinburgh College, Michaela learnt dance techniques and styles, like hip hop and contemporary, and this is where she fell in love with lyrical dance.
From the age of 15, Michaela was a big part of the Lothian Youth Amateur Musical Company and was involved in their productions through her young adulthood years. She performed in all styles of musicals including Les Miserables, Titanic, Beauty and the Beast, and Seussical. As much as she loved being on stage with LYAMC, Michaela decided to move to companies closer to home, and at 23, joined Allegro and MAMA (Musselburgh Amateur Musical Association). She has performed in shows with these companies and portayed the roles of Hope in Anything Goes and Samantha Powden in Loserville. She has also been a featured dancer in Guys and Dolls, Made in Dagenham, along with dancing and singing roles in revues and online concerts.
Michaela has always enjoyed working out, and her love grew for fitness and health when she started Musical Theatre Fitness classes back in 2020. She fell in love with the class style and community and found joy with movement. She went on to start Personal Training sessions with the Director; Flick Halfpenny, which is where she found her discipline and drive to work hard at her own goals and achieve them, even after having her baby boy Lucas in 2021, Michaela continued to work on understanding the body and adapting to the changes needed whilst being a new mum.
The love for the classes got Michaela thinking...what if she could do her own Work It Out classes? The rest they say, is history!
“I am beyond excited to officially be a qualified MTF instructor! I fell in love with the tracks, the brand, and the community, and I’m so honoured to be able to bring the same joy to others, through working out and having fun at the same time!!”