I started dancing at Jackies school back in 1991 I was just 3 years old. She looked after, supported and endured me throughout my younger and adolescent years, and in doing so she contributed to the person I am today.
She encouraged my confidence during class, challenging us in those pesky and terrifying (at the time) exams, as well as the fun and excitement of teamwork for the annual show.
The exams, however scary, are so vital for development and progression as individuals. And the shows are important for growing team-building skills, confidence and charisma through performing in front of others. Without all of this I may never have had the confidence or learnt essential skills for later life.
I personally took a career in dance, however the skills above run throughout most careers and paths in everyday aspects of life. You may think you are just taking your child to a dance school, it’s so much more. You are also contributing to a healthy way of life by having then move from a young age. They will be interacting and being mindful with others, all while enjoying themselves in the process. It’s a win to me.
My time spent at Jackie Frater’s School of Dance, I was not the highest grading student the class. Although, Jackie did honour me with the ‘Personality Award’ (which I still have of course) this kind gesture encouraged my character/personality to shine through my dancing. Jackie also offered the opportunities to perform solo’s and duets during annual shows as my confidence grew.
Another great occasion I will always remember was the trip to see ‘The Miss Dance Competition’ in 2000. The dancers were incredibly inspiring, watching them show off their skills, costumes and routines. A particularly great experience for her pupils.
I had such a great time with Jackie and my fellow dancers and when it came time to part ways, I headed to Clarendon College in Nottingham to continue studying BTEC in Dance. Upon finishing there I went on to perform in hotels, at festivals and then ending on a high as a cruise ship dancer (which was the dream job) and it did not disappoint. Performing 6 nights a week twice a night and visiting some incredible places I could only have dreamt of. I even got to meet Wayne Sleep!
I am truly thankful for all I have received. Jackie is most certainly helped and encouraged me over the years! This goes to show through hard work, support, inspiration and motivation you can achieve anything.
Thank you Miss Jackie for everything
Jessica has performed all her life since beginning dance lessons with Miss Jackie in Radcliffe at the age of 4. This was where she found her passion for dance and her ambition to make dance part of her life. She was so enthusiastic about doing annual shows but also loved her technique and exam work. Jackie always bought out the best in Jess and gave her the confidence to shine. It was after this that she began teaching the younger students in 2005 and loved seeing them grow the way she had.
She successfully auditioned to join Carlton Operatic Society in 2005 for their production of West Side Story and fell in love with musical theatre.
Jessica completed her IDTA training in Ballet, Tap and Modern Jazz with Jackie and later went on to gain an FdA in Theatre Arts Dance in 2013 where she specialised in Contemporary Dance.
Jessica joined Spotlight Theatre School in 2008 as a singing student and from 2010 joined the Spotlight team and is proud to be part of the huge progression that the school has seen in that time. Her love for singing was found here and since then has found an ear to be able to coach the students vocally, sometimes challenging them with difficult harmonies.
In 2010, she made her choreographic Debut with a youth production of West Side Story at the Nottingham Playhouse and has not looked back. Having choreographed over 10 full shows and most recently assisting for Grease at the Theatre Royal with Carlton Operatic, Jessica has definitely found her happy place. Her biggest pride is seeing her students progress and perform with more confidence every time they get on a stage.
This year she is performing again in West Side Story at the Nottingham Theatre Royal and is choreographing A Chorus Line which will be performed at the Nottingham Playhouse in July.
‘There is no greater reward than working from your heart and making a difference’ – Carlos Satana