Nottingham's Midlands Academy Of Dance And Drama Celebrates 50th Anniversary In 2017

Midlands Academy of Dance and Drama, founded and headed by arts industry stalwart Frances Clayton, is one of the UK's most successful and well respected performing arts colleges with its origins dating back an impressive fifty years to 1967. Today, the Nottingham based college announces plans to mark its 50th anniversary with a range of exciting performances and events between February and October 2017.

The year-long commemoration marks the extraordinary 50-year milestone and culminates in an all-singing, all-dancing 'dress to impress' 50th Anniversary Celebration and Reunion Gala at the Grade I listed stately home Kelham Hall and Country Park in Nottinghamshire on Saturday 28th October 2017.

Frances Clayton, founder and Principal of Midlands Academy of Dance and Drama and affectionately known as 'Miss C' by students and staff, said: "2017 marks a special time in MADD's history. I am so grateful to family and friends who have supported the academy in its various stages over the last fifty years. And to all the wonderful students and staff from across five decades, this incredible milestone would not have been possible without each and every one of you! I hope everyone will join us throughout the year ahead to celebrate this very special anniversary."

Sue Sparham, former student and one of the academy's current dance teachers, said: "I graduated from MADD in 1994. Twenty three years later I am still part of the college, which I think speaks volumes, as regards to my love for the place and the people within it. Miss C has an energy and passion which is nothing short of inspirational."

Midlands Academy of Dance and Drama, known as 'MADD', is located in Nottingham and was founded after Frances Clayton was asked by a handful of Nottingham parents to set up her own dance school in the late sixties. Originally offering part time classes for children in Theatre Dance and Ballroom, the seeds were sown, and fifty years later the school has grown into one of the word's best musical theatre colleges. In 1988 a Three Year Musical Theatre Diploma Course was developed and is now accredited by the Council for Dance Education and Training (CDET) and validated by Trinity College London.

MADD offers additional courses: a One Year Foundation Musical Theatre Diploma; a One Year Post Graduate course; accredited evening courses in Teacher Training with the International Dance Teachers Association in Classical Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Freestyle Dance; and a Junior School (evenings & weekends) for Theatre Dance, Gymnastics, Freestyle, Musical Theatre and Drama is also offered for 3 - 18 year olds and holds Recognised School Status by the CDET.

MADD was granted charity status in 2007 and offers a number of scholarships and bursaries to enable talented students to reach their full potential to perform in the industry.

A vast range of alumni have gone on to successful careers in London's West End, National and International tours, television and even found fame in one the world's biggest boybands. After training at the college from 2006 - 2009, Jay McGuiness made his name in the massively successful boyband The Wanted. He went on to be crowned BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing champion with dance partner Aliona Vilani in 2015 and is now starring in Big The Musical, heading to the West End in spring 2017.

Kicking off #MADD50 celebrations will be the 50th Anniversary Junior Showcase in the college's very own MADD Theatre on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th February 2017. On Monday 22nd May the 50th Anniversary Third Year Graduate Showcase for agency representation takes place at the Leicester Square Theatre in London's West End.

The celebrations continue in the summer with MADD's 50th Anniversary Gala Showcase at Nottingham Playhouse. Produced by MADD, and always a sell-out show (book your tickets soon!), this year's commemorative Gala Showcase on Friday 30th June and Saturday 1st July promises to be bigger and better than ever before - an evening of show-stopping performances by over 100 full-time professional musical theatre students showcasing their incredible versatility. Accompanied by a live band, this is a night of sheer entertainment for all the family.

Finally, on Saturday 28th October 2017, marking this 50 year milestone, is the 50th Anniversary #MADD Celebration and Reunion Gala - a celebratory evening for students and staff, past and present, and patrons and supporters of the academy. Held in the grand The Dome room at Kelham Hall, situated in 44 acres of private grounds in Newark, Nottinghamshire, this promises to be a very special night in MADD's fifty year history.

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