I started working for Helen O Grady Drama Academy as a Drama teacher when my eldest was 2 years old (he’s now nearly 15!) I have always had a love for drama after being gently shoved into it as a very shy child to help me “get out of my shell”. Drama has always been my safe space, my place where I can be whoever I want to be, get to play whatever character I fancy, and it helped my confidence so much! I immediately fell in love with the ethos behind Helen O Grady – this amazing Australian woman who saw the need to empower children to find their voice. Helen O’Grady originated in Perth nearly 42 years ago and has been in the UK for 22 years now. With Academies all over the world, our incredible programme is taught to tens of thousands of children per week, worldwide.
In 2018, the opportunity came up for me to take over the franchise as Principal-I jumped at the chance. Running the business myself gave me a lot more opportunity to get to know the students and their parents even better and build a community feel within the Academy. This job felt like it had been made for me! Getting to be a part of a child’s developmental journey and watch their confidence and self-esteem soar, is the best part of the job!
The COVID-19 Pandemic proved to be a challenging time for the Academy, especially as my youngest was born 11 days into the first lockdown. Luckily, within just 2 weeks, we had moved our classes online and the staff had retrained to teach our fantastic curriculum online. As the pandemic now eases, the classes are going from strength to strength and my teachers and I have been so inspired by the resilience of the young people within the Academy, with all the changes and struggles that they have faced over the past 2 years.
This year is going to be especially exciting for us! For the first time in 2 years, we are going to the Theatre in July to perform the summer shows. The whole academic year is geared up towards this and we spend the first 2 terms of the year teaching the students the skills that they need to perform in front of an audience. After the performance, every student is recognised and presented with an award marking their time with us and last year I had the honour of awarding 2 students with 13-year awards and I am proud to say that both of these incredible young people are now a part of the staff at Helen O Grady Drama Academy Swansea.
Every term brings in new faces, new families to get to know and more laughs and memories! Our Drama Academy is for 4 to 17 year olds. I feel so lucky to be in a job that I love and feel so passionate about, and I cherish the opportunity to be a part of these young people’s lives.
Hi! I’m Steph, Mama to 3 beautiful children and the Mum’s in Business leader for Swansea and Carmarthenshire. This is a new role to me, but I love the whole concept of MIB – women supporting women, empowering each other and helping each other in business. I have already met some wonderful women and I love getting to know them and helping them, in the same way that I do in my business.
If you would like some more information about Helen O Grady Drama Academy, you can visit the website: www.helenogrady.co.uk
Find us on Facebook: