Heather Hurd-Sinclair is the Principal at Razzamataz Theatre Schools Wimbledon. She is passionate about the benefits that performing arts can bring to children and young people.
“I have witnessed how it stimulates all children’s creativity, from the shyest student to the most outgoing. It helps them make sense of their emotions, develops their ability to understand, allows them to face their fears in a safe environment. it also challenges their preconceptions and develops their language and communication skills. Through the Razzamataz Theatre Schools Franchise, we have a chance to give something back to the community. We offer lots of opportunities in terms of scholarships and bursaries. We work closely with The Stage newspaper to offer a year’s scholarship and also run Razz’s Got Talent to again offer a student a free place with us.”
Razzamataz Theatre Schools Wimbledon was forced to vacate their school building due to the Covid-19 outbreak, but they intend to maintain an online platform to keep young people connected. The closure of schools across the UK is having a huge impact on families. The disruption to daily life is simply unprecedented and the cost in terms of both physical and mental health and wellbeing is unknown.
Since its success on Dragon’s Den back in 2007, when Denise Hutton-Gosney accepted an investment opportunity from Duncan Bannatyne, Razzamataz have been teaching musical theatre through dance, drama, and singing to help students discover their true potential.
Principal Heather Hurd-Sinclair says: “We get hundreds of testimonials from students and their families to say that Razzamataz is the highlight of their week. We have thought long and hard about how we can keep our families and their communities safe and still deliver the service to children that they love. This is a very confusing time for children and exceptionally challenging for families trying to maintain some sort of structure.”
Razzamataz has made the decision to go online until the Government gives the go-ahead to allow schools back. The classes, from street dance to pop singing, are open to existing and new students and will take place via Zoom. Sessions are small so they can be as interactive as possible, prices start from £3 per session with a pay as you go option, so families can dip in and out.
Students will be able to access their performing arts lessons in small virtual groups.
Local theatre school offers online platform to support students.
There will be dedicated time for questions to teachers, and for young people to connect with their classmates and the opportunity to be confident performers on screen. They will be taught by inspiring and highly experienced teachers who will be able to tailor their feedback, ensuring that each student reaches their potential in their virtual lesson.
“We need to reach out to our families and young people to protect their emotional and physical well being,” says Heather. “We believe that taking our classes online will give children some stability and allow them to continue to enjoy their performing arts. We want to do our bit to help families get their children moving and inject a bit of happiness into everyone’s lives.”
“It’s a horrible and scary time for everyone but we hope that we can bring a little joy, structure and fitness challenges in these difficult times. We want to get everyone moving, singing and just bring a little light relief and reach out to as many people as possible. We’ve already been contacted by parents who don’t have children currently in our schools but who are desperately looking at ways they can be engaged in small class sizes and actively learn.”