Ronin Traynor

  • Co-director - Independent Drama
  • Master Teacher - British Academy of Stage & Screen Combat
  • Theatrical Firearms Instructor - Society of American Fight Directors
Ronin has directed action for +450 productions in the UK and overseas.

The Intent 2 (Best Action Film - National Film Awards) and Olive Green (Best Action & Adventure Film - US International Film & Video Festival). TV credits include work for the BBC, National Geographic and commercials for Nike, Domino's, B&Q, Heineken and McCoys.

Game credits include over 10 years work as choreographer and mocap performer on Sega's BAFTA winning Total War series, (Empire, Napoleon, Shogun II, Rome II, Attila, Battles Kingdoms, Battles Shogun, Thrones of Britannia, Three Kingdoms, Troy).

Ronin has taught around the world and is Master at Arms for the International Actor Academy and UK clients include RADA, Drama Studio London and Spotlight.

Dan Styles

  • Co-director - Independent Drama
  • Master Teacher - British Academy of Dramatic Combat
Dan has been play fighting for as long as he can remember and has been choreographing and performing fights for over 22 years.

Dan's film coordinating credits include Avengement with Scott Adkins, Marine: Close Quarters, for WWE studios, Accident Man, starring Scott Adkins, Michael Jai White and Ray Park, and Rise of the Footsoldier 3 and 4.

Theatre work includes productions appearing at The London Palladium, Her Majesty's Theatre, The National Theatre Shed, Soho Theatre, The Curve Theatre, Leicester, and more.

Dan was also on the stunt team for Vikings (seasons 5 and 6) and has performed fights in Kingsman: The Secret Service, Thor: The Dark World, Snow White and the Huntsman, and many more.

Zhenya Leverett

  • Teacher - British Academy of Stage & Screen Combat
Zhenya Leverett was classically trained as an actress in Russia, and worked in theatre and film in Moscow before moving to the UK. In London, she trained in stage combat with The British Academy of Stage & Screen Combat (BASSC). Having achieved an advanced level, she was soon able to put her combat skills to the test, as a Russian prisoner trading punches with Jodie Comer in the BAFTA winning TV series Killing Eve (2018).

Zhenya is a Certified Teacher with the BASSC and teaches at RADA, the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Fourth Monkey and the Young Actors Theatre Islington.

Guest Instructors & Skills Specialists


Austin Spangler

  • Aerial & Wirework
Austin has over 15 years of professional experience performing, choreographing and directing in the entertainment industry. He is currently a movement and action director at the Royal Opera House & Los Angeles Opera as well as resident Movement Director at LA Opera.

Austin is an instructor at The Aerial Studio California and has worked as aerial director, rigger, captain and stunt performer with the likes of Keanu Reeves, Orlando Bloom, Ralph Fiennes and Placido Domingo.

Film and music video credits include: 47 Ronin, Offbeat, i-Boy, Allies, Eliminators, Romans, Viking Siege, Embrace Life, Jump by Julia Michaels, 4-minutes by Madonna and Solomon Grey by Sony Music.

Dave Nolan

  • Movement
Dave originally trained as an actor at the Samuel Beckett Centre, Trinity College Dublin. After several years working as an actor and developing his craft through continued study, Dave moved into actor movement training.

Dave holds a master's degree in movement: directing and teaching, from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, where he currently teaches on the Ma Screen Acting course. His work focuses primarily on long term process work developing the actor's body and expression through focus on fundamental body-work, form and awareness.

Eifion Nightingale

  • Theatrical Firearms
Eifion has been with Independent Drama since 2013 and very quickly integrated himself into the core team.

As a competent Special Action Performer and as someone who has an almost obsessive compulsion towards skill development, in the space of only a few years has become very proficient in theatrical firearms, armoury, military and tactical weaponry and even some subsidiary skills like lockpicking and pickpocketing.

While Eifion has proved himself as a talented choreographer and performer, he excels in teaching our Firearms courses.

Justin Sysum

  • Wrestling For Actors
Justin has 7 years and over 500 matches of professional wrestling experience and is the current heavyweight champion of ITV's WOS Wrestling, has stunt doubled for 'The Miz' in WWE Studios film Marine 6, and played Hawkeye in Marvel Universe Live!

Nilly Masa Cetin

  • Weapon Tricking & Spinning
Instructor Nilly has an extensive knowledge of martial arts weaponry, having studied Wushu and Shaolin at a young age, earning the title of Junior International Wushu Champion. She has stunt doubled for a number of actors in films and her work can be seen in the upcoming release of Hollywood movie Infinite.

Rajesh Rishudeo

  • Theatrical Firearms
Between the training mats and the rehearsal room Rajesh loves nothing more than to bring violence to audiences of the stage and screen.

A graduate of the RADA MA Text and Performance program and a BADC advanced actor combatant, Rajesh has worked with Independent Drama as an assistant teacher, fight coordinator and theatrical firearms instructor.

In addition to his creative work Rajesh is also a lifelong martial artist actively teaching Jeet Kune Do, Kali Escrima Arnis, Penjak SIlat, Boxing and Kickboxing.

Reuben Mosley

  • Aerial & Wirework
Reuben has been performance rigging and coordinating at the worlds' highest level for nearly 20 years with a highly prolific background in events, ceremony, theatre, installation, circus and acrobatics.

Credits include Head Rigger and Assistant Designer for Cirque du Soleil for the past 4 years in South America and Asia, London Summer Olympics 2012, Sochi Winter Olympics 2014 and Baku 2017. Other credits include Dragone, Birmingham International Dance Festival, Upswing, Circus Space and many more.

Steve Coleman

  • Wushu
Steve has been training and competing for 30 years and is the longest running Wushu athlete on the Great Britain team to date (20 years).

In competition, he has won the World Chin Woo Championships twice, the European Wushu Championships twice, and the UK National Championships for the past seventeen consecutive years.

Steve holds a BA (hons) degree in acting and have worked on various film, TV and performance jobs including Elvis Presley vs JXL A Little Less Conversation music video, TV commercials for McDonalds, Sony, Ninja Warrior and Babyliss, The Chinese Acrobats live shows, pantomime, various shorts, indie and feature films; the most recent being 6 Underground (dir. Michael Bay, starring Ryan Reynolds).

Sydney Schwindt

  • Teacher
Sydney is in actor and fight director based in the San Francisco Bay Area with over 15 years of stage combat experience. She has trained with the Society of American Fight Directors, BASSC, Stage Combat Deutschland, and others.

Fight Directing credits include American Conservatory Theatre, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, B Street Theatre, and many others. She has performed nationally and internationally. Sydney teaches stage combat for the MFA students at ACT as well as various other locations throughout the Bay Area.

Taylor Chadwell

  • Teacher - British Academy of Stage & Screen Combat
Taylor Chadwell has been a Certified Teacher for the BASSC since 2014 and is currently serving his second term as the organisation's Vice President.

He holds a BA in Theatre Arts from Catawba College, North Carolina, and an MFA in Physical Theatre from the Accademia dell'Arte in Arezzo, Italy.

Along various teaching assignments for Independent Drama, Taylor has taught stage combat at The Royal Birmingham Conservatory, the Accademia dell'Arte, Simone Belli Combatimento Scenico in Milan, and The British National Stage Combat Workshop in London.

In addition, Taylor is a performer and fight choreographer for Flights of Angels Shakespeare Company in Italy, and has performed fights for stage and screen in Italy, France, the UK, the USA, and Russia.

Tom Davey

  • Falling From The Ground Up
Tom is action performer with a background in various martial arts, mostly notably Aikido which he has been studying for 22 years and currently holds the rank of 2nd Dan.

Tom's skills have enabled him to get work on numerous productions where he has been blown up, thrown through the air, knocked over and generally hit the floor a lot whilst dying on everything from theatre stages to concrete.

Over the years Tom has designed his own system and series for teaching falls, in what he describes as a "From The Ground Up" approach that is designed for everyone from complete beginners to experienced performer.

Back to Top