Into the spotlight
The College of North East London is playing host to a recently formed theatre school aimed specifically at Tottenham kids.
Kids Ahead was founded a year ago by local theatrical agents Suzanne Johnston and Dawn Laughton, as a way of encouraging young people to express themselves and build their confidence.
The school has been a great success so far, with several of its protg es already under the spotlight and its pupils plans to show off their talents to the community at this years Tottenham Carnival on June 21st.
They will be singing and dancing their way through the streets of Tottenham alongside CONEL, which will be providing support from its Hairdressing and Make-up departments.
Dawn, a former lecturer at Middlesex University, said: Kids Ahead has been established for over a year now and subsistence is given to parents who are receiving income support.
We feel we are providing a much needed service to the youth of Tottenham and we are really happy to be working in this way with CONEL which has been absolutely great by offering us the use of their gym and classrooms at reduced rates.
Its a really nice environment to be working in and we are really looking forward to linking up with the college to show the community what we have achieved at the carnival.
Suzanne added: In Tottenham, theres a lot of kids with nothing to do. We wanted to focus in on the children so we could give them something. Its something young people really enjoy and its so good for building their confidence.
She should know, her own son, Kurtis, now 21, was in Grange Hill for two years. We started Kids Ahead just a year ago. We have 50 kids in three sessions running in parallel. We use the gym and two classrooms. They do singing, dancing, drama.
Last November they performed at the London Palladium. Some of our kids have been in commercials, theyve been in TV programme Spooks, in The Lion King musical and one even got a callback for a Harry Potter audition.
Other success stories include 17 year old singer Keisha White, has a record deal with Warner Brothers and Matt Robinson, who has a lead role in Channel 5s The Tribe.
Even their dance teachers getting in on the act! Alexia Facey, 19, is already a star in the ascendancy whose CV includes parts in Grange Hill, TV adverts and a place in the chorus of top musical The Lion King.
A powerful singer with her own website www.officialalexia.com, she has a record deal with Virgin but has pledged to carry on teaching dance at Kids Ahead.
- Last Updated: 17 April 2003