Local Students Take Exciting Leap into the Future
The onset of autumn marks the time many of us will be waving goodbye to sons and daughters as they venture into the adult world of college or university, perhaps remembering when we ourselves took that big step lugging an overflowing suitcase.
Turning Point Theatre Arts school, based at Lancaster Leisure Park, is waving goodbye to nine graduating students, all hoping to make a career in the competitive world of dance and drama.
These talented Lancaster teenagers are about to take a literal leap into their futures, as they have all secured places at prestigious performing arts, colleges and academies across the country.
5 students will take their performing arts places on a full time basis. Nina Martin and Ella Rogers will be studying dance at the Stella Mann College of Performing Arts in Bedford; Megan Brady is joining the acting foundation course at Manchester’s Arden School of Theatre; Christian Johnstone will be moving across the border to study BA Hons Acting at the MGA Academy of Performing Arts in Edinburgh; and Erin Gardner will be studying acting at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, and hoping to be inspired by its very famous and supportive patron- Paul McCartney.
A further four other pupils have been accepted as associates on a part time basis, at vocational theatre schools in Liverpool. Hattie Carr, Meg Williams, Eve Johnson and Cara Wallbank will be going to Studio Dance 10, while Saskia Rudge-Thompson prepares to head off to RARE Studios, next year.
Gail Johnstone, principal of Turning Point, which has been running dance, drama and music classes for over thirty years, admits it’s an emotional time as she waves goodbye to her pupils, some of whom joined the school as tiny tots.
“It is always a hard time for me. I am obviously extremely proud of our students, but also very sad, as these young people have trained with me since they were toddlers, and here at Turning Point we treat them all as our own family.”
But Gail knows it isn’t the final curtain, as many of the Turning Point family regularly return to inspire the next generation of pupils, like Lancaster success story Holly Johnstone, who reached the final of BBC 1’s “Tumble” before going on to an international career with Cirque Du Soleil Artistic Director “Dragone”.
“We have so many former pupils in vocational training or working within the performing arts industry. Whilst very busy, it is wonderful that they remain close and make the effort to come back and share their experiences with our current youngsters or even teach a masterclass. They know that we are always here to offer help or advice, or just for a good catch up. Our doors are always open.”