Lifelong Friends are made at DJDA

At DJDA you make lifelong friends here’s a write up from two remarkable young women that were a part of the fantastic DJDA family for so many years It’s great to still be in touch with them. Here’s what they have been upto since they left. Their words mean the world to me and made me extremely emotional 💖

Lucy Chapman

I, very sadly, hung up my dancing shoes in 2017, when I was 18, after 14 amazing years being taught by the lovely Miss Debbie. Since leaving, I have gone onto study paediatric nursing in Edge Hill University. This has been an incredible opportunity as I have seen things you would never believe and been able to see first hand what the amazing doctors and surgeons in Alder Hey can achieve in the cutting edge treatment that they deliver. I have also worked alongside incredible teams of nurses and other healthcare professionals and played a part in delivering patient care. This would not have been possible if it wasn’t for the opportunity DJDA gave me in being able to gain experience working with the smaller dancers of the school which then became the highlight of my week. More recently I became an “opt in” student nurse. This meant going into the NHS to become an extra pair of hands in the fight against corona virus. A personal highlight has been working with premature babies – something very close to Miss Debbie’s heart and caring for the families of babies on the Special Care Baby Unit will always being something close to mine. I am due to finish my degree this coming March and am excited to see what the future holds. My dancing is now restricted to the kitchen where I rope my reluctant boyfriend into being my dance partner with Alexa as my DJ! And whilst I have never worn a Dalmatian costume since dancing with DJDA, I have taken valuable lessons that I use now and will continue to use throughout my adult life such as confidence, resilience, perseverance and the ability to laugh and enjoy everything that life throws. But the best thing to come out of DJDA was the lifelong friendships and never being able to hear a song from a show without busting out the moves once choreographed. I’ll forever dance like no body’s watching and will forever be Miss Lucy❤️

Zoe Richardson

After 14 incredible years of dancing with Miss Debbie, I sadly left DJDA at 17 to focus on my second year of A-Levels. Since then, I took a gap year which I spent working full-time (and of course, missing dancing full-time) until I started a new journey at the University of Leeds last September to study a degree in Psychology. Obviously I immediately had to join one of the many dance societies on offer at the university which I’ve found integral to my uni experience! I’ve made a lot of new friends at the weekly classes, something that’s so important when you’re living away from home, and something that would never have been possible if I hadn’t cultivated my love for dancing with Miss Debbie years ago. Miss Debbie taught me more than just good ballet technique though, she taught me how to be more confident, diligent and to have fun in any situation. Lessons that will always be useful and important for the rest of my life. The environment I experienced at DJDA for all those years was always so positive and like having a second family. I’ve never known a teacher that is so loving and cares so dearly for their pupils, both in and out of the studio. Miss Debbie’s definitely one of a kind and leaves some very big dancing shoes to fill!
I’m not completely sure what the future holds for me right now, but I’m considering continuing to work towards postgraduate study in clinical psychology, since I am passionate about the mental heath and wellbeing of others. Regardless of what I decide to do, I know continuing to dance will be a part of it for as long as possible!
I will be forever grateful to Miss Debbie for every experience and of course for the amazing friends and fond memories that will last a lifetime!

ELLIE AND ISSY

Some more wonderful words from ex pupils 💖, it’s fantastic to know they are both doing so well and successful young women.
Ellie Fegan
I had to say a difficult goodbye to my DJDA family and especially Debbie after 16 years when I was accepted to the University of Surrey study midwifery. 3 years on, I am now 2 months away from qualifying as a midwife with a job secured in Manchester!
I have loved my training and I’m so grateful that each shift, no matter how hard and scary they can be, I have the responsibility and privilege to support women in helping their families grow and bring new life safely into the world. I have a passion for caring for women carrying and delivering their ‘rainbow babies’ – which are babies born after miscarriage, stillbirths or infant loss. Since Covid-19, I ‘opted-in’ and joined the emergency register to act as a qualified midwife in order to provide care to women and their babies against the Coronavirus.
I loved dancing alongside close friends, of course my best friend Issy and helping out with the younger grades every Thursday as Miss Ellie. I still find it so strange knowing that they’re all grown up themselves now! I have learnt so many things from Debbie over the years that I will be forever grateful for but the memories that I will truly treasure are the long conversations we would have, the laughs that we shared and especially the flexibility that I developed always proving to be a great party trick! I can’t wait to move closer to home so we can have many more catch ups! Xxx

Issy Grace
I started attending the DJDA ballet classes at the age of 4. As the years went on, I started to take part in additional dance classes including: street dance, tap, modern and cheerleading. Every year, I participated in numerous ballet, tap and modern exams as well as performing in our dance shows. During my time at the DJDA I made life long friends and have nothing but wonderful memories of my 14 years dancing with Miss Debbie. Being part of the DJDA was like having a second family and I would look forward immensely to my dance lessons every week. Miss Debbie taught us more than dance technique, she taught us perseverance, resilience, confidence and team working skills – all important skills that I use today.
I reluctantly left the DJDA at the age of 18 to focus on my studies. I went to Edge Hill University to study Primary Education. In 2019, I graduated as a qualified primary school teacher and started my career as a Year 3 teacher in September 2019. I continue to share my love of dancing with the children, spending most play times taking part in dance routines with the children or being taught the latest ‘Tik Tok’ dance moves by the children instead!
My experiences with Miss Debbie and the rest of the DJDA family have shaped who I am today and I couldn’t be more grateful for the best 14 years I had dancing with Miss Debbie.