About Here at Streetz Ahead we believe the best results are achieved when children are enjoying themselves
Dance is all about losing yourself within the music and feeling the beat. To do this you need to feel comfortable within the teaching environment and when new pupils join us, making them feel welcome is our first priority. Pupils at Streetz Ahead Dance Academy are well known for their energy and enthusiasm when performing, and although energy is a topic that we feel strongly about, only the individual can dance from the heart. This is something which cannot be taught, yet so many audience members, judges and even people watching a class comment that our pupils always give 100% energy and passion. Why? Because they enjoy it so much! When someone enjoys a particular lesson then of course they will be working hard without even realising and improve much more.
Teaching with energy and enthusiasm is straight away transmitted to our pupils. Our teachers have a passion, have all danced professionally and know exactly how it feels to be performing. It creates a brilliant sense of freedom and achievement which is an experience we would love for all of our pupils to feel, and you don’t need to be on stage to feel this.
Within the lesson there is nothing better than seeing the kids learn and then perform the routine back to you with the shouts of ‘Yes!’ filling the room when they get a move or piece right. As pupils improve, we the teachers are kept on our toes, making sure that students are constantly learning new up-to-date choreography and styles. It doesn’t matter how much experience you have, as dance is constantly evolving there is always lots more to learn, which is the key to keeping our students interested in dance.
What people are saying
Of course not all of our students want a career in the profession. Many also attend for the pure enjoyment of learning new moves and routines which they can show off to their friends, and they make new friends along the way. Our classes also help with co-ordination, general fitness and flexibility which of course enhances everyday life.
We have had a few parents comment that after their child had been diagnosed with dyslexia, coming to class and improving their co- ordination also improved their academic skills. That is not surprising with lots of moves learnt as well as the timing which the pupils need to recognise and remember when learning a routine. They are not only exercising their bodies but also their minds.
Founder, Director, Principal, Street Dance Instructor
WOW 20YRS! I really don't know where to start, As i sit here writing this, i feel extremely proud and grateful and with a “Gosh time really does fly, especially when you're having fun” So how about i take you back to the beginning.
From a very young age i always knew that I wanted to be a dancer, that or a vet, a beautician, or working with animals in some way! But dance was always at the top of my list!
My mum first took me dancing to improve my confidence. At age 3yrs i loved learning ballet, tap and modern. I went on to compete and perform just like our pupils, but back then there was no “street dance” instead i would come home from school and copy my “Take That” and “Madonna” videos, giving my family a mini show every friday night and even arranging friends to come round and be my backing dancers whilst Dad got the video camera out!
When teachers asked what i would like to do when leaving school, “Be a Dancer” i would reply, “and what about a real job?” they would say, Well Er…. I don't need to say any more on that, as here you are reading this at our Big 20yr Theatre Show!
Fast Forward to leaving college with 3yr Performing Arts Diploma and A level Dance, I was in the big wide world beginning my professional dream, at times it would have been easier if id have just moved in to “Pineapple Dance Studios” taking multiple classes between dancing professionally, i always wanted to learn to be the best i could be, and that continues today, gaining a level 4 hip hop diploma and forever keeping up training with latest choreographers.
My professional career began as a Dancer for West Ham football and Sky Sports, feeling the buzz whilst performing on a pitch full out routines to over 50,000 people including a big match at Old Trafford amongst David Beckham and Ian Wright, leading on to performing on Jim Davidson's Generation Game showing the contestants what to do in one of our routines. This was a great starting point for gaining the performing bug! And this is where i might shock you all. I never wanted to teach, yes you heard that right!
Whilst dancing professionally, representing pineapple dance studios, dancing on TV shows including the first BBC Sports Relief, and performing in many corporate events and shows I would sometimes cover the odd dance class and whilst it bought the rewarding feeling when seeing students dance a piece of choreography you've taught or getting the steps right, I would have never traded my performing career for it.
So what happened??
Well my friend had gone on a dance contract to spain and asked me to cover her school in Woodford, i agreed. There were 3 classes and 2 more in another hall in clayhall, the older classes only had 8 students and it was more popular with the younger ones. Without the pressure of this being “My School” i enjoyed bringing the energy and watching pupils enjoy themselves, it wasn't long before my friend asked if id like to buy her school as she was extending her contract, I agreed as it was only 2 evenings per week and i had started to become excited to teach the pupils each week, however performing was still at the top of my list and a month in, I successfully auditioned as a dancer for a 3 month performing contract in Greece . I got cover for my school and at this point was also teaching for Stagecoach performing arts school every saturday, and so also had my cover teacher work there until i returned.
It was when i returned that i really looked forward to coming to teach class. One of my pupils asked about competing in a dance competition as another local school had started to do competition work. Not wanting to loose students i agreed. Not doing things by half, i booked the British Dance Troupe Championships based in Wales. I’ll never forget it, i was dancing at an event at Maddam Taussads London the night before and didn't get home until 2.30am, i was then jumping on a coach later that morning at 6am travelling to Wales with my troupe!
The travelling was worth it, my troupe Won 1st place and we bought back the trophy! This was the biggest turning point for me, i never thought you could replace that buzz of performing, but watching my pupils dance what i had taught them and then being recognised as the best and winning gave me that same feeling, and i still get it now!
Before i knew it, i found myself turning down performing and filming work if it clashed with teaching or comps, telling my agent “Sorry i can't as my kids are dancing then” “ you’ve got kids michelle?” my agent replied, “Oh my dancing kids!” you see as the popular quote states-
I CALL MY STUDENTS ‘MY KIDS’ BECAUSE IN OUR TIME TOGETHER, THEY AREN’T JUST KIDS ON MY CLASS LIST, THEY BECOME PART OF MY HEART
I still performed the odd gig, one of them being as a dancer on the main stage at the “Move It” exhibition. We were representing an actress who had just launched their own fashion line. It was a good job to have, but whilst dancing i realised it didn't come close to how i felt watching my own kids!
And so here we are many shows, competitions , 100 trophies, more classes , pupils our own premises and 20yrs later!!! I'd like to thank you all from the bottom of my heart, the support from both pupils and also parents never goes unrecognised, i still stay in contact from pupils that first joined 20 yrs ago and now have children themselves, i feel extremely blessed to have been given so many experiences/opportunities and not a day goes by where i’m not muttering the words “ God thank you, i'm so Grateful!”