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Aspire Performing Arts – Haverhill set to be opened early next year by Bodyworks graduate Aylish Baxter

A new performing arts school is to be opened by a Haverhill mum – and it will be the first step towards her ultimate dream becoming a reality.

Aspire Performing Arts – Haverhill, is being launched by Aylish Baxter, the holder of a diploma in musical theatre from Bodyworks, in Cambridge, where she trained in singing, acting and dancing from 2013 to 17.

Aylish, who for the past 18-months has been working as a childminder, in order to fit in with being a mum to her two-year-old son, Bailey, will hold her first classes on Wednesday, January 3, and Saturday, January 6, all at Withersfield Village Hall.

Aylish Baxter will be opening Aspire Performing Arts - Haverhill, in early January.Contributed picture
Aylish Baxter will be opening Aspire Performing Arts - Haverhill, in early January.Contributed picture

The 26-year-old said: “At the moment I’m opening on the Wednesday evening for adults, just for a dance session and currently it will be classes on Saturday’s for any child and then, my dream is to make it a special needs performing arts school, but I am aware that’s going to require a lot of time and effort for that to happen.”

The classes to be held from 6-7pm on Wednesdays are currently dance fit sessions for adults, with the Saturdays seeing two sessions; mini movers (for three to six-year-olds) from 10am to 11am and then, from 11am to midday, a juniors session, with singing, dancing, vocal exercises and games.

Aylish, who grew up in Ipswich, ultimately wants to combine her performing arts background with the skills and knowledge that she acquired – and the love that she found for working in the field – in two special needs schools, the Martin Bacon Academy in Northstowe and Phoenix School in Bow, London.

She said: “I fell in love with it (working with special needs students). I love helping them to communicate in different ways, maybe that wasn’t speaking, but maybe through dance or music.

“It’s just really lovely to see, so that’s definitely something I want to do in the future. I want to take it back to my passion of dance and special needs.”

Having conducted some research, Aylish believes that no classes combining performing arts and special needs are currently available in the Haverhill area, and it is a void that she would like to fill.

Also planned for the school are workshops delivered by performers with West End show experience.

Among these are her husband Brett, who is no longer a professional performer but when he was he appeared in Thriller Live, in the West End, and Bodyguard, in Vienna.

To find out more, go to aspireperformingarts on Instagram, Aspire Performing Arts – Haverhill on Facebook, call 07734818058 or email aylishwhite@yahoo.com.