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Double whammy! Two Rooftop students win places at Jill Clewes Academy

Double whammy! Two Rooftop students win places at Jill Clewes Academy

Stone performing arts school Rooftop Studios has cause for a double celebration – with two of its students winning places on a pre-vocational course at the renowned Jill Clewes Academy.

Faith Barrow and James Tonge, both 16, passed a rigorous audition process to be accepted onto the Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Performing Arts at the Stoke-on-Trent academy, which has seen numerous students go on to gain places at prestigious performing arts colleges in London.

Both youngsters are the latest in a long line of students trained at Rooftop Studios that have gone on to professional training; having honed the skills in acting, singing, dance and performance that so impressed the judging panel during their audition under the guidance of the studio’s expert team. Their new course will offer access to professional training previously only associated with the larger London based conservatoires, tailored to students wishing to pursue a career in performing arts.

Studio director, Laura Keeling, says: “We are hugely proud of Faith and James – both are gifted young performers and it has been a privilege watching them develop their skills over so many years. We wish them all the very best with their studies, but know that this will not be goodbye. We are one big family at Rooftops, so will be staying in touch and hope to see them back in the very near future to share their experience and help inspire the next generation of Rooftop stars in the making!”

James’ dad, Will Tonge, says:
“My wife Emma and I are so proud of James. Getting offered a place at Jill Clewes Academy means so much to him – he’s been dreaming of attending a performing arts college for as long as we can remember.

“His journey started at the age of 4 when his schoolteacher told us that he spent a lot of his school day trying to entertain and make his class laugh, so we thought that we would try and channel this desire away from school – which is when we first sent him to Rooftop Studios hoping that he would find an outlet to express himself. He immediately fell in love with Rooftop Studios, and it was clear to us that he had an appetite and natural ability to perform.

“James decided that he wanted to make it his career from a very early age, and this passion has been nurtured and developed throughout his time at Rooftop Studios. Over the years, James has filled all his spare time with either singing, dancing or acting classes – even during the Covid lock downs he has attended online Zoom workshops with West End performers thanks to the contacts of Rooftop Studios’ wonderful team. As parents, we would like to express our gratitude for the many happy years that James has enjoyed being part of the Rooftops family.”

Faith’s dad, Dave Barrow, said:
“I would like to thank all the Rooftops staff for your never-ending support and encouragement. Without the family approach from Rooftops I’m sure Faith would have never made it. Faith has grown up into a beautiful young lady and I know Rooftops has made such a positive influence on her life.”

Both Faith and James have been long-standing members of Rooftop Studios’ Stage Academy which, taking place on Saturdays in the purpose-built studio, hones skills in singing, dancing and acting while offering ample opportunity to perform in professional-standard shows. They both also took several other dance and LAMDA drama classes at the studio as part of their training.

For those looking to follow in Faith & James’; footsteps, Rooftop Studios offers a broad timetable of dance and performing arts classes including RAD ballet, Tap, Modern, Jazz, Street Dance, LAMDA Drama, Silver Swans Ballet, ACRO – and more; all delivered by a team of teachers who are professional performers in their own right. Free trial classes available; to arrange yours email claire@rooftopstudios.co.uk