With more reports emerging about the crushing effect that Covid has had on children, one theatre school franchise is helping to bring back confidence. More than 62,000 pupils in England have been tracked from May to December by ImpactEd, with some worrying results.
This has been the largest review of schoolchildren in the Covid era and the report warns of the potential for a lost generation. Anxiety levels are rising and wellbeing has tumbled according to the report, with those in their exam years feeling the pressure of trying to catch up.
The most alarming research uncovered that the closure of schools has not just impacted education, but on mental health too. Multi-award winning Razzamataz Theatre Schools has listened to thousands of children across the UK discuss their concerns during online performing arts classes as well as dedicated wellness sessions.
The impact of the pandemic can be summed up by student Libbi who attends Razzamataz Maidstone: “To highlight children’s mental health week, I thought I would drop a message to say that Razzamataz has saved me. When I had a rough patch with my mental health Razzamataz picked me up and made me feel like there was a place I belong. Whenever it was Saturday I was always at my happiest. The Razzamataz team support is brilliant and I really am grateful for that. Now I would say my mental health has never been better.”
To reach out to even more young people, all of the schools within the network will be launching Razz’s Got Talent, a competition that aims to give young people something positive to aspire to. Unlike some TV competitions, there will be no Mr Nasty or negative comments, the schools will be working with a judging panel of professional performers who can give positive support to every competitor.
Children from the age of 6 to 17 can enter for a chance to win a year’s scholarship to attend their local Razzamataz school. The competition is open to current students as well as those that have never had any formal training before. Supporting local talent and giving back to the community to help young people with their performing arts training is high on the agenda for the theatre school franchise, especially now when confidence is at an all-time low.
“Razz’s Got Talent is a really fun way for children to enter a talent contest in a safe and caring environment,” says Denise Hutton-Gosney, MD and Founder of Razzamataz Theatre Schools. “We only give really constructive and positive feedback because we know it takes a lot of courage and determination to enter a talent competition and we want this experience to be a really positive one that they can learn from.
“This is also a great opportunity to see what undiscovered talent we can find and for existing students, it gives them the chance to hone their skills and shine individually in front of a panel of industry judges.”
Related: Razzamataz Franchise
The judges are looking for raw talent and will talk to the children to understand where their passion for performing arts can take them. “We know children have had a lot of challenges over the last year; for some, it has really knocked their confidence and will impact their mental health,” adds Denise. “Our Principals and teams of teachers have worked so hard to help students and the feedback we have had from families has been so wonderful. This is another opportunity for us to give back again to local communities by nurturing young performers.”
Razzamataz teaches all three disciplines of dance, drama and singing, to create ‘triple threat performers.’ Children taking part in Razz’s Got Talent can showcase one or all of these skills. Applicants should prepare either a song, dance or drama piece or a mixture of all three that lasts no longer than three minutes. Children and young people should apply directly to their local school to find out closing dates and any other details. All auditions will be held remotely online to keep within government guidelines.