Very many happy returns to Balfron dance group

Balfron Razzamattaz
Balfron Razzamattaz

RAZZAMATAZ dance and Drama School in Balfron celebrates its fifth birthday this year.

Natalie James, principal of the school, said: “I had worked for Razzamataz in 2004 as a drama tutor and loved that experience so I decided to launch my own Razzamataz schools.

“I started with the one in Balfron and then launched the schools at Paisley, Bearsden and Newton Mearns. I now have over 240 pupils and long waiting lists.

“I am proud of my students and staff, the Balfron School performed at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London’s West End last year and other students have secured parts in professional theatre productions.

“For the future we aim to keep introducing new initiatives and have recently had a street dance master class with Got to Dance finalists A TEAM.

“We have also just teamed-up with one of the top casting agents in Scotland who work on Waterloo Road and River City to increase performing opportunities for our students.”

Natalie (31), who lives in Killearn, has always loved singing and dancing and she appeared in many amateur dramatic musical shows during her school days.

She then gained a BA in contemporary theatre practice at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

From there she went on to have two top ten hits in the Scottish charts before being signed by worldwide music label EMI and joining a Dutch girl band called Bad Candy.

During her two years with the band she had top ten hits and her own TV show on Nickelodeon and won her first award as Best Pop Group of 2005 beating the Black Eyed Peas.

In 2006 she became the English language coach for the Dutch version of the X Factor.

Natalie added: “I loved my time with the band travelling to thousands of arenas throughout Holland and Germany.

“But there came a time when I knew I had to make changes and came home.”