When my daughter Rosa was just 3 years old, she really enjoyed dancing and would love to put on little shows for us all to watch and applaud.
So, in awe of her tiny dance steps, I started to research dance academies in Harrogate – there were a few I liked, all very professional and friendly in their response to my questions and telling me about the type of classes that they offer…
Then I came across Summerbell Dance Academy, and even over email you could tell that its principal Jennie Summerbell – Miss Jennie – was smiling as she wrote. She was so welcoming and encouraging, telling me all about how the school is family run, friendly and focuses on encouraging and giving confidence to students – even to the tiniest of dancers.
So, I quickly signed Rosa up for her first free session. And OK so Rosa was a little nervous at first, but Miss Jennie made her feel so welcome with compliments, strong words of encouragement and beautiful smiles, that Rosa loved it and looked forward to joining in every week. Just like a lot of children, Rosa was sometimes a little shy, but she was so excited when she was able to perform with her friends in her first ever ballet show – Dance Magic 2014.
Rosa then became more and more confident and took part in her first IDTA (International Dance Academy) exam – passing with flying colours as did all her friends.
Rosa is now 8 years old and has grown with the same group of ‘tiny dancers’, continuing to take part in ballet, tap and more recently musical theatre. Along with her dancing friends, they have performed together in three dance shows, enjoying every single one to the max. And what is really wonderful to see is that all dancers support each other – and this is testament to Miss Jennie’s ethos for her amazing dance academy.
And we may well have a little Billy Elliot in the making as my son Frank (who just turned 5) also joined the ballet and tap crew last September – and he loves it – especially tap! Frank is a proper boy – loves charging about – and while he still gets to do this on the odd occasion during free dance and freeze moments – he listens, takes part, points his toes proudly and makes sure his tap shoes are heard in his mini Fred Astair style – and this is all because Miss Jennie makes it possible in her truly fantastic teaching style.
And while all students are encouraged to take part in IDTA exams, Summerbell Dance Academy does so much more: the younger ones can take part in Princess Schools over the holidays; there are trips to see popular stage performances such as Wicked, The Wizard of Oz for older students; and Christmas parties – are just a few of the additional fun things you can take part in.
Last but by no means least, Miss Jennie is very busy organising the 2018 Summerbell Dance Academy Show in which all students are invited to take part. In the first act students will be performing a version of Aladdin called ‘A Whole New World’ and the second act will be
“a variety of wonderful dances to keep you entertained!” – Miss Jennie
The show will be held at Ashville College, Harrogate on 9th & 10th June 2018 – and all are welcome to watch in what is sure to be an amazing show of talent, so you can come and see for yourselves just how brilliant this dance school really is.
So, there is no better way to conclude this piece other than to remember that:
‘Dance is such a positive thing to do for anyone at any age; for confidence, health benefits, making friends, keeping the mind active, exercise…”
…as perfectly put by the extremely talented and beautiful inside and out – Miss Jennie!
And this is so clear in the happy faces of these two ballet besties…