Do you have an aspiring actor in your household? A daughter who loves to sing? A son who loves to dance? The performing arts is a fantastic way for kid’s to channel their creativity, imagination and artistic expression, while building confidence. In this article I give you the lowdown on Noosa’s best performing arts schools.
Writer: Rebecca Walker, The Conscious Wordsmith
LITTLE SEED THEATRE COMPANY
Renowned as a respected training ground for dedicated young performers, Little Seed provides professional tuition in acting and musical theatre for budding stage entertainers. Located in Sunshine Beach, the theatre company’s confidence-building programme provides students with quality theatre classes, performances and experiences – from junior to senior levels. Class categories include: Junior Musical Theatre (prep-grade 3), Junior Acting (prep-grade 3), Intermediate Musical Theatre (grade 3-6), Intermediate Acting (grade 3-6), Senior Musical Theatre (grade 7-12), Senior Acting (grade 7-12) and Senior Performance Dance (grade 7-12), as well as acting extension and private coaching classes. Classes are held weekly over the school term and school holiday programmes are also on offer. Trial classes are available if you want to sample a session before committing to the term. Little Seed stages 6 major productions each year.
SUNSHINE COAST YOUTH THEATRE
Offering weekly classes and dedicated musical theatre camps to “the next generation of stars,” Sunshine Coast Youth Theatre (SCYT) is a fantastic place for young performers to learn and refine their performance arts skills. Catering to children from grade 1 to 18 years, class sizes are kept small to ensure personalised tuition. Held in their purpose-built studios in Noosaville, classes include Musical Theatre, Acting, Glee, Jazz, Lyrical, Ballet, Hip Hop, Tap, Fitness, Sport Aerobics and Cheerleading, along with a ‘Boys Only’ dance class, private lessons and advanced masterclasses. SCYT also offers a ‘Finishing School’ programme (a pre-industry preparation course, designed specifically for Year 12 students), that prepares serious performers for the ‘real world’ of professional stage life. And as a bonus for the oldies, SCYT runs a ‘Parents Move & Groove’ class, so you can learn to dance it out with your littles.
Passionate about the positive impact the performing arts has on children, Centre Stage offers singing, acting and dancing classes for kid’s aged 3-16 years. Catering to young performers who are keen to explore the dramatic arts while having fun (a Centre Stage priority!), classes are categorized into four types: ‘Twinkle Stars’ (3-5 years), ‘Starlets’ (prep-grade 1), ‘Budding Stars’ (grade 2-4), and ‘Starbursts’ (grade 5-10). Running for one-hour in Peregian on a weekly basis, lessons revolve around imagination, storytelling, improvisation, choreography and a variety of other performance skills. Centre Stage also offers monthly Masterclasses which include vocal, acting, audition preparation, script writing, production and stage management tuition. There is an annual performance at the end of the year, so your little one can build their confidence before performing in front of a live audience. Term dates follow the school year (4 terms per year) and regular holiday programmes are also on offer. Centre Stage offers a free trial class for new students and sibling discount packages are available.
COAST ACADEMY OF SONG AND DANCE
Offering ‘Musical Theatre Masterclass’ sessions to dedicated up-and-coming performers, Coast Academy of Song and Dance (CASD) is a boutique theatre company in Cooroy. Consisting of a 3-hour weekly class, available to a handful of committed students (the school is capped at 22 pupils), this training and rehearsal-focussed programme is for those who are keen to hone their performance skills in an intimate, dedicated setting. Aimed at children aged 10-15, the Masterclass programme entails singing, dancing and acting training, including ballet foundation classes along with commercial and contemporary styles. CASD performs two shows a year: one main musical and a Christmas pantomime. Private tuition is also available for those interested in learning classical singing and ballet techniques.
BYTES YOUTH THEATRE
A bit of a drive from Noosa, but worthy of inclusion as one of the Sunshine Coast’s best performing arts schools (they have a 21-year history!), Bytes Youth Theatre provides quality training in voice, movement, musical theatre and acting for children aged 5 to 15. Offering an array of specialist and master classes, tuition categories include: ‘Integrated Performing Arts’ (5-8 years), ‘Foundation Acting' (8-9 years), ‘Intermediate Acting’ (1—13 years), 'Junior Musical Theatre' (8-11 years), ‘Open Acting’ (high school students), ‘Open Musical Theatre’ (high school students) plus a range of intensive acting, dancing and singing tuition for serious young performers who want to break into the industry professionally. Private lessons are also available. BYTES is a performance-based theatre company and stages a number of productions each year.