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Meet Imogen, our newest Franchisee at Jigsaw Teddington

Performing Arts Manager Teddington

In South London, on the north bank of the river Thames, as the river meanders its way towards the bright lights of the city, sits the town of Teddington. Recently named one of the top ten healthiest highstreets in London, Teddington, Richmond has a lot to boast about. With famous residence including Mo Farah and Keira Knightly, Teddington will now host the opening of one Jigsaw’s newest Performing Arts Schools.

Jigsaw Teddington will offer dance, singing and drama classes for children aged 3 – 18 on Saturday mornings. Ahead of the school opening its doors for the very first time in January 2019, we caught up with Imogen, the school’s manager and franchisee to discuss all things Jigsaw and her inspiration for opening her very own Jigsaw Performing Arts School.

What sparked your interest in the performing arts?

As a child I absolutely adored Oliver Twist and Annie was my idol. I’d have loved to jump into the screen to sing and dance with Mary Poppins and would have traded my right arm to fly in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang! I knew almost every word to those films and my mum still tells the story of my daily ritual at nursery, of standing on a chair every morning to sing ‘The sun will come out tomorrow’!

What was it that drew you to Jigsaw?

When I was about 10 years old, Jigsaw Arts opened in my primary school, just around the corner from my house – and I couldn’t have been more delighted! The founder of Jigsaw, Nicola Lander, was my teacher and going to Jigsaw the best part of my week. I have been part of the Jigsaw Family ever since! I spent almost every Saturday afternoon of my childhood at Jigsaw and when I was old enough, I graduated to the Jigsaw Youth Theatre. I have so many amazing memories of the shows that we performed in theatres throughout London and I made so many lifelong Jigsaw friends along the way.

As soon as I could, I began assisting in the Performing Arts classes at Jigsaw and slowly worked my way through administrative roles in the Jigsaw head office, teaching my own classes at various Jigsaw Arts schools and most recently managing two Jigsaw Arts Schools in North London. I took time out in between this amazing journey and worked as a teacher in Russia for 6 years, but, as soon as I returned to London, I knew Jigsaw was the best place to be.

Jigsaw Arts shaped my life and gave me the confidence to travel the world and follow my dreams. Opening a Franchise in my home town of Teddington just feels like the absolute right thing for me to do, now that I have gained so much knowledge and hands on experience. I feel so lucky to have had my personal journey with Jigsaw and now that I have my own young child, I appreciate the benefits that this performing arts school offers.

I cannot wait to share the joy and brilliance of Jigsaw with the parents and young people in my local area. I am also looking forward to when my son turns 3 so he can benefit too.

Singing, Dancing or Drama? Which is your favourite?

That is too difficult a question for me to answer – Ever since my nursery days I have just loved a great show!

What do you hope to inspire in the young people who will attend your school?

There are so many ways that children can be inspired by Jigsaw. Hmm, another difficult question! I think that inspiring confidence and self-belief in children are the most important for me. There are very few things that I can think of, that are more rewarding than inspiring young people to strive for their own personal goals and seeing their confidence and self-belief grow. And on top of it all, seeing the parent’s pride in their children is an amazing bonus too!

Jigsaw Performing Arts is dedicated to developing performance skills, promoting self-expression and building confidence. Jigsaw Teddington opens for the Spring term on the 26th of January 2019, offering dance, singing and drama classes for children aged 3-18. To book your child’s place or to make an enquiry you can call Imogen on 020 3633 6457 or email teddington@jigsaw-arts.co.uk. Read more about Jigsaw Teddington here.