Fleetwood woman Joanne Wilson has taken her childhood love and is now helping other youngsters develop the same passion too.
Joanne spent six years training with the Royal School of Ballet, having started dancing at the age of six, and is now running her own ballet and dance school.
The classes take place at St Hilda’s and St Martin’s Church Hall in Carleton, and Cleveleys Community Centre, and there are lessons for both adults and children.
The school has already put on its first show at Fleetwood Cricket Club Christmas fair.
Joanne, from Fleetwood, said: “I only started dancing really because my best friend was taking classes and I wanted to join in.
“Surprisingly, my parents and I realised I was a natural at ballet and had a real passion for dance quite quickly.”
Joanne started at The Julianne Heywood School Of Dance at the age of eight and at age 12, she won a place at the Royal Ballet School for six years.
She danced for a few more years at Pineapple Studios, was cast in a ballet advert and danced at various shows.
During her time at Royal Ballet she appeared in a variety of shows, including at the Royal Opera House and danced in front of the Queen. She was in the ballet Peter And The Wolf for four years, and in Les Sylphides.
At the age of 21, she came home and retrained as an accountant. She recently became a member of the IDTA (International Dance Teachers Association), and completed her teaching assessment with a score of 95 per cent.
Joanne said: “I felt with my background and experience, it would be great to open my own school and pass my knowledge and technique on to children in the area.
“The focus will very much be on learning about techniques, as well as the syllabus. I intend to have small classes, as I think it’s really important to be able to see all the children and be able to correct and spend time with them.
“If you have more than 10 or 12 in a class, I don’t think the children benefit and they can lose interest, plus they will struggle to improve.
“I feel the IDTA offers the best syllabus to encourage and grow children correctly and produce more mature and stronger dancers.”
Along with ballet classes, Joanne’s school also offers modern jazz, tap, contemporary, floor gymnastics and limbering classes.
All instructors are fully-qualified and from a professional background.
Joanne, 33, said: “There are so many benefits of dancing for children and adults.
“It helps develop good posture. It helps develop discipline.
“It’s great for fitness and toning up muscles. There’s lots of fitness benefits.
“We will be promoting positive body image, healthy eating and strength and fitness.
“Dance also helps foster children’s imagination too and gives them a chance to express themselves to music.
“It can really help with self-esteem, confidence and overall well-being too.
“There are more pressures these days on everybody – including children, more stress, and dancing can help with stress and promote happiness.
“For me, dancing is so just beautiful.
“I just love dance and hope I can bring that passion to Fleetwood and the surrounding area, and encourage others to feel the same about it.”
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