Stage school is struck by success
4:06pm Friday 16th August 2013 in News
A STAGE school that started with six children is now bursting at the seams — with 100 times that number!
Whitefield-based J-Star Academy has come a long way since launching in 2008 and now has 600 people on its books.
That has forced tutors to seek a move to a bigger base, and bosses have asked Bury Council for permission to open a new headquarters on the first floor of Bank House Studios in Warwick Street, Prestwich.
J-Star teaches singing, dancing and acting to everyone from aged 18 months upwards and is currently based at Victoria Community Centre.
Tutors also hold casting calls giving people the chance to get roles in plays, musicals or TV advertisements.
In the last few years, members have raised thousands of pounds for charities such as Children In Need by holding sponsored dance days and other events.
Founder Jaynie Pownsey, aged 26, said: “It’s hard to believe we started with just six children at the Phoenix Centre in St Mary’s Park.
“A lot of hard work has been put in to expanding and I’m really proud that we’ve come this far. We want to move into Warwick Street where we’ll have our own space for classes.”
She added: “My father Jeff would be very proud of me.
“He died very suddenly three weeks before my 18th birthday and he was the proudest dad in the world.
“I’m so sad he didn’t get the chance to know me as an adult, but he’s left his legacy behind and I will be dedicating the studio to him.”
The first floor of the studio, which is above a tanning salon, has been vacant for 18 months.
Miss Pownsey added: “The area isn’t residential. From speaking to neighbours, they welcome this venture as it will bring more people to their shops.”
The council is aiming to reach a decision by October 1.
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