Hiphop dance class with Alumni and Team England dancer

20 June 2018

Performing Arts Alumni, Vanessa Murphy-Wood, returned to Ashton Sixth Form College to teach a hip-hop workshop to current A-Level Dance students. 

Vanessa studied a full-time course in Performing Arts in 2013, after beginning her early education at Rayner Stephens High School (formerly known as Astley Sports College). 

While studying her course, Vanessa became a complete all-rounder. Her teachers still continue to praise her acting and singing ability and she fondly remembers performing in Bugsy Malone at college. It was during her Performing Arts course that she found a passion for teaching, choreography and inspiring others.

Fast forward, and Vanessa is approaching her 12th year at TCA Tycoons Cheer and Dance Academy. She has been with them for the start and the Academy currently teaches around 130 individuals, ranging in age from 3 to 26 years. They are the only Cheer Academy in Tameside and are making tremendous waves in competitions both nationally and internationally. TCA Tycoons regularly attend the USFA Dance Worlds in the USA.

Returning to Ashton Sixth Form College, Vanessa was able to pass on some her knowledge to current students. Instilling her passion in them, students were able to see the progression just one student can make within the Performing Arts industry. Students took part in the hip-hop workshop gaining yet another set of skills to add to their repertoire.

Since completing her studies at Ashton Sixth Form College, Vanessa also joined Team England. While competing in the US, a woman involved in the ICC recommended she look in to Team England for Dance. Following an audition, Vanessa became one of only 16 in the country to join the hip-hop team and is now Team Captain. They currently rank 6th, competing in countries such as Austria and Germany.

Vanessa's professional career has been achieved by sheer determination and passion. Her love for dance shines through the amount of time and effort she puts in to teaching young people to perform with confidence, style and outstanding skill. But this has not come without sacrifice or bumps in the road. Most recently, TCA Tycoons home at Ray Mill in Stalybridge was devastatingly burned down during the fire that has tremendously affected the area and many other local businesses. 

Despite such a travesty, TCA Tycoons was shut for just 6 days. It has found a new home in Silver Springs Academy for the time being. Members of the community have gathered together in creating a Go Fund Me page to raise money to restore TCA Tycoons to its full strength. 

Help TCA Tycoons fundraise at


Tags: dance alumni