We experienced 3 dance schools before settling with Marjorie Wise. The first one collapsed for financial reasons, the second two were downright destructive of girls’ self -esteem and confidence- if you didn’t have the right figure and competitive spirit, they basically didn’t want you and made that very clear. They also encouraged cliqueness and verbal meanness. My daughter, Caitlin went all the way with Miss Spence at Marjorie Wise school to grade 8 honours learning alongside Laurie for much of that time. We greatly appreciated the way all levels of talent were welcomed whatever their body shape and ability. Also, the girls danced there because they enjoyed it and winning competitions was not the sole aim. My daughter was never going to be a ballerina but her experience here gave her body confidence, poise, worhwhile and fun exercise and a love of the stage and performance. I would genuinely recommend this school for any younger parents looking for a dance school for their little ones
Laurie-may Pratt – Principal
Laurie started dancing at the age of 3 with Marjorie Wise School of Dance. She studied Ballet and took all her RAD examinations up to Intermediate level. At the age of 11, she joined Caroline Carr Dance Studios hoping to broaden her calibre of skills by taking up Modern Jazz, Theatre Craft and Freestyle with the IDTA syllabus. The school provided Laurie with an abundance of opportunities and after auditioning she had the experience of performing with English Youth Ballet in their productions of The Nutcracker and Coppelia, dancing on behalf of the school at festivals and working as one of the chorus dancers in Sinbad the Sailor at the Concordia Theatre, Hinckley. Dancing a variety of styles gave Laurie the confidence and passion to pursue dance as a career and at the age of 13 she auditioned and gained a place at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts, studying and boarding there for a term before deciding to return home because she was so home-sick. Laurie later went on to study dance at Leicester college and De Montfort University where she completed a BA Hons Degree in Dance. Throughout this period, she was a member of ‘Sickle’ an urban ballet company who auditioned for ‘Got to Dance’ and appeared in ‘Come dine with me’!
Over the years, she continued to audition for various dance jobs and has worked at Disneyland Paris and Warner Leisure Hotels. From her experiences working away she decided that being at home in Leicester was where she felt comfortable and so at the age of 18, she set up her own contemporary dance class with ‘Marjorie Wise School of Dance’. As well as teaching for other dance schools, Laurie continues to keep up her own training and performance work. She took over as principal of ‘Marjorie Wise School of Dance’ from her own ballet teacher Janice Spence in September 2017 and continues to work professionally with ‘Chica Bonita Entertainment’ and ‘Showstoppers’.
In October 2017, she also managed to fit in a house renovation and having a baby!
What our graduates say
I loved my time at Marjorie Wise & have fab memories of classes at Mayflower taught by Miss Jan and Laurie. Achieving my Grade 8 Ballet with Distinction has to be a highlight but week to week I looked forward to every single class. Best of luck with everything Laurie! Can’t wait to watch the school blossom.
I attended this dance school alongside Laurie for 17 years and then occasionally came back to classes ran by Laurie whilst I was at Uni. I have such happy memories here! It was such a special place and always welcoming and inclusive. I loved learning a structured ballet syllabus and knowing that I was being trained by some wonderful, professional women. The shows were always a highlight too and a lot of fun! And I know Laurie is going to take what’s great about this school and make it even greater! I would highly recommend joining the family!
My daughter has been going to ballet classes here since she was little. She has continued to enjoy it and recently took her Grade 6. As an extension of the ballet school, she attends contemporary classes on Saturdays