Performing arts school gets moving to survive lockdown

A performing arts school in Skegness is putting all its energy into exploring challenging ways to stay open.
Lisa Jay Stage Institute performers danced for 10 hours to raise funds.Lisa Jay Stage Institute performers danced for 10 hours to raise funds.
Lisa Jay Stage Institute performers danced for 10 hours to raise funds.

Members and parents at the Lisa Jay Stage Institute have been taken part in a number of fundraisers during lockdown - including being plunged into an ice cold hot tub and a sponsored run. The youngest member, aged three, even swam six lengths of a five-meter pool without aids.

However, with massive overheads at premises on the A E Cook business park in Skegness still to pay, and the 'pot of gold' it received from East Lindsey District Council now exhausted, they took part in their biggest push yet at the weekend - a danceathon.

Lisa Jay, who runs the school on the A E Cook business park, held the event on Sunday in her garden in Seacroft Drive , with pupils from all over Lincolnshire taking part.

Lisa Jay, Linsey Reeves (red top), Kaci Jayes 16, Lily Jayes 10 performing during the danceathon..Lisa Jay, Linsey Reeves (red top), Kaci Jayes 16, Lily Jayes 10 performing during the danceathon..
Lisa Jay, Linsey Reeves (red top), Kaci Jayes 16, Lily Jayes 10 performing during the danceathon..

They managed to smash their target of £500 from the total on their JustGiving page and the amount collected from passers-by on the day.

Lisa says she is delighted with the response. She explained: "My business is now suffering terribly as one of a few that are still not able to open.

"My last class taught was March 19 and with massive monthly costs which include rent, utilities, wifi and telephone costs, insurance, subscriptions and membership fees, along with continuing building costs for our purpose-built studios, we are at the end of our pot of gold!

"We don’t become another lost business. Our closure would cause so much upset and distress to so many children and young adults in our community, including from as far away as Mablethorpe, Benningto and Boston.

Members of the Lisa Jay Stage Institute raising money to save their school.Members of the Lisa Jay Stage Institute raising money to save their school.
Members of the Lisa Jay Stage Institute raising money to save their school.

"Since April, many parents and students have fund raised tirelessly.

"Chelsea Checkett, a single mother of two, ran 14 miles from Alford to Skegness on Saturday July 4 and our youngest fundraiser, Rosie Cawley aged 3, swam six lengths of a five-meter swimming pool on Sunday, July 6.

"Rosie has only ever swam one length without aids in previous swimming sessions but she smashed her personal record and succeeded her sponsor without swimming aids.

"Last month myself and three students each took on separate ice challenges and raised more funds to help pay the bills. Olivia Roby and Sophie Allen were plunged into an ice cold hot tub, Catherine Barber was soaked with buckets of ice and my supportive children, Katy and Ash humoured themselves by throwing four ice cold buckets over me when I least expecting it!

Lisa dressed as a penguin with student Christopher Bellion, aged 10Lisa dressed as a penguin with student Christopher Bellion, aged 10
Lisa dressed as a penguin with student Christopher Bellion, aged 10

On Sunday, Lisa danced for 10 hours non-stop to raise funds, supported each hour by students from social bubbles or the same family unit from as faraway as Mablethorpe and Bennington, Boston.

During comfort breaks, students will dance in her place.

"For extra fun, I changed costume each hour and danced as many well-loved characters.

"One of our students who has has been lucky enough to be granted a place athe the performing arts college at MADD, Nottingham from September 2020. Macaulay Howitt will be joining

Lisa had several costume changes during the day. Here she is dressed as Tweedle Dum.Lisa had several costume changes during the day. Here she is dressed as Tweedle Dum.
Lisa had several costume changes during the day. Here she is dressed as Tweedle Dum.

for the penultimate hour as I wish him luck, something we had been robbed of because of the pandemic.

"For my very last hour I was joined by the four scholars who each receive free fees and many other benefits-.Sadly we may not be able to afford future scholars due to our lack of generating an income this year."

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