J’s Dance Factory & Dancing After School
Jessica Elliott of J’s Dance Factory and Dancing After School has been exclusively interviewed by year 7 St Matthew Academy students Kia-Miami, India-Rose, Jennifer, Kyra-Jade, Candice and Zoe, as part of the Twenty Ten Club Interview an Entrepreneur school programme.
J’s Dance Factory provides dance classes for children aged 4-18 in South London. Sister company Dancing After School provides dance education during school hours as well as organising and hosting extracurricular classes.
Founded by Jessica Elliott, J’s Dance Factory launched in September 2007 with a total of 10 students. The company is registered with the International Dance Teachers Association, providing schools the opportunity to enter students for recognised qualifications and awards.
Jessica has always had a passion for dancing and has trained in tap, ballet and modern from the age of three. She has appeared in numerous dancing shows over the years including performances at West End theatres in London and a variety show in New York.
J’s Dance Factory continues to go from strength to strength with new branches popping up across London. The company headquarters is in Shoreditch, London with branches of J’s Dance Factory currently in Bromley, Forest Hill, Thornton Heath and Newham. Dancing After School also works with 25 schools across London.
Jessica has received a number of awards for her achievements as an entrepreneur including the Spirit of London Community Business Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2010 and The Precious Magazine Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2009.
On October 6, Jessica will co-host St Matthew Academy’s ‘Yes We Can’ event, inspired by the words of President Obama, in celebration of Black History Month.
What was your inspiration for starting your business?
I started my business four years ago when I was 20 years old and still at university.
I wanted to start a dance studio because there really wasn’t very much available for street dancers.
Can you tell us a bit more about J’s Dance Factory?
I have opened four dance schools in Forest Hill, Bromley, Newham and Thornton Heath. We teach lots of different dance styles including ballet and tap as well as street dance.
Where were you born?
I was born at Lewisham Hospital in London.
Where did you go to school and did you like school?
I went to Torridon Primary School and then Sedgehill. I liked secondary school more than primary school. I particularly enjoyed P.E and art.
It’s great to visit St Matthew Academy and hear how ambitious Lewisham kids are! We rock!
Who has supported you in your career?
My Mum is my number one supporter! A few of the parents of the children who attend the schools are also quite supportive.
Who has inspired you?
Debbie Moore who founded Pineapple Dance Studios is an inspiration, as is the new dragon on Dragon’s Den Hilary Devey.
It’s great to feel inspired by people who have achieved their dreams but my biggest inspiration has to be my Mum. Watching her grow a business and now help me is awesome. I’m very lucky.
What are your goals and ambitions for the future?
My goal is to develop and grow my business nationwide. I have also just launched Teachdance.net to help dancers to get qualified and set up dance schools and community groups.
Watch this space and follow me on Twitter at @jsdancefactory to keep informed!
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Jessica Elliott was interviewed by year 7 St Matthew Academy students Kia-Miami, India-Rose, Jennifer, Kyra-Jade, Candice and Zoe, as part of the Twenty Ten Club Interview an Entrepreneur school programme.
The programme provides the opportunity for pupils of all ages to interview Black female business role models they admire.
For more information on the Interview an Entrepreneur school programme please contact the Twenty Ten Club office on 0207 193 4615 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
St Matthew Academy in Lewisham, London, is the country’s leading school for teaching enterprise skills. For more information visit www.stmatthewacademy.co.uk