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Memories and friendships to last a life time! – Two Jigsaw students look back!

Melusine and Elena, now 17, met and became friends at Jigsaw Performing Arts School in Barnet.  After 13 years of dance, drama and singing classes on Saturday afternoons, it is time for them to move on but also reflect on the last 13 years and what they have learnt at Jigsaw.  Both have really progressed in their performing arts skills becoming very talented performers, however, it seems Jigsaw has given them more than dance, drama and singing……

Elena shares that “the best thing at Jigsaw are the people around you. When you’re there, you become like a family. A massive piece of who I am today is credit to Jigsaw. You get a feeling that you’re in a safe place and every Saturday you are able to set aside everything and just be you for three hours.”

And Melusine agrees, “the people at Jigsaw are like a second family to me. The teachers are all so kind and supportive and the friends you make are long-lasting. Most of my friends are people I have known since we were young (Melusine was 4 years old when she started at Jigsaw!) and although we’ve had our moments…. they are all brilliant, funny individuals who I will always remember!”

I asked them if they have a favourite show at Jigsaw.

“I have taken part in so many shows I can’t even remember them all! But the one which stands out to me was the ‘All around the world’ show. In this, I played a French character and had an accent the entire show, we did this amusing dance with baguettes as swords. I just remember laughing lots and it being a successful show.” says Melusine.

“We’ve put on some amazing shows!”, exclaims Elena “credit goes to all of our talented teachers who devised them. If I had to choose my favourite it would be what I call the ‘Boogie Wonderland’ show (I’m not sure what the actual name of it was). It was set in the 80s, we all wore really bright neon outfits with leg warmers and headbands, as a whole it was just a really loopy show and I loved it! Being my first show, it was such an amazing first impression for me and I thought this is definitely where I want to be spending my Saturdays.”

When I asked them if they had a favourite teacher, they both said there were too many teachers who have made a massive impression to name. But they had to acknowledge their school manager, Jo.  The school manager at Jigsaw is a key role to the students’ success with reaching their full potential, “she’s honestly just always been there and always made sure she reminded us how proud she was no matter what. Having her by my side has made this journey so much more special.”  Melusine echoed Elena’s words, “Jo has always had faith that no matter what challenges we face that by the end of term, an amazing show will always be performed. I am so thankful that Jo is part of my life, she has made this Jigsaw journey so special for me.”

Looking ahead, what does the future look like?

Melusine says “I am still unsure about the future and where life will take me. I used to joke about when I leave Jigsaw ,I will just come back to teach the little kids but who knows maybe I will be back in 5 years time working?”

Looks like Elena has similar plans…… “As for the future I’m not too sure what I aspire to be or what my dream job is but what I do know is that I definitely want to come back to Jigsaw at some point to teach and hopefully manage one of the schools; you can tell I’m not quite ready to close the Jigsaw book just yet!”

And finally how would you sum up what you have gained from attending Jigsaw?

“I think one of the stand out things is that I’ve been taught diversity and inclusion and I’m grateful that it was from such a young age. There are so many life skills you pick up along the way but you don’t notice until you’re older because you’ve just been having fun the whole time. Jigsaw really does shape you into the best person you could be.” – Elena

“Being at Jigsaw has taught me how important it is to be yourself! Everyone is different and it is so important to embrace who you are and that no matter what everyone is always included at Jigsaw. The skills you gain from being at Jigsaw will be with you for life, just like the memories.” – Melusine

If you would like to make friends and create memories at a performing arts school like Elena and Melusine, Jigsaw offer a two-week trial to new students so come along and you will be welcomed, just as they were.

To find your nearest school www.jigsaw-arts.co.uk