We’ve had another very successful round of IDTA examinations and the results are in! Well done to everyone who took Grade 3 Tap and Intermediate Theatre Craft – you have maintained the school’s 100% pass rate and achieved a fabulous set of marks.
A very special mention to Eve Wainwright, who has been nominated for her Intermediate Theatre Craft, and will take part in the IDTA Theatre Dance Awards in Manchester next February in the Performers’ Category! Eve recently took part in the scholarships a month ago for Grade 4 Modern Jazz and Grade 5 Theatre Craft.
Congratulations also to our younger members of staff, Lauren Newbould, Theresa Rycroft and Amy Smith who have achieved their Pre-Associate Level 2 Theatre Craft teaching qualifications.
Best of luck to all taking part in examinations in the coming weeks!
As usual the Berry Babes have been performing with grace, hard work and beautiful smiles at in the Dearne Valley this weekend.
Our Inters not only danced a lovely Trolley Song and Hairspray in the troupe section but took home the first prize gong for their fabulous performance of Comin’ Home.
Well done to our younger pupils, particularly Hannah Braithwaite who earned a 2nd place for her Character dance, and Alycia Mayfield who took 1st place for her National. Our bendy wendies in the Gym section, Aliyah Xaba, Maisie Ganley & Megan Thorpe took 2nd, 3rd & 4th places respectively. Well done to Lilli Walker for winning her National section!
We were very strong in many Modern sections this weekend, with Eva Cadet and Bridey Bonnet taking gold and bronze in their category and Lucy Holcroft and Kayla Barnes doing the exact same in their age group. Sunday saw a clean sweep of medals in two Modern sections; Junior Modern had Megan Bridger in first place, with Abigail Bridger and Niamh Thompson tied for second place, Isabel Adshead in third and Libby Rogers in fourth, while F Modern saw Bree Quinton, Alexandra O’Brien, Rebecca Hanneman and Charlotte Stones grab 1st-4th respectively.
Our seniors also filled the podium for F Character with Rebecca in first place, Bree taking second and Alexandra receiving third place. The same goes for our ballerinas in E Ballet, as we saw Emily Gay, Liberty Shepherd and Eve Wainwright take gold, silver & bronze.
Keep on doing what you’re doing kids! See you on Friday for more comp action!
We’re delighted to announce that our school production:
All Good Things
Will take place next summer at the Montgomery Theatre in Sheffield. All our pupils get the chance to dance on a full-sized stage right in the city centre in front of hundreds of people every night. There will be four performances and children dancing in the show will be required in the evenings of the whole show week to attend technical and dress rehearsals. The details of these will be released nearer the time.
Please make a note of these dates in your diary:
Tuesday 12 July 2016 – Technical Rehearsal
Wednesday 13 July 2016 – Dress Rehearsal
Thursday 14 July 2016 – Evening Performance
Friday 15 July 2016 – Evening Performance
Saturday 16 July 2016 – Matinee Performance & Evening Performance
There will also be full-class rehearsals that take place at St Thomas More Community Centre on the following dates:
Thursday 30 June 2016
Saturday 2 July 2016
Details regarding tickets and costumes will be released in due course.
A pirouette down memory lane…
This year’s show theme is a special one, as it celebrates the very best of Berry. As we sashay towards our 35th birthday as a school, we continue to enjoy a long history of achievement and friendship. As the daughters of our first ever pupils learn their shuffle hops, nieces, brothers, twins, grandchildren of our community come together to make a school that is incredibly special. Expect to see old favourites and new showstoppers, danced by our pupils as only they know how, with stretched feet and a foot-long smile!
We now begin the difficult task of narrowing down a shortlist of crowd-pleasers, and we look forward to seeing you in July 2016.
I went to Mrs Berry’s for 13 years and my favourite classes were Gymnastics and Modern Jazz. Before I left I reached the final of the very prestigious Miss Dance competition. It was a brilliant experience in which I performed my favourite dance of all time. I did all the competitions!
I left Mrs Berry’s age 18 to go to Phil Winston’s Dance College in Blackpool where I completed a three-year course. After leaving there I came to Tenerife to dance in various shows touring hotels. I’m still here 10 years later! I’m now performing in a show called The Sound of Musicals. My own daughter Kaci has started dancing.
I had the best years at this dancing school and without Mrs Berry I would not be where I am today.
James began dancing at Sharon Berry School of Theatre dance a couple of weeks before his 13th birthday after being told at school he would need the three disciplines of dance, singing and drama to fulfill his dream of performing in the West End. It was Mrs Berry’s idea that he should go for his first audition to London for the new musical Billy Elliot. After successfully beating 3,000 other candidates, James became one of the three original Billy Elliots to play the part in the West End’s Victoria Palace Theatre. He was involved in the development of the role of Billy from the very beginning, and contributed to the success of the show with critically acclaimed performances in acting, singing and dancing. The show opened on 31 March 2005. In that year, he won the Variety Club’s Outstanding New Talent Award and also the Theatre Goers’ Choice of Most Promising New Comer. He also jointly won the prestigious Sir Laurence Olivier Award in 2006 for Best Actor in a Musical.
James was featured in Strictly Dance Fever performing part of the musical finale and in several TV interviews and short clips related to the musical. In July 2006 he played the lead role of young blind Nicholas Saunderson in the new musical No Horizon in Penistone, and was well received for his performances. After leaving the show in 2006, James won a place at Millennium performing arts school in London, where he completed his National Diploma in Musical Theatre in 2009. After graduation, he went on to perform in the West End production of Dirty Dancing at the Aldwych Theatre. He then joined the national UK tour of Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat, playing Joseph on several occasions. He spent a deal of time in Bochum, Germany, performing in Starlight Express.
James is now part of the band Gypsy Queens who are based in Nice in the south of France, where he now lives. They perform at private parties all over the world.
I started dancing in 1992 at the Maureen Law School of Dance when I was five, and when I was 14 I came to Mrs Berry’s with Devon. I have loads of dancing memories but my favourites have to be English Tap Championships at Manchester with ‘Messy Bessy’ in 2003, and also dancing at the IDTA Teachers’ Congress at Southport with Linzi Thompson. I was also lucky enough to win Dance Master UK aged 15, dancing to ‘New York State of Mind’ by Billy Joel.
Private lessons were always a stressful business, and so Mrs Berry kept me calm and chilled by taking me to McDonald’s afterwards! The most gruelling part of my life was the preparation for my tap exam with Miss Rebecca. The only way I can describe it is torture, and I still have nightmares about it now!
When I was 16 I attended Laine Theatre Arts College where I trained for my National Diploma in Musical Theatre. I met some great friends at college and had some brilliant experiences dancing at the Royal Variety Performance in 2005 for Shirley Bassey and Missy Elliot. I also performed on ITV’s Discomania, Abbamania, Elvismania and Madonnamania, and graduated aged 19 in 2007.
Straight from college I went on to dance in Grease at the Picadilly Theatre for a year. After this I danced in Wicked at the Apollo Victoria for a year, Shall We Dance for Adam Cooper at Sadler’s Wells for three months and then Irving Berlin’s White Christmas at Manchester at the Lowry Theatre.
From 2010 for nearly two years, I performed in Chicago at the Cambridge Theatre, and from February 2012 to June 2013 I performed in Singin’ in the Rain at the Palace Theatre.
Between September 2013 and September 2014 I appeared in the national UK tour of West Side Story as a Jet. This was an amazing experience because I got to dance alongside my childhood friend and former Berry school pupil, Devon, who played a Shark.
Since October 2014 I have rejoined the cast of Wicked at the Apollo Victoria and I am enjoying every moment! I am especially delighted to be understudying the character of Fiyero, and was thrilled to spot Mrs B in the audience cheering me on when I played him.
I still love coming back to Mrs Berry’s when I can, teaching the pupils a routine from the West End or appearing on the show itself as I have done for the past four times. They just can’t keep me away!