25-year milestone for top Leeds dance school

The Lisa Crawshaw School of Dance performs at Pudsey Civic Society.
The Lisa Crawshaw School of Dance performs at Pudsey Civic Society.
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One of the city’s leading dance schools has celebrated its 25th birthday by staging a talent showcase.

Lisa Crawshaw set up her Theatre Dance School in Bramley when she was just 19, and her classes have grown from just two pupils to over 250 children.

The school has its own premises in Swinnow Grange Mills, and Lisa, now 44, is seeing a second generation of families come for dance lessons as her original pupils bring their children.

Lisa hired Pudsey Civic Hall and held a dance show for an audience of 1,000 people for the milestone anniversary, and former pupils were among the crowd treated to a display of dance, gymnastics and theatre routines.

“I always wanted to run a dance school - I started out in a church hall and it grew quickly through word of mouth. One of my girls has gone on to dance at Disneyland Paris and a few have done West End work - some of them come for a hobby and some for a career,” said Lisa.

“I love the fact that every child and every class is different. Things have changed a bit over the years; we have far more boys coming now, it’s more acceptable, and street dance is a popular class now, although little girls still love ballet!

“It was great to have the former pupils at the show to inspire the current ones - and they don’t forget their training.”

Lisa has now expanded into teaching adult classes in disciplines such as tap and zumba, and she runs sessions in primary schools and has also trained as an examiner and adjudicator for dance festivals, as well as training young dance teachers.

“With dance, you are constantly learning - there is always something new,” she added.