Shelley Otway

CEO and Principal

Shelley Otway

Shelley has worked in the entertainment industry for over 25 years and trained in Musical Theatre at The Guildford School of Acting on a full singing scholarship.

Shelley starting her career as a Dancer, Singer and Actress in professional musicals such as "Anything Goes", "42nd Street", "Oliver", "Carousel" and a "A Chorus Line".  She then went on to perform in many plays including "The Matchmaker", "Stepping Out" and "Man and Superman" (where she was nominated for best actress).  She also performed in Scotland for several years at The Pitlochry Festival Theatre and Perth Rep in "Communicating Doors" and " Oliver" once again. Shelley is no stranger to Pantomime after playing over 15 Princesses for Qdos Entertainment as Snow White, Cinderella, Alice Fitzwarren, Belle, Princess Jasmin and Sleeping Beauty. She also perfomed at The London Palladium as a soloist for a series of concerts on Sundays.

Shelley then re-trained as a Personal Trainer, Group Exercise Instructor and Fitness Manager training many Virgin Active employees to teach. She was then given "Group Exercise Co-ordinator of the Year" out of 80 Virgin Health Clubs. She was then head hunted by Esporta Leisure and became a trainer for Group Exercise for the company.  She assisted in helping set up the brand new multi-million pound refurbishment of the prestigious Raquets Club in Bracknell, which led her to move from London to Wokingham.

Alongside this she still worked as an Actress and taught Singing, Dance and Drama classes at many academies at the weekends. She has choreographed over 150 productions and managed over 100 Stagecoach Schools across the country, including working as a Choreographer for their Head Office shows.

In 2010, she combined her love of teaching, managing and performing arts and launched Razzamataz Wokingham building the business from zero to 150 students.

In 2011, she then launched Razzamataz Woodley and grew that from zero to 70 students and took on role of Choreographer and Support Manager for Head Office. During this period, she auditioned and trained 60 teachers to teach workshops for “First Choice holidays" seeing the teachers perform her very own choreography abroad at over 40 holiday destinations.

Shelley won several prestigious awards for the growth and success of both franchised Theatre School branches. 

In 2015, she was selected to teach at the famous "Move It!" Dance Extravaganza in London where she taught to a packed dance class of over 400 people from the ages of 7yrs-60yrs. At this time she also was the Manager of "Auditions" at the PPA in Guildford (A full time Drama School for the 16 plus age group).  Here she worked for several months assisting children with the audition process shortly before falling pregnant with her little girl!

Shelley was delighted to "Step Out!" and concentrate on setting up her own independent Theatre Academy which has welcomed many excellent opportunities for her students.  In just 18 months of opening "Steppin Out Stars Of Tomorrow" her students had performed at Disneyland Paris, Formula 1, The Olympic Stadium, Wembley Stadium and Londons West End.

She is extremely proud to have coached several children from her Theatre School who have appeared in West End shows, TV and Commercials. She really thrives on this aspect of her business.

In 2019, Shelley auditioned students to take part in an elite performance Steppin Out "Troupe" for ages 12 plus. This became incredibly popular with local shops and carnivals. Her students performed in Pizza Express, Zizzi, The Wokingham Advent Calender.

In 2020, Shelley was delighted to team up with AKT Management agency allowing its students to be represented by a professional theatre agent, if they so wish.

In Lock down 1 Shelley organised a whopping 1139 classes over 17 weeks on line. Steppin Out was the first Theatre School in the area to transfer all of its classes over to the zoom platform.  Alongside this epic task she arranged a weekly Facebook live, a costume competition, an on line talent show and several masterclasses with industry professionals. She also gained her level 3 in safeguarding children.

In Lock down 2 Steppin Out moved immediately to Zoom once again and Shelley and her amazing team continued to deliver fun and exciting classes!

In June 2021, she opened a Junior Troupe for ages 7-11 years old, and in August of that year, she passed her NSPCC Training for Children In Performance and updated her skills as a registered professional Chaperone and First Aider and then again in 2023. 

In January 2023, Shelley teamed up with Happy Feet Management where she now provides children directly for the agency for Commercials, TV, Film and Musical Theatre.

Shelley choreographed all of the Troupe performances in 2022 and in January 2023 began rehearsing and directing 20 of her students who went to Disneyland Paris to perform in April 2023. This will be Shelleys 3rd Disney Trip representing the U.K with her School!

In 2023/24 Steppin Out won Theatre School of the year at The Prestige awards. Shelley is absolutely over the moon!

Shelley won a Gold award for the Best Business Women awards for best business working with children and families 2023 and Steppin Out has won Theatre School of the year 2023. Shelley was also a finalist for the Muddy Stiletto awards for best childrens business in Berkshire 2023.

Shelley has been incredibly proud of sharing the stage with some of the countries leading businesses working with children this year.

In July 2023, Shelley was approached by Wokingham Today to be a judge at the first ever Wokinghams Got Talent a role she really relished in.

Shelley lives in Shinfield with her daughter Aiyana who also attends classes and her fiance Rob. She gets married in May 2024 and is very excited about sharing this happy time with all of her students.

The motto that all of her pupils have come to know is " Smile cause when you smile you sparkle and when you sparkle you're successful!"