West End star opens new dance studio at Convent of Jesus and Mary
Actress Josefina Gabrielle, star of hit West End musical Chicago, officially opened a new dance studio for pupils at the Convent of Jesus and Mary Language (CJMLC) last week.
Josefina who plays Velma Kelly one of the lead roles in the iconic musical theatre production was joined by staff and pupils to formally open the new professional dance studio.
The new teaching space means the school can now offer year seven to year nine pupils dance lessons once a week. Previously dance was offered as part of PE but it is now firmly part of the school curriculum and set to be rolled out throughout the rest of the school. The school had also big plans to use the space to showcase upcoming events to the local community with pupils already busy rehearsing in their new studio for the forthcoming Christmas concert.
Headmistress of CJMLC Louise McGowan who is a faithful supporter of the arts said:
“Part of my mission at this school is to grow our arts provision. We aim to provide well rounded, well-educated girls that are accustomed to all forms of music or dance from contemporary to the more classical styles such as ballet. This new studio is just one of the ways we are achieving that.”
Speaking to the pupils at the event Josefina, who has since been made a dance patron of the school added:
“You are very lucky to be in a school where the performing arts are celebrated. Often there are budget cuts to the arts in favour of more academic subjects. We all have a creative side to us and it is great that you are learning the performing arts in such a lovely studio. It’s a great space!”
Year eight dance pupil Insaf el Idrissi el Kassmi said:
“Today was amazing. It was a very great experience to meet Josefina and have a chance to show her our dance.”