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Interview with... Elliott-Clarke Performing Arts

May 1, 2015


What do household names, Kim Marsh, Bill Kenwright, Heidi Range (Sugababes), Leanne Campbell from Radio City and Tony Warren all have in common?

Apart from being well-known names and faces through their musical and television careers, they are all former pupils of the Elliott-Clarke College of Performing Arts. Based in Liverpool, the college has a proud history of turning out young men and women who are fully equipped to take up sustainable careers in the performing arts industry.

As we recently posted some tips for picking the right dance school and this year is the prestigious Elliott-Clarke’s 90th anniversary, we thought it would be a good idea to meet up with Principal, Suzanne Sharkey, to find out what factors have given them as a school the longevity and success that has carried them through to almost a decade. The aim, according to Ms Sharkey, is to lead students towards their most appropriate career path.

At Dance Depot, we always believe the key to a good school is identifying their pupils’ strengths and passions, finding out where their talent and interest lies in - be it performing, teaching or some other capacity in the industry, and in styles from Jazz to Tap and everything in between. Then the job of a good school is guiding pupils towards a clear goal.

Elliott-Clarke has always shared these views and in 90 years, Ms Sharkey is only the third Principal in its history, and has maintained such long-established core values of the school. The aim is, and always has been, to give students the necessary skills to prepare them for a life dedicated to the performing arts while providing them with an outstanding level of education.

Reflecting on his own experience at Pineapple Dance Studios, Dance Depot’s own founder, Simon Grigg, says he developed his love of the industry as a buyer for Pineapple Dance Studios.
Excellent teachers and a broad curriculum:

Elliott-Clarke is proud to employ a team of talented, highly trained and experienced well as four guest teachers to help provide students with the skills needed for their defined goals, as discussed earlier who between them ensure that pupils gain a rounded and complete education.

Students can specialise in areas of the comprehensive performing arts curriculum including drama, singing, musical theatre, ballet, modern and contemporary dance, Jazz to Tap.

The college is well-established and offers students aged between 16 and 19 the chance to complete a range of courses. These include Level 3 BTEC in Musical Theatre and Level 6 HND in Performing Arts. And don’t forget - Dance Depot stock a wide range of clothing and footwear to make sure your dancewear is a high standard for important exams.

Following their graduations, students can benefit from the long-established links that Elliott-Clarke has within the industry - and which give them confidence in a great career within the dance industry.

Plenty of exciting events planned for 2015:

Ms Sharkey told us that this year is a memorable one for the college. The annual Shelagh Memorial Show, in honour of their founder, will coincide with the school’s 90th Anniversary, and is set to take place in Liverpool's Royal Court, incorporating as many local schools as possible.

Anyone wanting to enroll at Elliott-Clarke is welcome to attend one of their Open Days, although visits can be arranged throughout the year. Meanwhile the school is open on Saturdays to teach drama to children and teenagers from the age of two right up to 18.

You can keep up to date with Elliott-Clarke by following them on Twitter, Facebook & Youtube

We wish them all the best of luck from Dance Depot for another successful 90 years! Do you know anyone who has attended Elliott-Clarke? Or do you have any fond memories from your own dance school days that you’d like to share with us? We’d love to hear them - tell us in the comments below!