When Pippa and Maharati decided to create Applause! we were already award winning directors and choreographers of children with over twenty years of teaching experience between us that spanned across America, Ireland and the UK.
We were teaching the Performing Arts in nine different Primary schools between us on a regular basis and taking on ad hoc directing and facilitating work as well as being professional performers ourselves. We were also, and still are, the best of friends.
Wouldn’t it be fun, we thought, to combine everything we know and create a Performing Arts School for children that runs in the holidays? A place driven by our passion to inspire the children and bring out the very best in them? The kind of school we wished we had been able to go to as children?
That was back in 2009 and we are so grateful to each and every child who has come to Applause! and given it their all. Children, this is what you’ve taught us:
- Children have no idea of what they are capable of in a week. It’s always more than they think and they always manage to pleasantly surprise themselves in an environment where their elders hold a space for them to grow into.
- With clear boundaries and firm rules to follow, children feel safe and don’t act out or misbehave.
- Positive encouragement and praise work like magic fairy dust on children’s self-esteem.
- Every child has a different learning curve. They will all “get it” in the end.
- There is a certain alchemy in putting on plays that gives even the shyest of children more confidence.
- The more intense and “difficult” the show, the more the children rise to the occasion and enjoy the process. Children love to be challenged!
- All children are naturally kind and helpful. When this type of behaviour is rewarded, they glow with pride.
- When children think they “can’t” they can be easily proven wrong.
- Through performance, charismatic children learn focus, introverted children learn how to communicate and all children discover something new to love about themselves.
Thank you to all of the children who have made Applause! happen so far and all of the children still to come. With love, Pippa and Maharati.