Regan O’Mahony on why she wanted to provide a platform for young performers
An inclusive performing arts school opened last year at the Dugdale Centre in Enfield and last month Young Talent Academy celebrated its opening with an official launch party.
As a former assistant headteacher and founder of the award-winning Young Notes Pop Choir, I am passionate about performing arts for everyone. I love working with young people and have always had a passion for the performing arts.
My father was an actor and as a child I wanted to be either an actor, a singer, a chef, or a teacher. My claim to fame was that I was very nearly in a girl band in my early twenties! You can guess which my family thought was the most practical career option, so I trained as a primary school teacher, where I found I was still drawn to teaching the arts.
I began to lead singing assemblies, teach school choirs, and often wrote, produced and directed large productions and shows. The arts have always been where my passion has lain. My mum Christine is deaf and I actually ended up working in two mainstream schools with provision for deaf students. I have close relatives with disabilities who are also professional performers and I have seen first-hand the opportunities that have opened up to them because of the performing arts.
As a result, I am passionate about inclusion and ensuring that the arts are accessible to everyone.
Young Talent Academy came about after the success of our pop and British Sign Language choir Young Notes, which is still going strong. We wanted to create an inclusive performing arts school that would provide singing, dance and drama classes in a friendly environment where all children are encouraged to achieve to the very best of their potential.
The benefits that dancing, singing and acting have on young people should not be underestimated and it is really important that we appreciate the possibilities that the arts open up to them. Children gain so much from a performing arts education, reducing stress and providing a focus and an outlet for self expression. Performing arts enable children to face everyday challenges and provide them with the tools needed for their future.
The launch event at the Dugdale Centre was an amazing celebration of all young people and in particular the talent that we have here in Enfield. After a ribbon-cutting ceremony by Councillor Bernadette Lappage, audience members enjoyed solo and group performances from street dance to ballet, Irish dancing, musical theatre, and drama. Performers were thrilled to receive a standing ovation at the end!
A big thank you to everyone that came along to support and also helped to make this event possible. A special mention goes to Emma Rigby from Love Your Doorstep, Paul Everitt from Enfield Council, and Cllr Lappage.
Young Talent Academy runs classes for 3-18-year-olds at the Dugdale Centre on Saturday mornings, 10am-1pm. If you would like to book a free trial:
Call 07961 782 864
Email [email protected]