Recent TV programme The Greatest Dancer showed that our fascination for a life on the stage and the world of performing arts is not slowing down. The BBC dance talent show saw dancers of any age and dance style compete to win £50,000. Although the competition was tough, what was harder was the years of intense training it took to get to this point.
For children with the drive and determination to make it in the world of performing arts, but who don’t have the training behind them, there is a fantastic opportunity to win a year’s worth of tuition at a theatre school that has many successful alumni including those working in West End shows, Hamilton, Matilda, School of Rock and many TV shows as well as a major film franchise.
Razzamataz Theatre Schools across the UK have joined forces with The Stage newspaper to offer scholarships to children and young people to attend their local Razzamataz free of charge for one year, worth up to £855. The scholarship audition process opens on April 15 and closes 21 June so there is plenty of time to get involved.
“We were the first part-time theatre school to work with The Stage newspaper to offer these scholarships and we have seen the amazing results across the UK,” says Denise Hutton-Gosney, MD and Founder of Razzamataz. “I actually found dance through an advert in my local paper and over the years, we have offered thousands of pounds worth of training to children and young people across the country and introduced them to the wonderful benefits of performing arts. While some of the past scholarship winners are now working professionally on the West End stage or in TV and radio, others have used their theatre arts training to gain important life skills to help secure places at universities to study their chosen subjects.”
To ensure as many youngsters as possible can enter, Razzamataz has created a scholarship system where students and potential students film a short demo of no more than two minutes long showing them performing either a musical theatre song and dance, commercial dance (hip hop or street), pop song, drama improvisation or scripted drama piece. The demo does not have to be professionally filmed. Applicants will also complete a short application form detailing why they would like to take this opportunity.
“We are looking for raw talent, so it doesn’t matter if you have not taken part in any performing arts classes before,” says Denise. “We can spot the potential in these youngsters and know that with training from our highly experienced teachers, these young people can acquire the skills they need to progress in the performing arts. Students leave Razzamataz as ‘triple threat’ performers, which means they are skilled in singing, dance and drama, giving them the best opportunity to work in this competitive industry.”
As well as being offered a free place at their nearest Razzamataz, the scholarship is a huge boost of confidence and can lead to amazing experiences. Some of the winners will be invited by The Stage to take part in a photoshoot and others will have a chance to attend The Stage New Year party in London.
“Many of our past scholarship winners have told us that winning gave them a boost of confidence and the belief that they could achieve if they set their mind to it,” adds Denise. “Offering children these life opportunities are part of the Razzamataz ethos and makes us all proud to be part of the network.”
Razzamataz is a franchise network of almost 50 schools. Franchisees come from a range of backgrounds including former performers, teachers, mums returning to work and young graduates. As a brand, Razzamataz work with many leading players in the performing arts industry and can offer franchisees great contacts to help them grow their own schools.