DANCE school owner Val Armstrong has looked back on the most successful year in her academy’s history – stretching back more than 30 years.
And it has led to her studio, in Whitby Street South, in Hartlepool, being expanded to cope with the increasing demand for the school’s services.
Her latest successes included 16 students reaching the finals of the recent Redcar and Cleveland dance championships.
They included title winners Jessica Lucas, 11, who became the junior acrobatic champion and Niamh Owen, 15, who won the senior song and dance section.
But that’s not the only successes for the Val Armstrong School of Performing Arts.
Val added: “Since the beginning of the September term, all our students have been regularly casting for directors, clients and producers around the country through our new in-house agency which is headed by accomplished actor Daniel John William.
“Many have secured work for some of the biggest names.”
Yet another achievement was Val’s student Demi Lee, aged 10, securing another nine-month contract to perform in Billy Elliot at the Palace Theatre, in London.
And a further success was the rise of the Urban Rockz Academy at the studio.
It is home to the school’s acting department as well as the award-winning Ruff Diamond crew as well as Urban Rockz which is run by choreographer Zac Healey.
Val added: “We also now have a fourth studio under construction in order to accommodate Zac’s Urban Rockz Hip Hop Academy.”
Team VA, meanwhile, is very excited about 2014.
New addition to the team is Daniel John Williams – a working actor who believes the North-East has some hidden treasures when it comes to talent.
He said: “Val Armstrong has welcomed me with open arms and I am blown away at the talent that is being produced under her direction.
“It fills me with pride to know that Val Armstrong already has a very well oiled machine, with talks of other venues opening within the Teesside area.”