Performing Arts School Knutsford LIPA shows that Cheshire's Got Talent
A new performing arts school in Knutsford is giving youngsters the chance to develop their skills Photography by John Cocks
When she started drama classes as a teenager, Alison Gorton’s dream was of a life on the stage but after years spent performing in theatres and touring productions she returned to the classroom.
She started teaching ten years ago at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and has now opened the doors on a Lipa franchise in Knutsford which gives young talent from the area a helping hand along the path she took to stage and screen.
‘I get more out of helping others to do it than by doing it myself,’ Alison said. ‘Seeing a person grow is wonderful and I absolutely fell in love with the job.’
Alison is the school’s drama teacher and she added: ‘I had been dancing since I was about three but I didn’t do all three disciplines and I didn’t have the confidence to join a group until I was 18 and I joined Scamps in Wilmslow. I went on to train at North Cheshire Theatre School and then acted in the theatre on touring productions and in the outdoor theatre at Tatton Park.
‘Through performing, young people can develop teamwork and confidence and those things can really help you to get ahead in life.‘We teach singing, acting and dancing, the triple threat, as they call it on the tv talent programmes. Our ultimate goal is to teach life skills and confidence for anyone who wants to go into the business. I have taught quite a few who have gone to theatre schools, we give them the skills for their auditions.
‘In the last few years I have taught one of the girls who is a part of the girl band Parade and Bronte Barbe who reached the final ten on the BBC show Over the Rainbow, as well as a quite a few who have gone on to other things.
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‘It’s great to see them flourish and move on, you do feel quite maternal about them going off to bigger and better things but it’s the same feeling when a child who first came in with very little confidence manages to get up on stage and say a few words.’
Alison runs the classes with dance teacher Becci Francis at Knutsford Methodist church on Monday evenings during term times from 4pm.The classes are open to youngsters aged from four to 19 and Alison, who lives in Sutton, added: ‘There are no auditions, so it can be for anyone but we also hold advanced classes so we can push the really talented ones as well.
The print version of this article appeared in the November 2011 issue of Cheshire Life
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