Emma from Emma Louise Dance Club tells us a little about the school, their achievements and how she uses International Dance Rewards. 

Emma Louise Dance Club opened in Wigtownshire, a rural area in South West Scotland, in 2006.  Originally from Leeds, Emma moved to the area in 2005 and started a few dance classes for local children. At this time, they were the only dance school in the area offering Ballet and Modern dance for children. Over the years the school has grown. Two local dance and exercise instructors have joined the team. They now offer Ballet, Popdance and FLexercise classes to over 100 children and adults in Newton Stewart, Stranraer, Whithorn & Isle of Whithorn. 

What drew you to International Dance Rewards? What did you initially like about the concept?

Emma Louise Dance Club introduced International Dance Rewards in 2017.  At the time I was looking for something new to introduce to set us apart from other dance classes and sports clubs in the area. I also wanted a better way to reward pupils for their achievements at the end of term. The inclusive nature of the rewards initially drew me to International Dance Rewards. We trialled the reward scheme with a couple of classes and had fantastic feedback from children and parents so decided to offer International Dance Rewards to the whole school. We were the first school in Wigtownshire to offer International Dance Rewards to pupils. 

How did you incorporate them into your school?

International Dance Rewards are free to pupils. The cost of the rewards is incorporated into class fees. International Dance Rewards are presented to children at the end of term. It is a lovely way to celebrate their achievements. Dance at Home Awards were good motivation for children to join online classes during the pandemic. Show Performers Award is a lovely memento for children who take part in dance school performances.

What has the response and feedback of International Dance Rewards been? What positive outcomes have you seen since introducing them?

Children love collecting the badges and certificates. The rewards help children’s confidence. “I can do that” is a regular response when looking at the Progress Record Cards. Rewards are presented in class, the last week of term. Presentation class is positive, exciting end to the term. I love seeing children’s smiles as they proudly show their rewards to their parents at home time. We have happy, confident children and proud parents.

What are your hopes for the future?

Due to the pandemic, the past few years have been difficult for us. Like many dance schools, we have had to overcome many challenges from which we are still recovering. I am so grateful to the many families who continued to support Emma Louise Dance Club over this difficult time.

I am excited about the future for Emma Louise Dance Club. I feel positive Emma Louise Dance Club will continue to go from strength to strength. With support from the local community, Emma Louise Dance Club will continue to offer amazing dance opportunities and deliver a quality dance education to children for many years to come. 

Can you tell us about your dance school’s biggest achievement/ proudest moment?

I am privileged to have a job that I love. Emma Louise Dance Club is a big dance family that makes me proud every day.
Wigtownshire is beautiful; however, it is a rural location so we work hard to find exciting opportunities for children to experience the wider world of dance. In the past our pupils have had the opportunity to dance with Scottish Ballet, Louis Spence and Diversity. Several children are appearing in a feature film, made in the local area, due to be released later this year.
Our dance school show took place in February 2023. 70 children and adults took part in the performance. This was our biggest show to date. Following the pandemic, it was exciting to see children performing on stage together again. The show gives children the opportunity to make new friends outside their local area. I love seeing the friendships that develop from bringing our pupils together to perform for family and friends.

Thank you Emma for taking the time to tell us about your amazing club, it really sounds like a family and a wonderful inclusive place for those who love to dance!