Jacqui started her dancing journey at the age of 9 with the Margaret Ramsay School of Dancing in Glasgow where she studied RAD Ballet and SDTA Tap and Modern Stage. She loved the classes, passing her exams and performing in the annual stage shows and represented her dance school in the RAD showcase for famous ballerina, Dame Margot Fonteyn, a very exciting occasion for a young dancer.
She also performed at the Kings Theatre, Glasgow alongside Scottish Panto veterans, Jimmy Logan and Ricky Fulton and was even invited onto the Andy Cameron Show on BBC Radio Scotland to talk about performing at the Kings.
Professional Training and Teacher Qualifications
By the age of 17, she had achieved her first teaching qualification with the British Association of teachers of Dancing (BATD) with BATD Examiner, Christine Hinshelwood and went on to further professional training at the Elizabeth Henderson School of Dance where she studied for her ISTD Advanced Exams. With a Diploma in Marketing, she was destined for a different career but when she was offered an ‘apprentice dance teacher ‘position at the School, she decided to follow her dreams and has never looked back ! She is eternally greatful for the training and mentoring she received from Elizabeth Henderson.
She progressed quickly and at 21, she went to London to take the prestigious Diploma in Classical Ballet with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD ) with further qualifications in Tap, Modern Theatre Dance and Jazz following soon after.
She also loves Dancesport (Streetdance/Breakin, Freestyle, Ballroom/Latin ) and went on to become a qualified teacher in Rock n Roll too.
From 1990-95, she held the post of Dance Tutor at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now Royal Conservatoire of Scotland ) where she taught dance, movement and choreography for the Acting and Opera Degree Courses. Many of the students she taught there are successful actors in TV and film today.
She also choreographed many Pantomimes and Plays for RCS , working alongside visiting Directors from stage and screen.
She then taught for The Dance School of Scotland , a specialist dance school at Knightswood Secondary School and entered students for Intermediate and Advanced Tap ISTD Examinations there.
In April 2020, Jacqui was delighted to be awarded further Accreditations in Classical Ballet, Tap, Modern Contemporary , Theatre Craft and Rock Roll with the International Dance Teachers Association (IDTA) and offers their OFQUAL Regulated Graded Exam Courses with valuable UCAS points to Dance UK Students wishing to achieve these qualifications.
She is also a qualfied teacher with the Scottish Dance Teachers Alliance (SDTA) in Ballet, Modern Theatre and Tap Genres.
She opened her first Dance School, ‘Jacqui Wilson School of Dance ‘ in Barlanark Community Centre in Glasgow’s East End in 1990 with further Schools in Bellahouston, Bishopbriggs and Wishaw soon after.
The schools grew and in 2005, she took the company in a new, exciting direction with the launch of Dance UK, a fresh new concept, with new premises in Maryhill, an innovative website, online shop, a You Tube Channel and new courses such as Mini Movers, for pre school dancers , Young Performers, for triple threat stage training and Streetdance UK, a unique dance programme attracting 100s of boys to classes every week. She also created the Streetdance Convention, a friendly competition with guest judges from the world of Street and Breakdance.
Jacqui is particularly proud of creating a way to engage boys in dance and also offers opportunitiies to become StreetDance UK Coaches.
A talented Director, Jacqui continues to create annual stage shows for pupils to perform in each year. Many will have fond memories of performing in her large scale dance and musical productions at the Theatre Royal, Citizens Theatre and SECC Armadillo in Glasgow as well as at The Mitchell and Motherwell Civic Theatres. She has also staged Pantomimes and Musicals at Cottiers Theatre and The Bridge in Glasgow, giving Dance UK’s young actors and singers a stage to hone their skills.
Now an annual summer event, Dance UK LIVE gives 400 pupils each year the opportunity to shine on stage.
The shows have raised thousands of pounds over the years for Yorkhill Children’s Hospital Charity and other good causes.
Past, Present and Future
Over the years, pupils have performed in Professional Pantomime, Theatre Productions, Model and Video shoots, Charity Events and BBC TV shows with pupils forging successful careers in theatre, pop music tours, hotels, holiday parks and luxury liners cruising all over the world. Many also teach in Colleges of Performing Arts and/or run their own successful dance school businesses.
Jacqui is very proud of all her pupils past and present and now enjoys welcoming many children of former pupils into the School, passing on her expertise to the next generations.
Today, Dance UK and Partner Schools run successful Academies in and around Glasgow, welcoming some 850 students every week. The ethos is still the same today …. ‘whether a child dances for a once a week hobby or a future career, Jacqui and her team will always provide the best training and current trends to ensure every pupil can fulfil their potential and achieve their dreams’