With weekly classes in Hammersmith and now in Fulham, the Pop School and Stage Academy teaches much more than acting, dancing and singing…
‘As teachers, our aim is to create a supportive space in which children can have fun, be creative and develop new talents,’ explains Amelia Amos, the owner of Pop School & Stage Academy (PSSA). ‘We’re not trying to produce the “perfect” artist; we use performing arts to foster key life skills, boost self-confidence and allow students to blossom as individuals.’
PSSA runs classes for 3-16 year-olds at the Westside Community School in Hammersmith and, since February, at St Thomas of Canterbury School in Fulham. ‘I trained in Dance and Musical Theatre and worked mostly in dance (including performing with Kanye West),’ says Amelia. ‘But then I needed a fresh challenge. I’d enjoyed teaching children, so I was delighted to take over an independent school like PSSA – that was 12 years ago.’
The classes focus on the core disciplines of acting, dancing and singing (3-6 year olds have an hour a week and the older ones three hours) and the teachers are all currently working in the industry. ‘Many children stay on in our “family” to be assistants,’ smiles Amelia. ‘And, of course, it’s just wonderful to see ex-students, such as Suki Waterhouse and Sophie Simnet, having such amazing professional success.
‘We give the children a rounded experience of screen and stage. They all record vocals and are filmed starring in their own pop video and we stage an annual full-scale production of a musical in a theatre with everyone taking part.’ Amelia is particularly passionate about PSSA’s holiday camps. ‘Three years ago, with holiday childcare becoming so costly, I began looking for support and the funds I secured allow us to run camps at half the cost of competitors.
‘We help children to unlock their potential and learn performance skills in a safe, friendly environment. Students progress at their own pace and are reassured that it’s OK to make mistakes. We love seeing them all step into the spotlight and shine.’
Pop School and Stage Academy (PSSA)