Nearly 200 pupils of the Jayne Marie Dancing School gathered for their annual presentation afternoon at the Rudolf Steiner School in Kings Langley.
A variety of solos, duets and groups performed ballet, tap, modern, singing and drama to an enthralled audience.
Many of the students performing enjoyed recent success at the London Finals of the British Arts Awards and were invited by the school’s principal, Miss Jayne Wilson, to entertain and showcase what JMDS can really do.
In the second half of the evening, children aged from 3 to 19 years old took their bows and curtsies in the Grand Finale to applause from 300 parents and friends of the school.
The show was opened with a street jazz dance called Schoolin’ Life, choreographed by Hollie Bishop.
That was followed with performances from the youngest ballerinas, Lottie Casserley and Leah Kennedy (7) and Ayla Clare (12) to the most advanced pointe work dancers who performed to Shostakovich Waltz – choreographed by Miss Wilson.
Solo drama acts were performed by Alice Mitchell and Isla Harrison, and solo songs were performed by Nancy Allsop and Rhianna Abrey.
The first half was closed with a dramatic character contemporary group dance, with 14 students portraying holocaust victims. The dance was choreographed by one of JMDS’s experienced and dedicated teachers, Suzanne Nikolic.
During the second half, 86 polished cups and trophies were given out to the most deserving students and were presented by ex-JMDS pupil, Alex Louize Bird.
Alex has been performing in the West End for 20 years, since the age of six, and is currently dancing in Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, after spending two years in Wicked.
“I have received many emails congratulating myself and my teaching staff on the professionalism of the afternoon’s performances,” said Miss Wilson. “I even received some lovely comments from dads of pupils who said they had been thoroughly entertained and surprised at the level of performance.
“It makes all the hard work very worthwhile to receive such wonderful feedback from parents and visitors.
“We also sadly said goodbye and good luck to three very senior students. Ruby Sedgwick from Berkhamsted, aged 18, had been with me since the age of 3; Rhianna Abrey, from Woodhall Farm, also from the age of 3; and Bethany Sanders from Hemel Hempstead – our longest serving student to date – having spent 16 years with me.
“They are all moving on to a new era in their lives and taking with them very many happy memories of their years dancing at the school.
“It was emotional to say goodbye but I know their dancing years will stay with them throughout their lives.”
Miss Wilson has been running the school for 31 years, since 1983, with classes in ballet, tap, modern, drama and singing at her two branches in Hemel Hempstead and Berkhamsted.
She has a team of seven experienced and enthusiastic teachers guiding children from the age of 3 upwards through the performing arts.
In May, Miss Wilson and the Jayne Marie Dancing School were awarded runner-up in the British Arts Awards Teacher/School of the Year at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London.
Miss Wilson is also an examiner for the British Arts. For further information, please visit www.jmdancingschool.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org