Kudos is extremely proud to supply kit and clothing to clubs, schools, classes and organisations that stretch way beyond what one might deem the traditional sports. As well as those regular sports such as cricket and athletics, we work with a range of clubs and classes in other pursuits – including dance.
Adagio School of Dance is a fabulous, award-winning dance school based in Essex. We caught up with Principal Director Bronwen Patching to talk about the school, dance in this country, and more.
KUDOS: So firstly, can you tell us a bit about when and how Adagio School of Dance was established, and how it got off the ground?
Bronwen: Adagio School of Dance was established in 1998. I produced my own leaflets and distributed them around the entire area. The school started with 8 students, and we now have over 300!
As well as Adagio, there’s South East Ballet Scholars – a Classical Ballet Associate programme I set up in 2007. Even though I say so myself, it’s a hugely a successful programme which has produced dancers of the highest calibre.
What dance styles do you cover?
We cover loads, including Classical Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Tap, Street, Acro, Lambada and musical theatre!
From our perspective, it seems dance is extremely fashionable right now – partly owing to the likes of Strictly and dance troupes such as Diversity winning Britain’s Got Talent. Is that borne out by the numbers and expressions of interest in your club?
Oh yes, absolutely. The school has developed a real reputation for the high standard of teaching and so many students travel a fair distance to attend our classes. Pretty chuffed to say I’ve won the Imperial Ballet Teachers award for 10 consecutive years, which doesn’t do us any harm!
You think back to films like Billy Elliot, and a time where, among certain people or generations at least, male dancers came with a negative stereotype. Correct us if we’re wrong, but – as it is so undeniably cool now and much more gender inclusive – you must get lots more boys coming to your classes now than, say, 15-20 years ago?
We do, we have a good intake of boys – especially after the pandemic.
How has the club been affected by the pandemic?
The pandemic saw us having to close the doors on our studios just before lockdown as we had a couple of cases present themselves in the school. I set up a Schools Office 365 (no mean feat!) for all students so they could tune to videos for practising. After the first few weeks we transferred all classes onto a Zoom timetable and this continued until July, when we started outdoor classes daily.
Once we were allowed to return to the studios I ran our Covid timetable for a five week period along with Covid safe week long workshops for five weeks also. Everyone was so grateful that I had worked so hard to get the studios reopened, along with providing regular classes, and understood when I closed again to allow all the children to safely return back to school. It was so lovely to see these children back face to face and highly emotional, for all we love being a real community.
We believe dance is an incredibly multi-faceted thing – it’s physical activity, you can compete in a sporting sense, but it’s so much more than that isn’t it? Personal expression, creative and artistic. Do you agree, and what other benefits do you think it can provide to people?
I do agree, yes. I also find it brings, with the right input, a sense of family and community that’s not always the case with some dance schools. It also helps many shy and reserved children gain confidence in so many areas and also helps increase their friendship circles.
Finally – how would you sell the idea of joining Adagio Dance School?
We provide a nurturing environment for our students – with 5 state of the art studios all under one roof – empowering them to learn the disciplines of the performing arts, and we have an exceptional faculty of teachers and internationally renowned guest teachers. As a multi-award winning school we encourage and to love create performers with exceptional all-round skills. We reckon we offer the finest possible training for our students, preparing them for a future in the spotlight. We’re really proud to have past students currently performing with top classical companies and in West End shows, as well as studying at leading vocational schools. I’d say to anyone, of any age – come along, bring your kids…you’ll love it!
Thank you so much to Bronwen for her time and insight into this wonderful school. If you’d like to join Adagio, you can email them firstname.lastname@example.org, check out their Facebook page or call them on 01277 224 345.
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