Posts Tagged ‘dance’

Stoke Gifford dancer earns place on London academy programme

Posted on Friday 18th January 2019 at 9:40 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Grace Cousins dancing. Photo of Grace Cousins dancing.

Thirteen-year-old Grace Cousins, who is a member of the Stoke Gifford School of Dance, has successfully auditioned for a place on an associate programme at the prestigious Urdang performing arts academy in London.

Grace has been dancing since she was three years old and over the years has developed a love and passion for dancing, having performed in numerous shows and entered a variety of competitions.

The Urdang Academy, based in Islington, offers training in dance and musical theatre for students aged 16 and above, but starting in January 2019, it is offering places on an associate programme for students aged 10 and above. The course will have a strong focus on the core technical subjects and aims to produce strong, well-rounded dancers. It will cover the three basic dance styles of ballet, tap and jazz as well as offering acrobatic and technique classes. Grace is most looking forward to developing her ballet skills as this is her favourite style of dance. She said:

“I enjoy all styles of dance but my favourite is ballet because I’ve been growing up doing it and I enjoy dancing it. I’m also someone who likes having a good technique and being precise and neat, which is the main focus of ballet.”

Grace found out about the course from her dance teacher Miss Eve, who encouraged her to go and audition as it would be a good way to push her to becoming a better dancer. The audition took place on Sunday 2nd December 2018. Grace said:

“I felt quite confident about the audition so I didn’t need to prepare much. I just needed to show them some impressive moves and tricks in order to display my ability and to wow them. I felt like the audition went well; I showed my personality through my dancing and executed the steps well.”

More: Grace will attend Urdang Academy every other Sunday »

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Exam time at local dance school

Posted on Saturday 14th July 2018 at 10:51 pm by SH (Editor)

Students of Stoke Gifford School of Dance at an exam session.

A group of 18 ballet dancers from Stoke Gifford School of Dance have been busy taking their exams with the Royal Academy of Dance. An examiner visited the school, which is located in the Trust Hall and Poplar Rooms on North Road, on Sunday 24th June.

The children, aged between 6 and 13, have been working hard towards the exams for many months. Isabella, aged 9, from Bradley Stoke has just taken her fourth ballet exam. She commented: “It’s nerve racking at first but at the end you feel proud of yourself.”

They have a few more weeks left to enjoy their classes before the summer break and are looking forward to receiving their results when they return in September to start working at the next graded level.

Principal of the school, Eve Brewer, said:

“Exam season is always very busy but, as usual, the girls have all worked really hard and I am hoping their results will reflect this.”

Stoke Gifford School of Dance offers lessons in ballet, modern and tap from age 3 upwards. For more information, visit

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Dance school wows Christmas show audience

Posted on Monday 8th January 2018 at 11:18 pm by Laura Mortimore

Photo of the four main characters in the show (l-r): Yuying, Grace, Ruby and Grace.

The Stoke Gifford School of Dance have performed their Christmas show ‘Beyond the Rainbow’ to an audience of family and friends.

The show, which took place at King’s Oak Academy, Kingswood on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th December, was a huge success. The cast, which consisted of 47 girls aged between 3 and 18 years old, showcased their wonderful talents in ballet, modern and tap.

Eve Brewer, principal of the school, explained what preparation is needed to put together a show of this magnitude:

“We have been working on the show since the start of term in September. The preparation includes music editing, choreography, organising costumes, designing the tickets and programme, and rallying up the support of parents and friends for ticket sales and to help with the smooth running of the show, and all that before we even start teaching the dances to the children! In the final week leading up to the show, the children are all very excited and we look forward to seeing the result of all their hard work on stage.”

The performance was based on ‘The Wizard of Oz’ with Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Lion and the Tin Man taking centre stage to lead the rest of the cast through 26 different songs and dances that followed the theme of colour, including ‘Purple Rain’, ‘Men in Black’ and ‘Follow the Yellow Brick Road’. With dances ranging from pre-school and reception ballet all the way up to senior tap and modern, there was plenty of variety for the audience to delight in. Lisa Rush, who watched the Sunday performance, described the show as “very enjoyable; it flowed well and the dancers performed beautifully and confidently”.

More photos of the cast »

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