The mother and daughter team behind one of Belper’s leading dance schools is gearing up for their biggest nights of the year next month—and the moments that make all the work worthwhile.
Splitz Dance Centre, on Campbell Street, present their annual dazzling showcase at Belper School Theatre over three performances, on April 21-22.
Splitz owner Angela Moore, 52, said: “These shows are the most rewarding part of the whole job—everyone gets their chance to shine.
“Seeing our students do what they love, and what they’ve worked so hard on, is just brilliant.”
Angela’s daughter Jade Whitt, 24, became the centre’s principal teacher three years ago and so will do most of the leg work for the shows.
Jade said: “Seeing the kids on stage just makes it all worthwhile.”
In fact, the centre is not just for youngsters, with students ranging from two-years-old to over 60, learning everything from ballet to tap and jazz.
Splitz opened 16 years ago, and is now a firm fixture in the heart of the community.
Students regularly perform at local festivals, charity events, care homes and at Babington Hospital.
Angela said: “We’ve had hundreds and hundreds of people through the doors over the years.
“One of the nicest things is that older students are now coming back to us to bring their own children. It’s lovely to see another generation coming through.”
In the course of 16 years, the centre has outgrown two premises, and it now occupies a modern complex of two studios with mirrors and sprung wooden floors.
Angela said: “There was only one dance school in town when we started.
“Jade was really into dance from a very young age, and it got to the stage where I realised there was call for something different.”
Jade said: “I always wanted to be part of this as a family business. I started dancing when I was two, and started teaching sessions when I was about 11.
“I think the family connection is key to our success, it’s really like one big family for everyone who learns with us. We’re not too strict, we just believe that being nice gets results.”
As well as the community performances, the centre puts an emphasis on social development with trips to West End shows, and twice to perform at Disneyland Paris.
The centre operates with an inclusive philosophy that gives it a distinctive friendly atmosphere.
It welcomes disabled students and others with specific learning needs, and teaching is tailored to suit each person’s level and progress.
Dismissing a common stereotype of dance training, Angela said: “It’s not the kind of place where parents are competing over whose child is best.
“I sometimes think possibly our students don’t always get the recognition they deserve, because we’re not so pushy—but it’s just not the way we want to go.”
Even so, the Splitz approach does bring success. In the latest round of exams—assessed by the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing—100 per cent of entrants passed with flying colours.
At last month’s Chesterfield of Dance, the troupe competed against others from across the region and pirouetted away with a clutch of awards, including most promising dancer for 13-year-old Cerys Swift.
Next month’s show has a stage and screen theme, spanning eras from the Lion King to No Business Like Show Business. Tickets are £8-£10.
For more details, see www.splitzdancecentre.com or call 01773 881072.