A Berry Happy New Year To You

Well, what a year 2015 has been – perhaps one of the best? While Christmas has been creeping up on us we’ve been getting into the mood with some fantastic events; special mention for the Christmas Fayre organised by our fabulous Fundraising Committee and not forgetting the fandabbydozy Christmas Concert! We were thrilled to sell out all the tickets and see so many friends and family there to support us, and well done to the pupils and staff for putting together a brilliant show.

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In the spirit of the new year we’re reflecting on this one. So here goes, we hope you enjoy looking back. In 2015 we’ve been…

  • Raising the roof at Miss Dance 2015…

Three of our very talented cohort, Misses Rebecca Hanneman, Bree Quinton & Bridie Thorpe performed in the Final of Miss Dance 2015 held at the immense Winter Gardens Theatre in Blackpool.

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  • Bursting with pride at Billy Elliot’s latest cast member…bradley

This year our pupil Bradley Mayfield took on the role of Michael, Billy’s best friend, in the smash hit Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace Theatre in September. After an extremely successful 11 years on the West End, the show will close its doors in April 2016 – we’re very proud to say that the very first Billy was a Berry Boy and so is the last Michael!

  • Backing up Gary, Howard & Owen to 40,000 people…

In June Mrs Berry was given a very special mission: Get together an ensemble, a troupe if you like, of adults to perform on the stage with Take That during their 3 dates at Sheffield Arena. Like with most challenges, Mrs B tackled this one with aplomb, and the choreography was learned, the songs already tattooed into our brains, and the performances were smashed.

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  • Strutting to Burlesque success…

Our former pupil, Miss Alice Wilson, alias Didi Derriere, stormed to victory in the national grand final of Miss Burlesque Idol 2015. Congratulations!

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  • Getting engaged…

Congratulations to Miss Alicia and her new fiancé Dan on their engagement! We can’t wait for the wedding.

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  • Waving off (temporarily we hope) a very talented young man…

One of our pupils, Frankie Beetlestone, had his talent recognised by the clever folks at Sylvia Young Theatre School; after a competitive entry process, Frankie was invited to carry out intensive musical theatre training alongside his studies at the school in London.

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Frankie and Mrs Berry
  • Training the teachers of tomorrow…

Our class helpers undertook their first teaching qualification exams and passed with flying colours (Honours). Well done to Molly Barrrowclough, Megan Clixby, Elle Longden-Lyons, Charlotte Stones & Leah Tucci for achieving their Pre-Associate Theatre Craft Part 1.

  • Continuing to represent on the West End…

Former pupils and part-time teachers Matthew Croke and Devon McKenzie-Smith continue to divide their time between musicals in London and our pupils up here in Sheffield. Matt finished his second stint in Wicked as understudy for Fiyero and has gone on to join Sheridan Smith in Funny Girl at the Chocolate Menier Factory. Dev has been performing alongside Beverley Knight in Memphis, a brand new musical which took place at the Shaftsbury Theatre.

  • Enchanting audiences in a little place in France…

One of our biggest achievements this year was transporting a group of 36 very excited young dancers to Disneyland Paris in the summer to perform to park guests on the Videopolis stage. The children performed magically, the staff put together fantastic routines, and as per usual, the fans (mums, dads, nans, grandads, brothers, sisters and friends) were their usual, enthusiastic (if a little wild) and noisy selves. What a wonderful few days, we hope you treasure the memories as much as we do.

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  • Sparkling in Blackpool (again)…

A little group of our pupils this year took part in Northern Star, a talent competition held in Blackpool incorporating the disciplines of dance, singing and musical theatre. Not only were we thrilled to see all our pupils put through to the final, we were incredibly proud to see Eleanor Jackson take runner-up!

  • Oh no you don’t-ing across South Yorkshire…

This year our pupils make up the Junior performers in three pantomimes in the area. At Rotherham Civic, going to the ball with Cinderella, are Abigail Bridger, Megan Bridger, Grace Mitchell, Leila Steer, Lilli Walker, Evie Wright & Laylah Xaba. Back in Sheffield at the LyceumEva CadetMaddie DunnMaisie GanleyLucy Holcroft, Eleanor Jackson, Megan Moore, Megan Thorpe, Renée Warren and Aliyah Xaba are performing in Aladdin. Up the road at City Hall are Ewan Revill and Jack Skelton, also performing in Cinderella. 

  • Competing at dance festivals around the region…

Whether at Goldthorpe, Cantley, Two Counties or Penistone Festival – we’re very proud of our pupils in the hard work they put in and the good sportsmanship showed throughout these competitive events. Particular mentions to Miss Isabelle Sykes, winner of Senior Bursary at Two Counties Festival.

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  • ‘Working’ overseas in places exotic and beautiful…

Miss Lois was missed this year as she took up her 9 month contract in the Costa del Sol working as part of the hotel entertainment team. Our former pupil Hollie Glossop was also the dance captain on a 6 month contract in Malta. Since then she has embarked upon the Marco Polo as part of the cruise ship’s entertainment, recently checking in from Portugal.

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  • Channelling our inner Kate Moss…

Four of our pupils, Abigail Bridger, Maisie Ganley, Rebecca Hanneman and Jack Skelton were selected by to appear in Images Dance Costumes’ 2015 catalogue. Further to this, Jack, Rebecca, Bridie Thorpe and Conner Povey have been modelling for the 2016 catalogue, which is out now.

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  • Dancing our socks off in Manchester…

At the International Dance Teachers Association’s Theatre Dance Awards, pupils who were specially selected during their grades exams danced in front of adjudicators and choreographers at the Dancehouse Theatre. Emily Gay, Liberty Shepherd and Eve Wainwright were beautiful in their Grade 5 Ballet section. Meanwhile, Rebecca Hanneman, Alexandra O’Brien, Bree Quinton, Charlotte Stones and Bridie Thorpe were fantastic in both Intermediate Modern Jazz and Intermediate Theatre Craft. We were especially thrilled when Rebecca, Bree and Bridie were awarded special commendations for their Theatre Craft, and Bree and Bridie also received the honour for their Modern Jazz performance.

  • Breaking records left right and centre…

Bridie Thorpe has smashed the record previously held by Rebecca Hanneman for IDTA grade exam results; our extremely talented young lady achieved her Advanced 1 Modern Jazz qualification with a stunning 96 marks.

  • Ramping up for a spectacular 2016…

Our pupil Jack Skelton has two nominations under his belt for Grade 4 Modern Jazz and Grade 5 Tap, while Rebecca Hanneman, Bree Quinton, Charlotte Stones and Bridie Thorpe were nominated for their performance in their Intermediate Tap exams. These four girls and Alexandra O’Brien were also nominated for their Advanced 1 Modern Jazz exam – so we’re looking forward to Scholarships next Spring.

Alexandra, Bree, Bridie, Charlotte & Rebecca are also working towards Miss Dance 2016. Bree, Bridie & Rebecca have won heats and already secured their places in the final next June, while it can only be a matter of time for Alex and Charlotte; we wish you all the best girls.

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Well there you have it. Coming up in 2016, All Good Thingsour bi-annual school production – stay tuned for more details. We wish an incredibly happy and prosperous new year from our family to yours.

See you back at class Monday 4th!

 

 

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Performing In A Panto Near You

We’re looking forward to kicking off pantomime season tonight! Our pupils are performing in various pantos across South Yorkshire over the Christmas period to over 100,000 people.

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Commencing this evening is Sheffield Theatres/Evolution Pantomimes’ production of Aladdin at the Sheffield Lyceum. Split across three separate teams are: Eva Cadet, Maddie Dunn, Maisie Ganley, Lucy Holcroft, Eleanor Jackson, Megan Moore, Megan Thorpe, Renée Warren and Aliyah Xaba.

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Tomorrow morning will see our Berry Babes off to the ball in Cinderella, Shone Productions’ pantomime at Rotherham Civic Theatre. Performing as a 100% Berry team will be: Abigail Bridger, Megan Bridger, Grace Mitchell, Leila Steer, Lilli Walker, Evie Wright and Laylah Xaba.

After Christmas we shall also see our boys Jack Skelton and Ewan Revill performing in Manor Operatic Society’s production of Cinderella at Sheffield’s City Hall.Cinderella-MAIN_IMAGE

Break a leg to all pupils performing, you’ll be fantastic – oh yes you will!