Shelley Otway

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.

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 another franchised theatre school in 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 Disney Land 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 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 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 face book live, a costume competition, an on line talent show and several masterclasses with industry professionals. She also gained her level 3 in safeguarding children.

Shelley lives in Winnersh with her partner Rob and her daughter Aiyana. Her motto that all of her students have come to love is " Smile, because when you smile you sparkle and when you sparkle your sucessful!"