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Lockdown pivot means students still get fun and creativity ‘fix’

Lockdown pivot means students still get fun and creativity ‘fix’

Footlights has successfully replaced its face-to-face performing arts classes with live online lessons

As Freddie Mercury and Queen famously stated, “The Show Must Go On” and Footlights is ensuring that happens across its franchise network.

As the current restrictions continue, the company’s normal face-to-face performing arts classes that run at various locations across Greater Manchester and the Midlands have been replaced with live online lessons. Not a minute of learning has been lost.

Running at the same time as the usual classes and with the same teaching team, the online lessons allow children and young people to maintain their skills and continue to express their creativity. This is not only vital to their progression but also gives them something to look forward to and maintains their sense of identity, as they love being part of Footlights.

Immediate response

Jo Fisher, the head of Footlights, is a fully qualified teacher and had an immediate response to the first lockdown in 2020, drawing up her COVID-19 master plan in conjunction with one of her key educationalists.

When further lockdowns meant that live classes were once again curtailed, the team returned to Zoom to ensure all students had access to their usual ‘Footlights fix’ of fun and creativity.

Jo says: “In this unusual situation, we wanted our students to continue their learning with minimal disruption, as they have enough changes going on in their lives.

“It’s been important to maintain consistency. Each session includes the separate lessons of acting, singing and dance that our students love, at the same time as their face-to-face classes would be and with the same level of instruction and feedback.

“It’s been a joy to see so many young faces on our screens and feedback from parents and children is overwhelmingly positive.”

Workable solution

The template for online classes was rolled out across the Footlights franchises, offering an immediately workable solution to the current situation and enabling each franchisee to continue to trade during an uncertain time.

When many businesses are struggling, Footlights is proud to be thriving, welcoming new students on a regular basis.

Crucially, the business model goes from strength to strength, generating new franchise enquiries as budding entrepreneurs recognise the flexibility of hours, opportunities for homeworking and overall potential for success of the brand.

Redundancies and reduced hours across many industries have left people looking for an opportunity to work for themselves, but with the added support of an established network. Footlights offers this opportunity, giving people the chance to own their own stage school and bring happiness, skills and positivity to hundreds of children.

“We’re delighted to be working with new franchisees, who are taking the first steps to opening their own schools at the moment,” Jo says.

“During the last 12 months, we’ve faced a series of challenges, but our ability to overcome these and continue to run successfully is testament to the solid processes and business model Footlights offers.”

At a glance Footlights



Number of franchised outlets:


Location of units:

predominantly North West and Midlands, plus recent movement into South Wales

Investment range:

£3,995 (plus VAT)- £13,250 (plus VAT)

Minimum required capital:



Jo Fisher

Footlights Theatre School & Academy logo

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