Posts Tagged ‘Dancing’

Little Stars Summer Term- ‘The Lion King’ for 4-6 year Olds

Wednesday, March 11th, 2020

Get ready to roar!! This Summer Term our Little Stars (children aged 4-6) will be performing ‘The Lion King’. Our classes will see the children bringing to life the much- loved characters of Simba, Timon and Pumbaa as they embark on an unforgettable journey to Pride Rock.

Through our tailored lessons our ‘Little Stars’ can develop their dancing, singing and acting skills gaining the confidence to perform on stage in front of an audience at the end of the term. During the term they will play games, and complete fun exercises themed to the ‘The Lion King’ an exciting way of introducing the story.

We provide fantastic costumes for each child at no extra cost, so you won’t have to worry. At Spotlights it’s important to us that every child has a part to play with their own script and lines of dialogue. Every term we choose a production that you and your child can have easy access to, a musical that is current and relevant. The Lion King has been on in the West End for nearly 21 years, and it still remains a classic tale to young children today.

To join in the fun book your child a FREE TRIAL for our Summer Term (from 20th April 2020). For further details complete a contact form or call 020 8460 5711

Spotlight on… Jade our ‘Marketing Assistant’

Thursday, March 5th, 2020

My Spotlights journey began in 2012, and it has truly been the best thing to of happened to me! Little did I know that 8 years on I would be completing my university placement working at the Spotlights office as a ‘Marketing Assistant’.

I first joined Spotlights in 2012, I had been looking for a theatre school to join in my local area. I originally joined another stage school as my friend was already a student, but I left just after 5 months. I felt that no one was really given a fair chance when it came to castings for productions. When I attended my trial Spotlights immediately felt like a family environment. I really admired how at Spotlights everyone is given an equal chance, no matter your age you were always given your own part together with your own dialogue.

Looking back, my favourite Spotlights memory has to be when I was cast as Nancy in the 2013 production of ‘Oliver’. Since it was in my first term at Spotlights, I never thought I would be cast as the lead. I absolutely loved the production and performing my solo. ‘Oliver’ will have always have a special place in my heart. After leaving Spotlights at the age of 16 I later completed some work experience assisting in the Saturday Little Stars classes. Initially I wanted to add some experience to my CV and what better way to do so by shadowing a class. I learnt more about how the Little Stars perform shows every term which helps them grow in confidence.  After about 6 months I was then asked to become an Assistant Little Stars Teacher I absolutely loved seeing the imagination of the 4-6 year old’s, and not to mention their infectious energy and enthusiasm too!

During my time at Spotlights, I have also assisted at many Summer Schools including, ‘Trolls, Sing and Toy Story 4’. Looking back, I think ‘Trolls’ was one of my favorites the children were so excited about performing the show. They already knew the lyrics to all the songs before we had even started learning them on the first day!!

I’m now in my third-year studying ‘Media and Communication’ at Bournemouth University. I‘m currently on my placement at Spotlights as a ‘Marketing Assistant’ which I’m absolutely loving!. Some of my responsibilities include writing copy for promotional material, scheduling social media posts, writing weekly blog posts and other general admin. My placement enables me to gain experience, putting my learning into a professional environment.

Lastly my advice to anyone thinking about joining a performing arts school, is to just go for it. Attending a new class can be scary especially stepping out of your comfort zone. Spotlights is run by professional and friendly teachers that will be sure to make you feel at ease, at Spotlights every student is valued, and no one is overlooked.

If you would like to find out more about our classes and how we help students realise their potential please get in touch.

Top Tips to help your child perform with confidence- Parenting Coach Caroline Rowett

Thursday, February 20th, 2020

We recently met with Caroline Rowett, a expert parenting coach. Below Caroline has identified 8 ways you can help your child perform with confidence.

Tips for Parents of Performers

  1. What are your expectations of your child’s performance? Parents face a lot of judgement and so may feel validated when their child behaves well and performs well. Be honest with yourself, are you needing your child’s perfect performance? If you are, understanding and dealing with your own need is the first step to ensuring that the messages you are giving, consciously or unconsciously, support rather than pressurise your child.
  2. What assumptions are you making? They could be anything from: if my child forgets the lines everyone will think I’m a rubbish parent; to if my child isn’t talented everyone will know I’m not either. You don’t need perfect children to prove your worth. Understanding what thoughts drive our actions and knowing how we can change those thoughts can free us to have the confidence to be ourselves and let our children be themselves.
  3. Spend a moment finding your inner calm and if you can’t – fake it! Children can be amazingly sensitive to how we are feeling and if you are nervous, they may well follow suit.
  4. Spend time observing and noting your physical reactions to your feelings in different situations. Sharing experiences of how you calm your butterflies or slow your breathing can help your child see their options. If you share experience rather than advice, your child can take what might work for them, without feeling pressured to do as you say.
  5. If you suspect or know your child will be anxious about performing, do your homework. Research online or speak to your child’s drama teacher about tips that help. Explore the options with your child to discover what works for them.
  6. Put things in perspective. A show can be all consuming for you both but by talking about things to look forward to after the show – an upcoming holiday or birthday party for example, you can help take the pressure off.
  7. Get organised. Make sure uniforms are ready, jazz shoes are where they should be and you have plenty of time to get to the performance to avoid stress. Allow time to check in with strategies for calm if you know they are needed.
  8. Tell them you love them! That you have no doubt they are going to be just fab and to have fun and enjoy themselves.

Find your own parenting advice and the confidence to put it in practice with 1-2-1 coaching sessions or a group course.

For information and to book a 45 minute no obligation Kick Start to Confident Parenting session for £10 visit

For 20% off your first coaching package booked quote SPOTLIGHTSBLOG

Spotlight on…Co- Director Faye Willingale

Wednesday, February 5th, 2020

This week we caught up with Faye one of our amazing Co- Directors to find out what originally sparked her interest in the performing arts, what she believes makes Spotlights unique and how excited she is for our upcoming shows!

What sparked your interest in the performing arts?
‘I’m lucky to have been brought up by my Dad who loved a wide variety of music and who could sing and play several instruments. My mum also loves the theatre and musicals, she started taking me to see shows from a young age and we still go the theatre together’.

What do you think makes Spotlights unique?
‘The environment that we create at Spotlights, which is a family run business, gives both our students and our teachers the feeling of being part of an extended family. We are successful in retaining many students for long periods of time; they start at the age of  4 or 5 and stay for ten years, sometimes even longer!. Spotlights started in April 2006. Since then, we’ve really grown. We run classes 6 days a week in 17 different venues. With our growth, we’ve managed to maintain close relationships with all our families. We’re still very ‘hands on’ and we know our students personally.’

What is your favourite aspect about teaching Little Stars?
‘I love the variety of teaching them drama, dance and singing every week. Our Little Stars are creative and imaginative and so much fun to teach!’

What is your favourite aspect about teaching Main School?
‘I focus on teaching drama to students aged 7-18. I love teaching such a broad age range of children as they’re all so different. The spring term productions are a highlight for me! There’s lots to think about, it’s a busy time of the year but incredibly rewarding. Show weekend is the best! Being in the incredible theatre space that we use and seeing everyone’s efforts come together is thrilling!’

What do you hope to inspire in the young people who attend your theatre schools?
‘Self-confidence. I want our Spotlights students to believe in themselves, to recognise their strengths and feel proud of their achievements. I want them to look back at their time at Spotlights and remember the fun they’ve had and the friends they’ve made’.  

What would your advice be to a young person who is keen to join a drama, dance or singing class but doesn’t know where to start?
‘Come for a trial at Spotlights and give it a go! We’re very welcoming and you’ll be well looked after’.

Finally, how excited are you for ‘We will Rock You’ and ‘Frozen 2’?
‘Beyond excited! I’m loving both projects! The students are doing brilliantly, they’re going to be awesome!!’

If you would like to find out more about our classes and how we help students realise their potential please get in touch.

Top Tips for helping your child learn their lines!

Wednesday, January 29th, 2020

Some children can find learning lines to be a little difficult, with that in mind we have put together a list of our Top Tips. We don’t want our students to feel like learning their lines is a chore or that its more homework to add to the pile. Therefore, we hope our Tips will help make learning lines fun and enjoyable. Remember being part of a production is so exciting and every one of our students has their own chance to shine!

10 Minutes
Helping your child learn their lines doesn’t have to take hours and hours, simply set aside 10 minutes each day. Remember your child can practice wherever, whenever. You could ask your child to read you their lines in the back of the car, or even whilst you’re doing the washing up. Helping your child with becoming familiar with their lines will speed up the process of learning them when they need too.

Record the Lines
Use a device to record your child saying their lines, this can either be done as their character or simply just reading the lines without any expression. This is an easy yet effective way of your child being able to listen to their lines repeatedly. Studies have suggested that our brain absorbs information quicker in the evening before going to bed. You could even listen to them in the evening together before your child goes to sleep.

Learn the cue Lines
We always suggest to our students that as well as learning their own lines they should attempt to learn the cue lines as well- these are the lines that lead into your child’s. From them knowing their cue lines they will be prompter and more confident when delivering their lines on stage.  

Quiz your child
Use a scrap piece of paper to cover up everything but one of your child’s lines. Ask them to keep reading the line to you. Once you think your child feels comfortable enough, ask them if they feel confident enough to try and recite the line without looking at it and if they can move on to one of their next lines and repeat the steps.

It is important to remember that we are a team, who support each other. It is important to us that our students have fun in their rehearsals. We do encourage that our students attend our classes during the rehearsal period, as this will also help them with learning their lines through active learning.

Children who attend Spotlights Theatre School regularly have opportunities to take part in musical theatre shows. Your child is welcome to attend a FREE trial class at any of our venues.

Spotlight on… Our Dance and Little Stars Teacher Emily

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

This week we caught up with Emily, our fabulous Dance and Little stars Teacher to hear more about her journey with us and about what she loves the most about working at Spotlights.

Emily studied at the Performance Preparation Academy in Guildford for 2 years and then completed a further year at the London Theatre School. Whilst studying Emily also took her ATCL teaching exam. Emily has taught at a variety of theatre schools part time alongside her studies.

Emily joined our team in 2017 and started off by teaching our Little Stars classes and Main School in Beckenham choreographing the Little stars show of ‘Mary Poppins’. By September 2017, we offered Emily to work full time for us teaching Little Stars and Main School Monday- Friday. You will always find Emily with a smile on her face ready to greet our students arriving to their classes throughout the week.

What is your favourite thing about teaching Little Stars?

‘I love teaching Little Stars because they always keep me on my toes and they never fail to make me smile. I especially love watching them in their first show as they progress through into main school’.

What is your favourite thing about teaching Main School?

I love Main School because of their work ethic and endless amounts of energy! I also love watching the students improve in skills and confidence. Putting their skills into performances and our productions always makes me feel very proud as a teacher’.

‘I feel very lucky to be part of the Spotlights team and I am forever grateful for the experiences and the people that I have met during my time working here.

If you would like to find out more about our classes and how we help students realise their potential please get in touch.

Beautiful- The Carol King Musical Review

Thursday, January 16th, 2020

Last night some of our Spotlights team went to the Churchill Theatre in Bromley, to watch Beautiful, ‘The Carol King musical’ starring Daisy Wood- Davis, Adam Gillan and Laura Baldwin. The musical is based on the real-life story of Carol King, who at the age of 17 fought her way into the record industry with her first hit ‘Will You Love Me Tomorrow’. By the time she was twenty she was writing hit songs for the biggest acts such as ‘The Drifters, The Shirelles, Aretha Franklin and The Monkees’. The musical tells the tale of her greatest challenge, finding her own voice and searching for the courage to step into the spotlight.

We were amazed by Daisy Wood-Davis as Carol King, her voice was sensational! If you are a Carol King fan or maybe even if you’re not Davis will bring tears to your eyes from the moment she opens the show, sounding identical to King. Davis received a very well-deserved standing ovation at the end of the performance. Other stand out performers include Laura Baldwin who plays the part of Cynthia Weil, a chic and clever lyricist and Adam Gillan as Gerry, Carol’s husband. Singers cast as ‘The Drifters, The Shirelles and The Righteous Brothers were also pitch perfect with energetic dances. The set design at the Churchill was also incredible, authentically transporting you back to the 60’s. Beautiful is a poignant story, that will make you feel the earth move!

Children who attend Spotlights Theatre School regularly have opportunities to take part in musical theatre shows. Your child is welcome to attend a FREE trial class at any of our venues.

The Benefits of the Performing Arts

Wednesday, January 15th, 2020

The performing arts offers numerous benefits to children here are our Top 5 ways the performing arts can benefit your child.

Building Confidence
A lot of our families choose the performing arts as an extra curricular activity for their children to help build their confidence. We hear from many of our parents that Spotlights classes have helped to improve their child’s confidence, giving them the opportunity to shine. Children often have increased pressure placed on them from exams or other schoolwork, our classes give them the space to express themselves and step out of their comfort zone.

Developing Teamwork Skills
In our classes our students are often encouraged to work as a team in their class, sharing responsibility and comprising with others. Our students soon begin to understand that everybody’s contribution is valuable to the success of the group, which gives them the confidence to embrace their role especially when within an ensemble.

Making new Friends
Many of our students have made life long friends whilst attending Spotlights. The bonds you create just from spending a class together can last a lifetime through your shared love of the performing arts.

Communication Skills
The performing arts can help children to develop their communication skills especially through drama class. Students learn about the importance of speaking with clear diction and not letting the nerves get the better of them. These skills are important when forming a connection with an audience during a production.

Within our classes you have the freedom to express yourself through dance, singing and drama. A child’s creativity through improvisation helps them to think on their feet and solve problems.

If you would like to find out more about our classes and how we help students realise their potential please get in touch.

New to Spotlights? Here’s our Top 5 things you can expect on your first day.

Wednesday, January 8th, 2020

We all know the feeling of doing something for the first time. Joining a new club or taking on a new activity can be exciting for some children for others doing something new can be a little bit nerve wracking.

If your booked in for a free trial with us don’t worry! You are going to have lots of fun.

Here are our Top 5 things that you can expect on your first day at Spotlights.

A Friendly Welcome
A member of our team will be waiting for you at the door ready to take you to meet your new classmates. We will then check with your parents that all your details are correct, but you don’t need to worry about that! Just be ready to have fun and come with lots of energy!

Family Atmosphere
At Spotlights we are all like one big family! From your first day you will be assigned a buddy someone who is already a student at Spotlights. They will look after you during your session, helping you to feel more confident and at ease giving you the opportunity to make new friends.

Inspiring Teachers
You can expect friendly faces and bubbly personalities. All of our teachers are professionally trained and have worked in the industry.

Fun and Engaging class
During your trial you can expect to play lots of games that help to you to focus, be creative and develop your confidence. We will also start teaching you some content for our upcoming shows ‘Frozen 2’ (for children aged 4-6) or ‘We will Rock You’ (for children aged 7-18). You will have the opportunity to start learning the songs and dances from the production within your class.

A break!
Half way through our classes we have a break, an opportunity to refresh yourself. We recommend that our Little Stars (ages 4-6) bring a small snack and a drink. For our main school who have 2-3 hour sessions, it’s worth considering bringing a couple of snacks and lots to drink!

Finally, …

After your Trial is over our teachers will speak to your parents about how your trial went. The following week we will follow up with a phone call offering you a place and your Spotlights journey can begin!

It’s Panto time! Oh no it isn’t. Oh yes it is!

Wednesday, December 4th, 2019

Panto season is fast approaching… oh no it isn’t! Oh yes, it is!

Going to a pantomime is often a child’s first exposure to theatre. They are a great family event to enjoy together during the festive season. A Pantomime has many classic traditions. The main male role is often played by a woman. A Pantomime always has a dame, a man dressed as a woman in an often-eccentric dress with very exaggerated make up. Although the story-lines are classic fairy-tales the jokes are always contemporary, bound to make you laugh your socks off! Audience participation is hugely encouraged during a Pantomime. So, you’ll find yourself easily getting involved amongst all the action. From shouting ‘He’s behind you’, ‘Oh no you’re not’ and booing loudly at the evil characters.
The end of the year simply wouldn’t be complete without going to see a pantomime.

To help you we’ve put together a list of some of our Pantomime picks for 2019.

London Palladium, 7th December – 4th January
If you are looking for a premium Pantomime then the London Palladium is for you. Qdos Entertainment is the world’s biggest pantomime producer. The production this year is Goldilocks and The Three bears starring regular headliners Julian Clary and Paul O Grady. Sophie Issacs stars as the title role who recently starred in ‘Heathers’ (Theatre Royal, Haymarket).

Fairfield Halls, Croydon 10th December – 8th January
After being refurbished the Fairfield Halls has reopened its doors to theatre goers. This year however the story of Cinderella will be held in the brand-new Phoenix Concert Hall. Starring Strictly come Dancing champion Ore Oduba, actor and comedian Tim Vine. It’s one not to be missed.

Churchill Theatre, Bromley 7th December – 5th January
Starring Pantomime royalty, Christopher Biggins as the iconic Widow Twankey. The Churchill theatre presents Aladdin, a classic tale of the ‘magic carpet ride’ that sees Aladdin and Jasmine enter a whole new world. This pantomime is guaranteed to bring plenty of festive magic.

Broadway Theatre, Catford 20th -29th December
With a star cast featuring Soul singing legend Mica Paris as the Fairy Godmother. Broadway Theatre present the tale of ‘Beauty and the Beast. The production features fun dance routines, plenty of jokes, slapstick comedy and heaps of Christmas magic.

We also appreciate that buying Pantomime tickets can be expensive so why not try some cheaper productions where you can still have lots of fun. The Beckenham Theatre Centre are performing Aladdin with tickets just £8! Help support your local amateur theatre group and let them put a smile on your face this Christmas.