Chloe May Dance Academy
Chloe May’s Dance Academy is a new, dynamic and nurturing dance academy that offers a variety of dance styles to children aged 2 – 12 years in the Worcestershire area. As a former professional dancer and school teacher, Chloe May is excited to share her years of experience and passion for dance with her pupils at the academy. Let’s learn more…
You’ve been running Chloe May’s Dance Academy for 7 weeks now, how are you finding the journey?
It’s been fantastic! Despite the hard work, late nights and setbacks, it’s just been the most incredible learning curve. I can’t complain, as I’m finding the whole experience and lifestyle so rewarding. When parents tell me that their little one has been talking about our dance classes all week and practising their technique, it really does make it all worthwhile.
Can you tell us a bit more about your background?
I’ve been dancing since I was 4 years old and as a shy, quiet child, it really built my confidence up. I have so many happy memories of performing in dance shows throughout my childhood. After completing my A-Levels, I gained a place at the prestigious dance college, Performers, in Essex, to train to become a professional dancer.
I have worked professionally as a dancer on TV, in film and theatre with artists such as Rachel Stevens, S Club 7 and Cannon and Ball. I got to tour world in big productions held in places such as Majorca, Romania, Holland and in the Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City. I then went on to complete a degree in Dance, and became a fully-qualified dance and performing arts teacher in education. Over the years, I developed a strong passion for teaching. I love being able to pass my skills and knowledge on to a new generation of dancers.
What inspired you to set up your own dance academy?
After working in education for eight years, I decided that I wanted to go back to my roots and combine the best of both worlds by setting up my own dance academy. So here I am!
What styles of dance do you offer at the academy?
We offer the delightful Melody Bear Early Learning syllabi to our youngest pupils, Ballet, Tap & Modern combined and Acro Dance. In the future we hope to expand and offer adult classes in the above, as well as Jazz and Musical Theatre.
Can you tell us a bit more about the Melody Bear Early Learning syllabi?
The award-winning Melody Movement syllabi serve as the perfect introduction to dance for Pre-School and Reception aged children. They were created by Jill Bridger in 2006 who designed them from scratch using her 25 years of dance teaching experience.
Through storytelling, role-playing and two dancing cuddly toy bears, Melody and Milligan, children learn to understand and appreciate the magic of dance. Stickers and medals are earned to reflect the efforts and achievements of every individual child.
It makes dance for young children very accessible and uses natural movements such as skipping, crawling, running, walking, stamping, etc, to help children improve their balance, posture, discipline, listening skills and following instructions.
It also encourages development of basic technique in preparation for Primary level Ballet, Tap and Modern. Colourful spots, baskets, flowers, hats and much more help stimulate creativity, imagination and actively engage children with the music and movement. I find the Melody Movement classes delightful, charming and a lot of fun. Overall, they provide a very satisfying experience for the children, parents and myself as teacher!
Where do you currently hold classes?
We hold classes in Kidderminster, Catshill and Bromsgrove. We’re looking to introduce more classes across Worcestershire in the near future. If you think there is a need for a dance school in your area, or you want access to more pre-school dance classes, then let us know!
What is it about dance that makes your heart sing?
It’s the most wonderful feeling. When I dance, I feel alive. Whenever I hear a piece of music, it just makes me want to dance! I even choreograph dance routines in my head whilst listening to the radio in my car. I love how dance brings people together. There’s a dance style out there for everyone. It spans all social spheres, ages, cultures, genders, sexualities, etc. The combination of performing so physically, emotionally and creatively is rarely found elsewhere. Dance takes you on the most incredible journey.
What benefits are children gaining by taking up dance lessons?
There are so many benefits! Fitness, focus, concentration, confidence, co-ordination, posture, balance, strength, wellbeing, fun, friendship and an ability to express themselves, the list goes on and on. Children are also getting to experience that wonderful sense of accomplishment as they watch their skill level and technique improve. They’re also hopefully discovering their own passion for dance!
What should parents look for when choosing a dance school for their child?
This question is so important. Make sure that the school you choose is run by a DBS-checked teacher, who is first aid trained, committed to safeguarding and who holds a dance teaching qualification e.g. membership of a dance teaching association. Don’t be afraid to ask the teacher questions! They should be happy to answer them.
Unfortunately, there are many dance teachers out there who are teaching dance unqualified. Children can end up with long term physical damage and injuries due to being taught poor technique. Pick a school based on the environment you think your child would thrive in. Some offer exams and follow a structured syllabus, whilst others enter competitions and promote a competitive environment. All schools will offer performance opportunities such as a yearly show.
What do you feel is different or special about Chloe May’s Dance Academy?
We strive to create a nurturing, friendly, family environment. We are not a big business dance studio. We focus on small class sizes, very personalised tuition and encourage each child to be the best they can be. Children at primary level can take IDTA dance exams to qualify their progress and our younger children collect stickers and earn medals to celebrate their achievements.
What is your longer term vision for the academy?
We want to introduce classes for children over 12 years of age and for adults. Additionally, we would like to run summer schools and offer holiday activities. We hope to employ more dance teachers who will bring their own specialities to the academy. Expanding to further venues across Worcestershire and the West Midlands is also on the horizon.
How can people find out more and contact you?
To find out more, our website can be found at www.chloemaysdanceacademy.co.uk and we can be contacted via the website, our Facebook page, Instagram account or by telephone on 07818020865.
All queries welcome, we’d love to hear from you!