Dance school back on stage after pirouetting through a precarious period

·2-min read
A show time curtain call for pupils from Southampton Dance Academy
A show time curtain call for pupils from Southampton Dance Academy

IT’S an award-winning dance school which strives to be welcoming and kind while maintaining excellent technique in its dancers.

Youngsters from Southampton Dance Academy have taken to the stage once again, performing their first full scale all school production since before the pandemic at The Plaza in Romsey earlier this year.

The business was set up by dance educator Chrissy May, initially as a one man band named CM Dance, back in April 2009.

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The change to Southampton Dance Academy, which is based in Shirley and specialises in ballet, tap, modern and contemporary dance, came ten years later to reflect the growth of the business.

Now with a team of three brilliant dance teachers, the school scooped a bronze award at the Dance School of the Year competition last year. The annual contest celebrates the achievements made by dance teachers with their schools all over the world.

Chrissy told the Daily Echo: “Our ethos of being welcoming and kind to all comers whilst still striving to maintain excellent technique in our dancers makes us stand out from others.

“When I asked our parents what was unique about us they said the feeling of safety and inclusion is something that seems more prevalent at our school, and the way we communicate our ongoing training to the families we work with.

Daily Echo:
Daily Echo:

“They keep coming back because they know we genuinely care about their children.”

Covid shut down Southampton Dance Academy entirely, but that didn’t stop them dancing.

Chrissy added: “We realised immediately that our learners needed to feel connected to each other so we very quickly adapted and adopted Zoom, teaching a streamlined timetable to those who could and wanted to access it, whilst leaving the doors open for those who didn’t want to be online for lessons.

Daily Echo:
Daily Echo:

“It was a very precarious period but we pirouetted our way through!”

During the first lockdown, a popular star awards system was also introduced. The free scheme sees children given stars for small wins rather than specific skills, so each can be tailored to the individual.

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