During the height of the pandemic, the one industry that the world turned to in order to survive lockdown was the arts. From online choirs to virtual dance classes, every element of the arts was consumed to spread much needed sanity and joy.
As a national theatre school, Razzamataz has seen first-hand what the arts means to children and young people. It offers so much more than just preparing the next generation for a life on the stage. With much debate about ‘unviable’ jobs and the sector not getting the support it deserves, Razzamataz remains committed to working very hard in local communities where the arts continue to flourish.
“We have former students and teachers who are current West End performers and it is so sad to see what is happening,” says Denise Hutton-Gosney, MD and Founder of Razzamataz. “We also work with many of these highly skilled professionals with our masterclasses in our schools. It’s not just their performing skills which makes them so appreciated, the inspiration that they give to young people up and down the country is invaluable and not just for those that want to perform. The skills that you acquire as a performer equips you for so much of what life throws at you.” When you consider the average professional performer would train from the age of six to 21, that is a huge investment for each individual.
Although 2020 has been hard on the West End, there is still so much to celebrate in terms of what is happening in local communities and the arts. At Razzamataz, many of the schools are using performing arts to help the students make sense of the lockdown experience as Denise explains: “Many children and young people find talking about their feelings difficult, but if you incorporate it into a dance, drama or singing piece, it is amazing how they open up. It has been really eye-opening as to how they have processed the experience and how each story is so unique. Without participating in these classes, we doubt that they would ever have communicated how they felt.”
Razzamataz is open for children from the age of just six months until they are 18. Through participation in dance, drama and singing classes, the children are exposed to a whole range of life skills including resilience, communication, teamwork and creative thinking. Keeping the arts alive and well is not just about enjoying performances from those at the very height of their career, it is about keeping the skills alive for generations to come.
“At a local level, we are incredibly proud of what our schools are doing for children,” says Denise. “We have had a number of schools also launch during this time and already are making a positive impact in their communities. We know that young people have been hit hard by the pandemic so we want to spread the message to say how vital the arts are right now.”
Razzamataz schools throughout the UK are returning to pre-Covid numbers, thanks largely to the unwavering support from the Head Office to communicate each and every new change. “Digesting the new elements of our business has been overwhelming at times but every step of the way Head Office have been there to support,” says Charlotte Olivares, Principal of Razzamataz Maidstone. “I love our network but now more than ever it’s great to have the support. The webinars have been great, with plenty of opportunity to ask questions and share developments and ideas.”
After a number of successful launches this last month, Razzamataz are currently looking to launch more theatre schools across the UK and overseas. If you would like to find out more about the ambitious growth plans and to be part of multi-award-winning Razzamataz Theatre Schools network, drop Charlotte a line from our friendly Head Office team to book on to one of our virtual Discovery Dens.
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