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Performing Arts School Manager – Meet Melissa!

This week we put the spotlight on Performing Arts School Manager Melissa who is the owner of Jigsaw Performing Arts Schools Plumstead & Enfield, as well as the singing teacher at Jigsaw Barnet!


What you might not know is that Melissa started out as a performer after graduating from Performance Preparation Academy in 2016 with a diploma in Musical Theatre!

When did your journey into franchising begin?

I took over Jigsaw Enfield in August 2021 after being a Jigsaw teacher since 2018! I loved running a Jigsaw school so much that I decided to then take over Jigsaw Plumstead too in April 2023!

Did you have any business or musical theatre experience prior?

I worked as a Musical Theatre performer for a few years before moving on to teaching and becoming a full time performing arts school manager! Abroad as a lead vocalist and dance captain, performing 4 different shows at a number of hotels. I also performed in the UK in roles such as Wendy in Peter Pan, Cinderella and Belle in Beauty and the Beast.

Do you miss performing?

Yes-there is nothing like the feeling of standing on a stage in front of a smiling audience and putting on a show! Last year I put my performing boots back on and began doing some gigs with ‘The Dynamos’ – a Mamma Mia tribute act. It has been a lot of fun to sing for a crowd again!

Do you have any advice for Jigsaw students who feel nervous before a performance?

Nerves are perfectly normal! In order to feel really confident for a performance, keep practising your lines/song/dance as much as you can because they will become muscle memory! Try and use your nerves and excitement to help fuel your performance. It’s very easy to put pressure on ourselves to be perfect, but remember that the audience doesn’t know what you’re supposed to be doing, so keep going!

What is your favourite thing about being a Jigsaw Manager?

Being a Jigsaw Performing Arts School manager, I absolutely love seeing the journey of our Jigsaw students. It is amazing to see our students growing in confidence each term, making friends and making memories to last a lifetime.

Why is creating ‘A Place to Belong’ important to you?

I think it is really important that all children have a safe space where they can express themselves without judgement. I’m dedicated to ensuring our performing arts classes allow children to explore their creativity in a nurturing environment, where every student feels valued.