AS part of our series La Gente, Euro Weekly News reporter Gemma Quinn has been out and about to see what skills, talent and inspirational people can be found on the Costa Blanca. This week she headed to Finca Bon Any in Mutxamel to meet the founder of the Pineapple Performing Arts School…
‘FAME costs and right here is where you start paying, in sweat.’ The immortal lines from the movie Fame and a lesson quickly learnt by students from the European School in Alicante who took part in a week long musical theatre and performing arts workshop by teachers from the Pineapple Performing Arts School (PPAS) in London. There was plenty of sweat as students learnt dance, drama and singing, headed by principal of PPAS, Maggie Paterson. As a professional dancer herself, she knows full well the rigours and dedication involved to make it in the industry: “It’s hard and is the most brutal of techniques as you are training like an athlete, it takes over.” But the rewards can be immense. Maggie has appeared in television commercials, stage shows and pop videos and was even approached to choreograph The Fully Monty, released in 1997. Having selected all the music and choreographed the dole queue dance, she had to pull out at the last minute due to an arm injury. Such is the industry. But as one door closes, another opens and after years teaching at the famous Pineapple Dance Studios in Covent Garden, she approached founder Debbie Moore about setting up a school and now, 17 years and 400 students later, PPAS is going from strength to strength.
Whilst teaching youngsters life long skills and lessons that can lead them in to the industry, with many having gone on to enjoy success performing on stage and in television, it is about the fun with all children welcomed and no auditions to join.
Maggie and her talented professional teachers have given students a week to remember and hope to be back soon.