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Sai Photography ImageSu-Elise Nash was part of the successful girl group Mis-Teeq, bringing UK garage and rnb to the charts. Now she is going back to her roots and spreading a little stardust on budding entertainers by opening a stage school in Dulwich, south London. Flavour was invited to the grand opening where DJ Ironik cut the ribbon.

How are you feeling today?
Excited! Glad that the day has got off to a good start, Ironik came down to open the school which was great. Working on a new project makes me nervous. But nerves help to motivate me!

This is your second school now. How did you come up with the idea originally?
Aged 14, on holiday in Jamaica! I thought to myself- living here and opening up a dance school would be perfect. We’ll have some jerk chicken, bust a few moves on the beach! Obviously I’ve set up in Dulwich where I grew up and it’s great to give local kids a creative outlet. I started a business degree at 18 to back up my ideas but Mis-Teeq took off and I ended up touring the world instead! When Mis-Teeq ended I still wanted to set up a school so I went back to uni to do a teaching degree. I’d already developed a strong business sense from being in the music industry. I could have opened the school off the strength of Mis-Teeq but wanted to have proper credentials. When you deal with other peoples children it’s important to be as qualified as the next principle.

And would you always recommend to students that they finish their education?
Without a doubt. School helped foster my passion for performing. That’s something I hope to do with my students.

What was your stage school experience like?
I had amazing teachers who taught me a lot about self discipline and character. At school my mum always pushed me to focus on the educational side but I loved singing, dancing and acting. At Italia Conti (Stage School) I got my first taste of performing through the schools agency. I’ve been on stage since I was 11.

Sai Photography ImageEveryone knows you were in a group, but now your handling solo ventures do you feel more pressure working alone?
There is more pressure, everything falls on my shoulders. Being in a group where you had two other girls to share the experience and work load with was great. But I love the fact that this is mine, it’s my baby!

You have your sisters here today so there is definitely family support!
My sisters are great they’ve come to help out. But the younger ones – Helena (16) and Savannah (12) are also going to attend the classes!

Are the all performers too?
Yes, Lisa (26) is a model, Helena and Christina (17) are gymnasts and Savannah is just like me. She’s into everything!

We all know you as a singer but you also act and dance. What will be your focus when you teach?
Dance. I am qualified in ballet, modern and tap.

Most people wouldn’t associate you with classical dance. In Mis-Teeq your moves were pretty edgy, more of a street genre.
Yeah they were and I love that style but knowing many disciplines I want to teach all of them. Not just what people expect!

So it’s not just about sticking to one thing. You want to give students the full package?
These days you can’t just be good in one area. Performers need to be well rounded. That’s why I set up a stage school as opposed to a dance school. If you audition for a West End musical they want strong singer’s who can dance.

How will you showcase the student’s talents? Are you thinking about creating an agency?
That is something for the future. The focus now is on school productions and getting involved with local theatre.

Will you showcase your dance moves on TV? Are you interested in Strictly Come Dancing?
With Strictly I am so qualified it wouldn’t be a challenge but maybe Dancing On Ice. That would be tricky!

What about other TV projects?
I love presenting. Next year I will be doing Britain’s Next Urban Superstar and currently I’m on Flava Music channel.

Are you going to release more music?
I have been recording for a few months. I’ve cut two tracks so far, if I produce an amazing album it will be released. Keep an eye out!

For more information on the Su-Elise Stage School Contact: 0871 221 0011 or visit

www.su-elisestageschool.co.uk

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