Based in Dubai since 2011, the former Steps pop group member has just launched the Dubai Performing Arts Academy for kids
Tell us a bit about the academy – who’s it for, what kind of things will they be doing?
We’re a performing arts academy, and we specialise in workshops that myself and Johnny [Shentall-Lee, Lisa’s husband] have designed. They’re for ages four to 18 years, and what’s unique about our workshops is that we combine the three skills of singing, dancing and acting, all in one master-class. We’ve got designated studios, each with a qualified teacher with industry experience. So the children will come along to us on Friday or Saturday, and they’ll have 50 minutes of dance, 50 minutes of singing and 50 minutes of drama – and the classes will rotate, so we have different age groups each learning a different discipline.
Why did you decide to set it up?
Myself and Johnny have talked and dreamed about doing something like this for many years. We’ve been together 15 years, and it’s always been our passion and intention to one day provide performers with the training we were lucky enough to have. Now it just feels like the right time to give something back.
Will you guys be teaching classes yourselves?
We’re definitely going to be very hands-on. We have high standards because of the careers we’ve had, but we want the children to have a first-class quality training. So we’re going to be overseeing all of the different disciplines. All our teachers are qualified teachers, they already have the training and they’ve got their musical degrees. We want to get to know our students and their parents, and make sure we know everybody.
Any plans to include a couple of classes for adults?
Yes, it’s definitely something we would consider because we’re still adults and we absolutely love the performing arts, so it shouldn’t just be something that’s for children. So absolutely, yeah, we have been looking to expand.
Classes are on now every Friday noon-3pm, Fitness First at The Lakes; Saturday 10am-1pm, Meadows Community Club, www.dubaiperformingarts.com (04 424 5159).