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Jigsaw – Skills for Life

When booking a performing arts class for the first time parents often ask us the million-dollar question: “How will the class benefit my child?”

At Jigsaw, we appreciate that our students join our classes for a multitude of reasons. Every student can benefit in some way from the performing arts. While some join us to build a firm foundation for a professional performance career, others do so to unlock their hidden talents, overcome their shyness or increase their confidence and social skills. However, what all students enjoy is having fun through drama, singing and dance classes, while making lots of new friends.

“Jigsaw has always been a part of my life as I started when I was just three. The last fifteen years at Jigsaw have been a safe and fun environment for me to grow in confidence and learn skills which you wouldn’t come across in day to day life. The confidence I gained allowed me to make friends at Jigsaw which is so important as I have met some of my best friends there.” Says Cara Johnson, Jigsaw Finchley and Youth Theatre student. 

Our classes for children aged 3-6 offer the perfect start to the performing arts. Through drama, singing, and dance we encourage self-expression and stimulate the imagination while developing focus, spatial awareness, and rhythm.

“Yoana is more confident and outspoken. She is not stressed when performing in front of many people. We both love Jigsaw classes.” says Mariya Yordanova, Jigsaw parent.

Dance, singing and drama skills

But what if we go further, what are the individual benefits of dancesinging, and drama? Well, dance allows children to be more active, improve their motor skills and develop their creativity.

“I will have done 5 years at Jigsaw this September. It’s difficult for me to choose my favorite discipline but I think I’d have to pick dance,” says Jigsaw Stevenage student Charlotte Hessay who recently reached the BBC Radio 2 500 Words Final. (We featured Charlotte’s success in our June 2018 blog article.)

Our ability to use language effectively to communicate our thoughts and emotions is such a vital and important tool these days. Young people must constantly use their verbal and communication skills for class presentations, exams and even University interviews.

“I attended the Youth Theatre for three years and my teachers there helped me become confident in public speaking, so much that I have grown an interest in speaking other languages which I am studying at University,” says Cara Johnson, and it doesn’t end there; drama teaches skills for life! Developing a child’s creativity through improvisation helps them to act on their feet and solve problems.

But what about our third discipline? Well, singing has physical, emotional and social benefits too. Whether you sing in a group or individually it boosts confidence and self-esteem. It exercises your lungs and strengthens intercostal, diaphragm and facial muscles.

“My teachers always gave me specific aspects to focus on and practice, and due to the attention I received at Jigsaw as a student, I am now off to study a degree in Musical Theatre at one of the country’s top performing arts schools.” – Benjy Smokler, Jigsaw Finchley student.

Jigsaw students are making waves in the professional world

Many current students and alumni gaining roles in TV, film and West End shows. Earlier this year Theo Grant of Jigsaw Hendon played Young Simba in The Lion King and Lilly-Mae from Jigsaw Stevenage played Young Eponine in Les Miserables. Harry Linacre Brown has recently joined the cast of The School of Rock, and for those with Sky, you can tune in to watch Jigsaw Alumni Rege-Jean Page, as he plays Leonard Knox, the power-driven son of a United States Senator in American legal drama series For The People.

“Jigsaw helped me pursue my career by giving me, and many other young people, a place where they felt safe expressing their love and passion for the performing arts. At a time when a lot of my friends were influenced by other things, Jigsaw also became a place that steered me onto the right path. I attended Jigsaw for just over 5 years, and when I left I was offered a Teaching Assistant job at the Enfield branch. I also attended the Jigsaw Youth Theatre when I was in my late teens. That’s the great thing about Jigsaw: It’s a place where help is always provided; a place that cares about you and your future, and a place where you never feel like “just another student”.” says Jigsaw Alumni Tarinn Callender, who has recently celebrated his 300th show in the West End musical hit Hamilton.

So, for us the evidence is clear; there are so many skills and opportunities to be gained from the performing arts. Jigsaw is more than simple weekend dancing, singing and drama classes – we teach skills for life, helping young people build confidence in themselves, discover new talents and help them make friends. Most importantly, it’s a place to belong for so many young people and a platform that strives to support them in whatever direction they choose to take.

Jigsaw Performing Arts is dedicated to developing performance skills, promoting self-expression and building confidence. We offer performing arts classes for children aged between 3 – 18 across London, the home counties and South Wales. To enquire or to book your child’s place at one of our schools please call our friendly Head Office team on 020 8447 4530 or email enquiries@jigsaw-arts.co.uk for more information.