Aah to be a kid again and have your pick of all the singing/dancing/performing opportunities out there! I tried a lot of things when I was little, with varying degrees of success (I didn’t exactly put the ‘high’ in Highland Dancing), but one thing was for sure- I loved putting on a show. Fortunately that was in the days before video cameras so I can look back on memories of me ‘treading the boards’ of our living room with rose tinted glasses firmly on.
The thing is, you don’t have to have gone on to ‘great things’ in any of your hobbies to have loved every minute of the classes, lessons and clubs you attended. Doing drama at school gave me the ability (or at least the ability to fake) and condifence to do public speaking and I love nothing more than watching my 11 year old niece in her end of season dance show every year, reminding me how much I loved it too.
Whether your kids are budding thespians or just like a bit of a jazz hand these classes are about so much more than just discovering or honing a talent- they are where great memories and friendships are created, and confidence, social skills and co-ordination grow. Get them involved!
Most people have heard of Kilgraston School for Girls in Bridge of Earn- but I would guess many of them don’t realise that every year they run a whole programme of ‘mini camps’, usually over school holidays, that are open to everyone (girls and boys!) and suitable for those aged 5-18. The camps make use of the academy standard hockey, tennis and swimming facilities on site, and are delivered by expert national-level coaches and even a former Olympian. One of the 5 day mini camps in July this year is ‘Musical Theatre’- offering all budding actors and musicians the opportunity to take to the boards to sing, dance, act or play music. They rehearse and then perform in their very own musical at the end of the week! They also offer a discount of 20% if you have a third sibling going to camp.
We’ll be doing a ‘Spotlight’ article on all the mini camps soon, but in the meantime information about what’s running this year, including costs, can be found by contacting Kilgraston Language and Activities Centre.
A Royal Academy of Dance School that teaches ballet, tap, jazz and street from ages 3 to adult. All their teachers are highly trained in specialities such as RAD Ballet, ISTD Tap and Jazz. The school run a full programme of classes across their 3 current branches in Kinross, Portmoak and Crook of Devon. Principal teacher Rachel Webb believes that foundation ballet skills are not only transferable to all styles of dance, but that they support the health and well-being of each individual. Their new studio opening later this year in Kinross will offer 2 vocational size studios, sprung floors and ballet barres. The highlight of the year for many pupils is getting to show off their talents in the annual dance show!
Perth Youth Theatre is a thriving and inclusive theatre company for young people aged 4 - 18 yrs.
Horsecross Glee: Ages 5-18. Develop vocal and music-making skills through interactive singing sessions with professional tutors. Horsecross Glee offers participants opportunities to sing in large groups, smaller ensembles and as soloists. Groups are open for all with no entrance audition.
Little Stars: Creative Play is the programme for under 5s. Led by Horsecross tutors who specialise in this age group, these fun-filled workshops include drama, singing and dancing activities and are tailored to engage and inspire children aged 0-4 years. The sessions build a colourful imagination as well as focusing on the four ‘C’s: confidence, concentration, coordination and communication, helping children to reach their full potential.
Inspire Studio opened its doors in 2012 when local instructors Dawn Gillies and Brooke Robertson teamed up. Brooke is a Theatre Dance graduate with a background in choreography, dance teaching and performance, while Dawn’s expertise lies in teaching Fitness and Pilates classes. The two ladies decided to combine their talents to bring both dance and fitness classes together under one roof!
They now run over 35 classes a week in their bright and fully mirrored studio in heart of Perth. Don’t be fooled though- Inspire is about a lot more than just ‘The two T’s’ (technique and trophies), their whole attitude to dance is about enjoyment, laughter and FUN!!
Inspire Dance takes kids from age 3 and runs classes in ballet, tap, freestyle, commercial, contemporary, jazz, broadway, street, dancers gymnastics and highland (i’m in!). They also offer a singing class with professional singer and musician Michael Ellacott and Drama classes with local actress Amanda Beveridge (most recently known for her role as Poison Ivy the Horsecross production of Beauty and the Beast).
Stagecoach Theatre Arts is the UK's largest network of part-time performing arts schools for children aged 4-18 yrs. The Perth branch, now in it’s 11th year, operates on a Saturday morning and is based at Perth High School.
The ‘Early Stages’ programme is for 4-6 year olds, and the ‘Main School’ for 6-16 year olds. Both classes cover the disciplines of singing, dance and drama, with Early Stages students doing so over an hour and a half, and older pupils doing so over 3 hours. Numbers in each class are limited, and all students are offered a two week trial after which they can decide whether to continue or not. Stagecoach believe in using the performing arts to develop confidence and increase self-esteem in young people, while at the same time honing their skills.
Established in 1974 The Dance Bank continues to train dancers of all ages in Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Hip Hop Street Dance. There are two purpose-built studios and changing facilities (with free parking!). The ‘Tinies’ start at just 16 months old attending BabyBalletPlusOne, a “Mummy and Me” class with everyone participating in a full-of-fun dance experience. From the age of five girls and boys have the opportunity to take examinations and perform onstage in Dance Bank productions as well as taking part in touring productions such as the “Strictly Tour” at Perth Concert Hall. New pupils are always welcomed and even mums & dads are catered for too with ballet and Tap classes scheduled for complete beginners and experienced dancers!
Adventure Circus is Perth's circus school and offers instruction in four aerial disciplines - rope (corde lisse), hoop (lyra), silks (tissue/fabric) and static trapeze as well as floor based skills - poi, hula hoop and juggling. Skills are taught at a low level with mats to build confidence, and our instructors are both capable of demonstrating and spotting carefully. No previous gymnastic or dance experience is necessary, just a sense of adventure! Weekly classes are for children aged 6 to 12 years, and can be booked in blocks of five classes. Read more about Adventure Circus in our Test Town article here>>>
Run classes for 18 months + up to adults, including Disco Duck for parent and child together. Classes offered include modern, jazz, street, breakdancing, hip hop, ballet technique and boys only classes. They offer competition classes for street dancing and have four successful crews which are competing at world level. JGN also hold workshops throughout the year, and an annual show which this year takes place on 25th June at Perth Concert Hall.
The Fair City Singers are a highly successful independent choir for 11–18 year olds from Perthshire. They perform concerts in many different venues from local churches to large concert halls. Over and above their routine concerts, they recently had two very successful tours to London (2013) and Paris (2015) as well as being featured in BBC Radio 3's programme 'The Choir' and releasing their own CD. Entry to the choir is by audition only, and rehearsals are every Tuesday evening during school-term.
Established as a not-for-profit community interest company in 2012, they offer drama, choir, musical theatre and private music lessons in singing, guitar and piano at an affordable price. There is no audition process to join and no experience is necessary. Ad Lib believe in 'Arts For All' in that anyone with an interest should have a chance to take part regardless of age, ability, gender, religion or sexual orientation. Classes offered include Drama tots (nursery age), Junior/Youth Musical Theatre, Mini Melody Movers Choir and Junior Drama. The first class is free so come along and try it out for yourself!
The next #rhonarecommends is all about the kids and family activities happening all over Perthshire this Easter. If you've got a favourite one or know about anything different happening this year let us know in the comments!