Showstoppers opened its doors on September 2nd 1996. My aim was to run a school that offered a high calibre of teaching where I could pass on the knowledge I had gained as a former teacher and performer and be a yardstick for young performers, giving students a friendly environment where they could express themselves freely through the performing arts and grow in confidence as performers and young adults.
Being part of the British Arts Association has given me the opportunity to give students the experience of exam work in an exam environment from a young age, for students to be involved in competitions both locally, regionally and nationally and to learn the lessons of competition (both the highs and the lows).
We have always prided ourselves on presenting an annual show of a very professional standard, teaching students commitment and hard work and by attributing these assets what you can achieve (life lessons not just performance lessons).
I have had many students pass through the door who have gone on to full-time vocational training where the skills they have learned at Showstoppers has stood them in good stead. We have had students go onto Millennium Performing Arts, London studios, Stella Mann, The Brighton Academy, Elmhurst School for Dance, The Royal Ballet School, Tring Park Arts Educational, Rambert, Bird.
From there our students have gone on to work in a variety of professional companies, cruiselines, shows, cabarets, modeling and teaching!
Today many of our former students return to take classes or run workshops and pass on their knowledge, keeping us a very close-knit school. This year alone we see our graduating students go on to a variety of further education in lots of different aspects of life, but showstoppers has given each of these young people something special regardless of whether they are going into the Arts or not. It’s given them friendships, good work ethics, understanding of commitment and working as a team, a pride in themselves and in theirs and others achievements.
For the future I hope to see more of the above.
Rachel Dare trained with RAD in schools in Scotland, England and America. She holds a Masters Degree in Education and was instrumental in the founding of Showstoppers.
Ellie Wilkinson is an ex-student who went on to further training at The Brighton Academy and after working as a professional dancer now teaches for Showstoppers as well as running her own fitness business and is a qualified personal trainer.
Harriet Wilkinson is also an ex-student who has worked professionally after graduating from Brighton. Harriet has worked for Warner’s, held the position of dance captain and worked overseas in musicals and worked on the musical Titanic. Harriet has won several choreography awards.
Kirstie Stuart trained with us before attending Bath Spa where she achieved her degree in Musical Theatre. From there she went on to work on the cruise ships as a singer/dancer and is still working in the industry and in her spare time is part of our teaching facility.
Along the way you may see other ex-students popping in to take classes and teach:-
Amy Devine graduated from London Studios and is now a producer, choreographer and dancer in Dubai.
Jade Smith Stella Mann graduate, professional dancer/singer.
Fenn O’Farrell Millennium graduate, professional singer-dancer, currently working in Cyprus.
Joe Trodd ex Elmhurst, Royal Ballet and Rambert dancer currently working for Marella cruises.
Finally and most importantly is that I hope that Showstoppers is a fun place to train and when you leave you feel that you have achieved being the best that you can be and along the way you have made memories that will stay with you always!