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Centre Stage Academy, Yeadon
Lauren Beesting, Features Writer
Junior show class at Centre Stage Academy
I walked into the Town Hall to see a crowd of buzzing children, chatting and giggling excitedly to one another as they do each other’s hair and make-up awaiting their turn on stage.

I had the privilege of attending the Centre Stage Academy’s award show and rehearsals. I spent the whole day watching as each group and solo act emerged to the stage from behind the dark draping curtains.

Some were nervous and some were glowing with confidence practising their performances preparing for the real show that would be in only a few hours.

Soon this hall would be full of family and friends waiting patiently to watch their little ones perform.

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Centre Stage Academy is a performing arts studio which involves everyone no matter their ability. It’s great for kids to “do something” and “work towards something productive” Carol Bicker (founder) declares during a conversation about where CSA came from.

The idea for Centre Stage sprung from Carol's past experience of putting her daughter through “military style” dance classes which she found was degrading rather than helping children to learn.

She became the dance teacher that she wanted her daughter to have, building a business from teaching a few children in the comfort of her own home after a parent suggested starting a real academy after it grew from there.

CSA ranges in classes from gymnastics to singing, allowing children of all ages to join in and enjoy themselves. The ideologies being to “help build confidence socially outside of school and have confidence in performance that they can channel into being proactive.”

Carol stressed, as she continued to tell me that her students were begging for next performances as they loved it so much.

She continued, "that the academy does not discriminate but encourages involvement from many different types of children. They are inclusive to children with disabilities and learning difficulties."

Carol cares not about the ages of the children as she enthuses that “when the little ones are first on stage, it doesn’t matter about them not doing what they are supposed to, it’s about them having fun and gaining from the experience.”

Donna Oldroyd, a parent to one of the young children who attends the academy, said that “Centre Stage Academy is somewhere for kids to go and make new friends outside of school, whilst also making exercise fun.” Donna claimed that her daughter enjoys this dance academy much more than previous ones because it is not as strict and it allows her to have more fun whilst doing what she loves dancing.

From my own time with the academy, I found a delightful integration between the different age ranges - stretching right through to the parents.

The older children help to get the young ones ready, and the parents offering help and expertise in order to make the day run as smoothly as possible.

Centre Stage Academy, Yeadon, 28th December 2017, 16:13 PM