Theatre school 'Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance' to bring back smiles to Skegness

There's a Broadway song particularly meaningful to a Skegness theatre school principal looking back over the past year.

Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance - Janice Sutton Theatre School is ready to entertain audiences at the Embassy Theatre in Skegness.

'Seasons of Love - 525,600 minutes," said Janice Sutton

'Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes

'How do you measure a life of a woman or a man?

Janice Sutton receives the Jolly Fisherman statuette from Leslie Shepherd, ELDC's entertainment director

'In truths that she learned

'Or in times that she cried

'In bridges he burned

'Or the way that she died

A talented cast who have just Gotta Sing and Gotta Dance will be stepping out into the spotlight to present a musical theatre extravaganza.

'It's time now to sing out though

'The story never ends

'Let's celebrate remember a year in a life

Of friends'

Generations of students have been put in the spotlight by Janice Sutton Theatre School.

When the young cast return to the stage of the Embassy Theatre with Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance they will be 'singing out' for the first time without Janice's right-hand woman, Joy Everett, who sadly died last year.

"She is missed but always there in our hearts," said Janice. "We are sure she is watching over us."

Determined to put the smiles back on the faces of cast members and audiences after a tough year because of the pandemic, Janice has years of experience to make the magic happen.

Fellow and Licentiate International Dance Teachers Association, she is a fellow of the IDTA and has been principal for over 50 years of the Janice Sutton theatre school - the oldest established dance school in Skegness and one of the most successful on the east coast.

Janice Sutton (right) says receiving Skegness Town Council's Community Award has been a high spot of her career. She is pictured with John Byford, who received the Honoured Citizen Award, Mayor and Mayoress of Skegness Coun Trevor and Jane Burnham, and Deputy Mayor, Coun Billy Brookes.

A talented and inspirational teacher, she has taught thousands of pupils many of whom have gone on to exceptional professional careers.

Janice nurtured former royal ballet principal, Deborah Bull and introduced renowned theatre star Ramin Karimloo (Phantom - Love Never Dies) to a West End stage.

Numerous other pupils have continued their training at top London theatre colleges finding work in the West End, on cruise ships, TV and in summer seasons and cabaret shows worldwide.

Janice started performing from a young age in her hometown of Wainfleet, doing song and dance routines in charity shows. She took dance classes in Skegness at The Caine School of dance, which was then based on South Parade.

She then went to Leeds to Train under the direction of Jean Peace (the mother of comedian Billy Peace).

Janice took all her IDTA teaching exams with Jean and learnt the art of chorography and returned to Skegness and started her own dance school in Wainfleet.

Janice Sutton woth Ramin Karimloo, star of Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserable and TV's Holby City, who she introduced to the West End.

She produced shows at the Coronation Hall with the local children and then moved her school into Skegness, taking over the

Crane’s dance studio in High Street.

From there things devolved into a rollercoaster of dance success - entering children into the Skegness, Cleethorpes and Boston dance festivals gaining many first places and winning the Teacher's Cup on many occasions.

The school also travelled to The Yorkshire Television studios in Leeds and supplying children for the Junior Showtime special.

There were also annual shows at the Arcadia Theatre, which was on Drummond Road, and work with Skegness Operatic Society as choreographer for many productions during the 60’s and 70’s.

Her first step into summer season success was at the former Derbyshire Miners Holiday Camp providing dancers and juveniles for the entertainments programme.

The school have performed in the West End on six occasions at the London Palladium and Her Majesty’s Theatre with great ovation.

Her traditional summer shows in Skegness began back in 1985 after Janice was approached by Leslie Sheperd (Director of entertainment for East Lindsey District Council ) to “put on a show” to open the new Embassy Theatre.

After the successful opening, Janice was invited to present a full show every week in the busy holiday summer season, in the same line-up as top showbiz veterans.

Babes on Broadway was born featuring 70 local talented performers.

After 35 years of award-winning productions, the hallmark of the shows has been the fabulous costumes, with sequins and feathers in abundance.

Theatregoers and holidaymakers return year after year to watch these spectacular shows, jam-packed with musical numbers, creative chorography and fantastic staging.

Janice is the winner of The Carl Alan Theatre Teacher award 2011, “The Oscar of the dance world”.

Earlier this year, she was given a Skegness Town Council Community Award for her valuable service to the town.

"Among all of the awards I have received this one has been especially important to me because it recognises the work I have done for Skegness over the years," she said.

This year’s shows, which start on Thursday, July 29, are a celebration of song and dance, especially as staging them safely in a pandemic has taken all of her the experience she has gained over the years.

"It has been a challenge but we are ready," she said. "We have had to take special care with how many dancers we can have on stage and how the come on and exit.

"They will also come to the theatre in costume and our youngest dancers have just collected their first shimmering tights. It's always very exciting.

"We just want people to come and see us now and to raise their spirits."

GOTTA SING, GOTTA DANCE

Janice Sutton Theatre School Productions are back in business for their 2021 summer season at the Embassy Theatre.

A talented cast who have just Gotta Sing and Gotta Dance will be stepping out into the spotlight to present a musical theatre extravaganza.

Full house for Duggie Chapmans Snow White Summer Panto.
Over the years Janice has entered children into the Skegness, Cleethorpes and Bostondance festivals, gaining many firstplaces and winning the teachers cuponmanyoccasions.
Janice's right-hand woman, Joy Everett, who sadly died last year.