Time to shine for dance teacher from Chapel St Leonards after 30 years in business

Julie Stevens getting ready to shine after 30 years with young members of her dance school. ANL-171116-175342001
Julie Stevens getting ready to shine after 30 years with young members of her dance school. ANL-171116-175342001

A dance teacher from Chapel St Leonards is celebrating her ‘Time to Shine’ after 30 years in the business.

The Julie Stevens School of Dance first opened its doors at the local Village Hall back in 1987.

There are so many highlights for Julie Stevens after 30 years in the business. ANL-171116-175936001

There are so many highlights for Julie Stevens after 30 years in the business. ANL-171116-175936001

By the end of 1988 the school had moved into its own newly-built studio on Sea Bank Road and July hasn’t stepped back since.

July said: “I never really gave reaching 30 years of teaching at the age of 24 a lot of thought. But I’m really happy to reach this milestone!”

In recent years pupils have been given the opportunity to perform in many professional pantomimes and touring shows - and for two nights this week they are being launched into the spotlight at the Embassy Theatre in Julie’s latest show.

Time to Shine is being produced with one of Julie’s former students Cameron Hall with the curtain up on Thursday and Friday.

Pupils at the Julie Stevens School of Dance at rehearsals. ANL-171116-180024001

Pupils at the Julie Stevens School of Dance at rehearsals. ANL-171116-180024001

Julie said: “After 30 years there have been so many highlights - appearing on Look North, having children perform alongside Alvin Stardust in the Butlins Story, performing with Joe McElderry in the touring production of ‘Joseph’, taking part in the Steven Mulhern show and spending the Christmas season in panto with some celebrity soap stars.

“To see some of your students gain nominations for awards, progress with their training at performing arts schools and become performers, teachers and choreographers in their own right makes you feel tremendously proud.”

Cameron, who trained at Italia Conti Academy and has appeared in the stage shows Mama Mia and Chicago, says he loves when he has time to go back to where he started and help out.

He said: “It’s really is like coming home. As it’s Julie’s 30th anniversary this year we wanted to make a bit of noise.”

Julie added: “Yes it’s time to make a song and dance about it.

“It’s the love, support and help from my husband, parents, family, teachers and many friends that have all contributed over the past 30 years to make the school into the success it is today.

“And not forgetting the hundreds of talented pupils from the past and present, that have made it all happen. I thank you all!”

Time to Shine is being performed at the Embassy Theatre on Thursday and Friday at 7pm.