Overview of The Academy

Today, I was emailed by a gentleman from Inclusion Engagement Officer at Sport Across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. He emailed the company address asking for an Overview of the Academy and information on the following events.

I thought it was something quite extraordinary and thought it relevant to share the information with you as I did with him.

These were the point covered, some of which people may not be aware about us.

- Cost per class is between £4 and £5 per session. Also offering a Multiple class discount of 15% and a sibling discount of 15%

- Level of intensity ranges from age 2 years upto age 15 plus. Also depending on the style of class attending, depends on the intensity. If we begin with the younger ones, it's more about fun, skill building (i.e running and jumping properly, basic dance steps and memory patterns) attention and listening skills, which are something missed out during their early years. As we move up the age groups, the classes get longer and more structured with various exercises to motivate and teach harder skills through the ages. The age 9-11 and 11+ classes are the most intense with their skill and ability levels, so are expected to work harder. Also, there are opportunities to compete at local competitions, festivals and shows which does require a level of commitment from those teams but is not compulsory.

- Equipment required - For me as their coach, I have my own equipment which I travel around with including, speaker, iPad, registers, laptop etc. All the children need is comfortable clothing (no jeans or heels) and plenty of water.

- Experience or skill required - We cater for all ages and abilities and there will be something for everyone. There is no specific way of dancing and there is not a "perfect" dancer. We are all family and work with those who struggle and "never dictate only direct!"

- Training provided - I have been dancing for 19 years and still going (touch wood), having completed 4 years at Roehampton University in London completing my BA Honours Degree in Dance and Biomechanics, injury prevention, healthy body and mind and structured teaching. With these goals, I have adapted my teaching to working within Dementia homes and also working with children with either learning or physical difficulties. Teaching for me is a passion and will continue spreading the word that anyone can dance, irrespective of background, culture, age, race or impairments.

There has been an "Idyllic" appearance to dancers and a lot of media influences which is completely ruining what myself and many other choreographers are trying to portray. You do not need to meet a certain standard unless it is "your drive and perseverance to achieve a goal, that is your responsibility, not ours". I feel it is soul destroying that forcing children to appear a certain way is continuing. From personal experience and training within various companies who required a change from my appearance, I understand how it feels.

With my dancers, they are free to express themselves in the forms that are within the Academy.

Street Dance focuses on anger management and bringing their fears and hard emotions to the class to express through movements.

With our Contemporary class, they are free to express their own story through their body language, there is no right or wrong.

I have a lot of positive feedback from the teaching methods I use as it draws out a positive drive within the children and I have notice a shift in their confidence, growing gradually and not resisting.

The idea within the Dance School is to build a family, build confidence and skills to carry them throughout life. Yes, we are about having fun and fitness also, however unlike many schools, Our Academy is not about the medals, the winning or the status. We are about reinforcing that it is okay to not win all the time, that taking part is what counts, that you support each other in your teams and the others within our Family. Terms of which have been lost throughout some generations. We bring it back.

Throughout the studies and research within University and general knowledge requirements, I feel it important that this message is expressed as not many teachers with the same training as myself will be able to express these concerns within the Dance World.

I hope that some of the information here has encouraged you to bring new ones to join us and to feel free to express themselves!

If you have any questions about this article, please get in touch :)

Kind regards,

Sophie Eliza


Owner and Principal

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