Dance school pupils to have the ‘time of their lives’

Written by Scott Campbell, Cumbernauld Media's Senior Reporter.

Published at 16:31 on 12 July 2015


An instructor from the famous Pineapple Studios, in London, will be visiting Cumbernauld. Logo: copyright of Pineapple Studios.

FOR one Cumbernauld dance school this summer will be a special one, with some of the West End’s biggest names set to provide pupils with their expertise.

The Lorraine McDonald School of Dance has confirmed that a number of big names from London’s glitzy West End will be leaving behind the big city for Cumbernauld, this summer. 

Ahead of the special professional tutoring, the dance school’s founder and teacher, Lorraine McDonald, has spoken to Cumbernauld Media about what she has called a “great opportunity.”

The 30-something Condorrat resident started her dance school in 2007 after working for other dance teachers, when her plans were “re-arranged” after the birth of her now 10-year-old daughter.

“The simple story behind the founding of my dance school is that I danced and was working for other teachers, before the birth my first born, after which I had to re-arrange my life,” she explained. 

“I decided to start my own classes through in Bonnybridge and Chryston, and after Jacqueline Engels, the lady who was my dance teacher, retired, I took on some of her classes, at the beginning of 2011, and the school expanded from there.”

With a dance school which offers tap, freestyle, modern, jazz, baton twirling, cheer-pom, acro, and outside instructors, Lorraine said that this summer will see many pupils opt to stay with their dance school for the “musical theatre West End” theme which will welcome “great calibre” performances to Cumbernauld. 

The married mother-of-two explained: “There are five different summer schools that are run each year, and all of the choreographers who will come to Cumbernauld will be proper West End, London, performers.

“A lot of them will have done things such as the Brit Awards, backing dancers for Take That, Kylie, and X Factor,” she added.

The ‘Holy Grail’.

“This year, one of the choreographers coming up will be David, and he’s the man who choreographed the Spice Girls World Tour; we’ve got another David too, who is a choreographer at Pineapple Studios, in London – which for any dancer is the Holy Grail,” Loraine said.

She added: “One of the girls coming this year has been a dance captain in a lot of musical theatre performances, in London, while another of the girls has just been performing in the Cats musical, which has had a massive revival. 

“They are all not names that you would know outside of musical theatre, but they are huge names if you are a dancer or fan of the West End.”

Describing the opportunity as “fabulous”, Lorraine explained: “…one of the choreographers who came up maybe two years ago had a big part in Hollyoaks, and the reaction of the pupils was just sheer excitement, and anybody visiting would have thought – based on their reactions – that it was David Beckham would had walked in through the door. 

“The calibre of the people who are coming, you just don’t get that in Cumbernauld, so this will be our third year – we’ve done it the last two years, and the kids have absolutely loved it, and this year we’re thinking ‘yeah, it is a pretty huge thing’, and there’s plenty of other people out in Cumbernauld who would love to be involved, but they don’t know that we do this, as we’ve kept it contained to our own dance school before, so hopefully we can involve whoever wants to do it this year.

She added: “It’s a brilliant opportunity. We’ve got girls who attend musical theatre classes, in Glasgow, and they all have a summer school classes on at the same time, but they’re not going to them, they’ve told us that they’ll be coming to their dance school one, because of the calibre of people who are coming to teach.”