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Time to reflect on 25 years at Jigsaw!

By Founder and Company Director Nicola Lander

I am delighted to share with you that this month Jigsaw is 25 years old.

However, this is not what we were expecting in our 25th year.  The curtains are closed.  Studios are shut.  Pianos on pause.  For the first time ever, there are no Jigsaw Performing Arts classes running.  All planned events are postponed to next year.

Like everybody else, whilst in lockdown I’ve had lots of time to think about everything, life and Jigsaw-related.  Being forced to slow down and stop makes us focus on what’s really important.  We all know that food and shelter are what we need to survive but in order to thrive, I believe the most important thing we need is to move and to connect.

This is what I have missed most while being in lockdown.  We’ve been able to move during our daily exercise but connecting has been more difficult (Zoom and Houseparty have been an okay substitute but it’s not the same).  Connecting with others and enjoying the company of others is what really makes me happy.

If we can move and connect at the same time, that’s even better and at Jigsaw, that’s exactly what we do.  Performing arts is great for our well-being and happiness.  In dance, we really get our bodies moving, excellent for our aerobic fitness and co-ordination.  Learning to use our breath and voice to make a great sound in singing is exhilarating and improves our speaking voice.  Drama combines movement and voice as well as lots of teamwork and thinking on your feet which builds our confidence, creativity and self-esteem.  I believe there is nothing better than performing arts to connect and bring people together.  Let’s not forget that it’s also lots of fun and lots of laughs.  Just what we need right now.

So much has happened in the last 25 years at Jigsaw.  The music and songs have changed, the fashion and hairstyles have changed, we’ve even got an online booking system! (something I couldn’t imagine back in the “paper and pen register” days!) but the thing that hasn’t changed is the reason that I set up Jigsaw, the values of Jigsaw and the benefits to all the students that have attended Jigsaw over the years.

I love the Jigsaw community!  I have enjoyed working with many inspiring and talented teachers, lots have been with the company for over 20 years.  I have met so many wonderful students and families too.  Too many Jigsaw friends to mention.  Watching students blossom into creative and successful adults is just the best.  Using their performing arts skills to become an actor, director or teacher or using the skills for life to become a confident lawyer, nurse, gardener or scientist.  Those creative skills can be useful in so many environments.

2020 has been a challenging time for us all.  Being the parent, teacher, provider, 3 meals a day chef, cleaner and friend to my children has been exhausting.  It has been difficult but I’m really hoping we take some positives from it too.  I know we will all come out of this appreciating everything we love a little bit more.

Imagine how excited the teachers and students will be to get back to Jigsaw Performing Arts School. We will be back soon………