•Pop icon Chesney Hawkes to help Norfolk dance school celebrate its birthday

•Michala Jane School of Dance will mark the anniversary with a live celebration on stage at Norwich Theatre Royal

Students at one of East Anglia’s most established and inclusive dance and performing arts schools are gearing up for the show of their lives at the Theatre Royal in Norwich – alongside one of Britain’s greatest 90s pop icons.

The Michala Jane School of Dance is celebrating its 25th anniversary in what is now their 26th year! The show was originally scheduled to take place in April 2020, but was postponed just 3 weeks beforehand as the country went into lockdown.

After 2 other rescheduled dates due to restrictions, their special celebration will now take place on Sunday 5th September at 7pm. To further add to the excitement for this unique performance will be none other than ‘The One And Only’ Chesney Hawkes.

Some 300 pupils will be showcasing their dance, music and theatre skills in the show, along with other special guests X Factor’s The Squirrels & local rock scene legend Nikki Chang.

Past students of the Michala Jane School of Dance have gone on to have critical success professionally in the performing arts world – from the West End stage to Hollywood, from the voice of Samsung’s virtual assistant Bixby to a very ‘live’ voice on stage in front of thousands at Glastonbury. And some of the school’s alumni will also be joining the current pupils to mark this special occasion too.

Principal and Founder Michala Jane Bott says

“18 months ago we had planned the most amazing celebration of the first 25 years of our school, and now – after the year and a half we have all experienced – our show on the 5th September is going to be even bigger than before and it really means so much more than it already did.

So many have struggled and sacrificed many things during these COVID times. Against this backdrop, seeing how our already close school community deal with the disappointment last April, then get even closer as we have had to vary between online and socially distanced COVID secure classes, to where we are today, has been wonderful and actually inspirational to me.

Our students and their families have not only pulled together, but they have pushed themselves, learned whole new dance grades and routines, smiled, laughed and now they will totally smash their show performances on the region’s most premier stage.

Chesney Hawkes – photos supplied

We have some truly amazing guest stars performing too – and we’re just overjoyed the devilishly timeless Chesney Hawkes has moved heaven and earth to be there to mark the occasion with us too! Chesney was due to perform with us in April 2020 and he was as disappointed as us that he couldn’t.

Chesney has been an absolute gentleman and been so supportive since then and now cannot wait to join us on Sunday 5th September. He will be the absolute cherry on the icing on our birthday cake!”


The Michala Jane School of Dance was founded in February 1995 and offers classes in Norwich and Upper Stoke Holy Cross.

Classes are open to all ages and we actively welcome those from all backgrounds and with all abilities.

Alumni include Alex Sturman (who starred in Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake and Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns movie), Gabriel Mokake (who starred in the West End productions of Hamilton, Dreamgirls and now Disney’s Frozen musical), Amy Green (voiceover artist and voice of Samsung’s voice assistant ‘Bixby’) and Ashley Davis (lead singer with British band Chainska Brassika, who recently played Glastonbury).

The show takes place at the Theatre Royal Norwich on Sunday 5th September at 7pm. Tickets are on sale via
theatre box office on 01603 630000 / https://norwichtheatre.org/whats-on/michala-jane-school-of-dance/