Starting out with Stagecoach – Review

You may have heard of Stagecoach before?  They are a national network of performing arts schools offering dance, drama and singing lessons to children and young people throughout the world.  Ben has been invited to join Stagecoach Oldham for a term and he had his first lesson last week.

A photo posted by Colette B (@goingonanadventureblog) on Jan 9, 2016 at 1:56am PST

Prior to Ben’s first lesson we were sent a welcome pack through the post.  This consisted of an information booklet and an order form for the required jazz shoes and other assorted paraphernalia from branded t shirts to teddy bears.  For his first week Ben wore a pair of tracksuit bottoms, his trainers and a Stagecoach t shirt which we had been gifted as part of our project.

The venue for our local Stagecoach school is large (relatively new built) high school, easily accessible and about 15 minutes from home.  Although it was first thing on Saturday morning the car park was quite busy – a combination of different clubs and classes seem to use the school on a weekend as, alongside our little Stagecoach students, there were plenty of children in their sports gear too.  (I’m SO glad I’m not the Mum standing on the sidelines in the freezing cold every Saturday morning . . . sport is not my thing at all!)

We were greeted by Dave who checked our emergency contact details and Ben’s medical information including his allergies, then gave us a quick tour of the facilities – the theatre, classroom and toilets – before introducing us to Sophie, the Managing Principal.  And what a surprise – I had met Sophie before! You might remember a while back that I took part in a flashmob at the MAD’s the year before last – a moment of madness but lots of fun.  The dance was choreographed by Stagecoach and we were taught our moves in two groups by local teachers over the space of a few months.  Sophie was my dance teacher!

Once all the children had arrived in the reception area, Sophie called the register and the children lined up to go to class – leaving their parents free to go . . . (I found myself sat in a local McDonalds with a hot chocolate making notes for this post – it seemed pointless to drive the 15 minutes home again)  I had expected that Ben might be a little nervous going off somewhere new, to do something new, with people he didn’t know.  How wrong I was.  He couldn’t have cared less!  He was excited to see what was ahead and bounced off into class.  My ever confident boy.

The “Early Stages”, for 4 to 6 year olds, are 1.5 hours long.  The “Main Stages”, for 6 to 18 year olds, are 3 hours long with an hour of each discipline – singing, dancing and drama.  At 6.5 years old Ben is on the cusp and could reasonably attend either class.  My gut feeling was that the younger classes would probably suit him better as this is a completely new experience for him and he’s not exactly known for his mature and sensible behaviour (I also think 3 hours seems a long time to expect him to concentrate!)  Having spoken to Kate (the Principal) about this before hand, we agreed to put him into Early Stages and let Sophie make a judgement after seeing him on his first day.

Before his class we talked a bit about the need to treat his Stagecoach lessons like school.  I reminded him that he was there to learn as well as to have fun, that parents had paid a lot of their hard earned money for their children to attend the classes and this must not be wasted.  I explained that although it would be a bit like being at school it would most probably be like a PE lesson, which he thought sounded like a lot of fun!  (I also told him that I would be writing about his class so he needed to remember what he’d been up to!)

I had to pick Ben up a little early from his first session as he had a birthday party to attend but this wasn’t a problem.  He came out to meet me with Sophie, full of beans and grinning like mad.  He’d had a fab morning and was keen to return next weekend!  We chatted a bit about what they’d done but he was a bit too over excited to get any sense out of him – going straight from Stagecoach to a Laser birthday party will do that to a six year old boy!

Ben is going to be attending our local Stagecoach school for a full term and I will of course be updating you as to how he’s getting on!  I was interested to note on the Stagecoach website that alongside the obvious development of their drama, singing and dance abilities; students often benefit from growth in their-self esteem and communication . . . areas which Ben already shows great strength.  I’m really excited to see what progress he makes, particularly as he has been keen to learn to break dance for a number of years now but doesn’t have the best coordination or rhythm.  It will be interesting to see what effect professional dance tuition has on him and whether at the end of his term his passion for dance has grown!

Watch this space!

*Ben is attending our local Stagecoach franchise free of charge for the purposes of writing this review however all thoughts and opinions remain our own*

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40 Comments

  1. January 15, 2016 / 9:51 pm

    Oh this sounds like such a great thing for all children to do. I would love LP to go to classes like this later. It just looks like such great fun! x

    • January 19, 2016 / 11:33 am

      I think it's great – kids don't get enough chance to do music and drama at school but it's so beneficial.

  2. January 17, 2016 / 8:08 pm

    Looks like such a fun class – love that he has tap shoes! x

  3. January 19, 2016 / 8:05 am

    This sounds so much fun. I look forward to reading more about what Ben is doing 🙂

    #triedtested

  4. January 19, 2016 / 8:07 am

    I've heard some great things about Stagecoach, expensive gut good, hope Ben enjoys his sessions #TriedTested

    • January 19, 2016 / 12:49 pm

      Yes, it's definitely not a cheap option.

  5. January 19, 2016 / 8:18 am

    That sounds like a lot of fun, Izzy goes to dance lessons but its straight after school so she is often quite tired. Once she is there she usually has lots of fun though. I like that the stagecoach lessons cover different disciplines, it gives children chance to try a few different things. #TriedTested

    • January 19, 2016 / 12:50 pm

      I must admit that I was concerned that a Saturday morning class would eat into our weekend but so far it's all good.

  6. January 19, 2016 / 9:10 am

    Some of our friends do this and love it – there isn't one close enough to us and also no space for anymore activities lol #triedtested

    • January 19, 2016 / 12:51 pm

      It does become a case of priorities doesn't it – as yet we just have swimming after school once a week but I definitely don't want to find myself totally booekd up!

  7. January 19, 2016 / 9:14 am

    I have wondered about putting middle man into stagecoach but as it is pretty pricey I have started him off on the school drama club and will reconsider if he likes that. Will be interested in this review x #tiredtested

    • January 19, 2016 / 12:56 pm

      That sounds like a great starting point – Stagecoach do offer a two week trial to allow you to try it out without the commitment.

  8. January 19, 2016 / 9:17 am

    It sounds like Ben had a great time…What a great activity for children to be involved in x

  9. January 19, 2016 / 9:52 am

    I've heard so many amazing things about stagecoach, I'm sure he will have so much fun. #TriedTested

  10. January 19, 2016 / 10:23 am

    Stagecoach is definitely a well known company so it would seem like a good choice. Im glad he had a good time and hopefully he learns lots and makes some good friends there #TriedandTested

  11. January 19, 2016 / 10:43 am

    He looks like he had a great time! It sounds like they are very well organized too. I think Lily would love this – will have to see if there are any in our area!

    • January 19, 2016 / 12:57 pm

      Yes, the level of oranisation is impressive. We got a very thorough newsletter though this weekend.

  12. January 19, 2016 / 1:15 pm

    My boys did Mini Stages and Early Stages, but both gave up when son1 was of an age to move up to Main Stages. I thought it great. Such a shame they didn't want to carry on

  13. Tas D
    January 19, 2016 / 2:02 pm

    I've heard teay good things about stagecoach but I think wrongly assumed it was something based in the south!

  14. January 19, 2016 / 2:33 pm

    I've not heard of them before – when I started reading I thought you meant the bus company! 😀 This one sounds a lot more fun though! x #triedtested

  15. January 19, 2016 / 2:41 pm

    This sounds like such a great idea. So lovely that he felt comfortable enough to run off and join in. Must of made you feel so much better x

  16. January 19, 2016 / 3:57 pm

    Sounds like a lovely idea for the kids. At first when you said stagecoach I thought it was a post on buses, haha 🙂

  17. January 19, 2016 / 3:57 pm

    I have heard great reviews about Stage Coach – shall have to look into it for the future!

  18. January 19, 2016 / 4:21 pm

    I've heard great things about Stage Coach! I think maybe I will do a little research into them and find out if there's anything near us. Ray xx #triedtested

  19. Angela Milnes
    January 19, 2016 / 5:36 pm

    We have been considering stagecoach for Sylvia as she wants to be an actor and loves dance singing and drama. I does cost a lot of money though and it's not yet in the budget. Hopefully in the coming months. Angela from Daysinbed

  20. January 19, 2016 / 6:20 pm

    BB's just started a similar thing at school and loves it – especially the singing and dancing! #triedtested

  21. January 19, 2016 / 7:27 pm

    Sounds like a great class for the kids. I must ask my cousin if they've heard of it!

  22. Mummy Melton
    January 19, 2016 / 8:02 pm

    Sounds like a great class. I can imagine it can work out costly but if it's something they enjoy it'll be worth it #tiredtested

  23. January 19, 2016 / 8:34 pm

    Sounds like a great class – I didn't realise that Stagecoach classes started at 4 – might have to check them out! Glad that Ben enjoyed his first class and hope he continues to enjoy it for the rest of the term 🙂

  24. January 19, 2016 / 9:12 pm

    He looks so excited! Can't wait to hear how he got on!

  25. January 19, 2016 / 9:48 pm

    We've heard of Stage Coach and have classes near us…but I'm a bit too young still. Maybe next year! He looks proper excited! Let us know how he gets on! #TriedTested x

  26. January 19, 2016 / 10:14 pm

    This sounds fab, I can't wait for my 2 to be able to attend something like this. Looking forward to your updates! Thanks for hosting #triedtested

  27. January 19, 2016 / 10:44 pm

    Sounds great, glad he enjoyed. I will be interested to find out how Bens break dancing is coming on as the term progresses. From what you gave written it sounds like he's going to be having lots of fun xx #TriedTested

  28. January 20, 2016 / 11:30 am

    I've got friends whose daughters go to something similar and they say their confidence is much improved, I will be interested to see how he progresses throughout the term 🙂

  29. January 20, 2016 / 12:04 pm

    A budding actor! What a great way to blow off steam too x #triedtested

  30. January 20, 2016 / 12:04 pm

    A budding actor! What a great way to blow off steam too x #triedtested

  31. Odd Socks and Lollipops
    January 20, 2016 / 12:29 pm

    This sounds like so much fun! I think things like this can really help with confidence.

  32. January 20, 2016 / 12:55 pm

    What an exciting term Ben has ahead of him. I can see how these sorts of classes are great for confidence building. I think I would have benefitted from doing something like this when I was young. I hope Ben continues to have a great time #TriedTested

  33. Hannah Smith
    January 20, 2016 / 4:42 pm

    Sounds like a lot of fun for the little guy!

    #TriedTested

    Hannah

  34. Victoria MyLittleLBlog
    February 8, 2016 / 9:09 pm

    it seems like a great idea, boosts confidence as well!! L shows sign of interest in dancing and singing.

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