Joanne Clifton announced as sponsor of the JGH Academy of Performing Arts


Joanne Clifton has been announced as sponsor of the JGH Academy of Performing Arts in Canterbury, Kent. Joanne joined the BBC’s “Strictly Come Dancing” as a professional dancer in 2014 and won the famous Glitterball Trophy in 2016 with Ore Oduba having already been crowned World Ballroom Dancing Champion in 2012. Her many musical theater credits as a prominent woman include: Janet in ‘The Rocky Horror Show’ (UK Tour), Alex Owens in ‘Flashdance the Musical’ (UK Tour), Dale Tremont ‘Top Hat’ (Upstairs at the Gatehouse ) and Millie in ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’ (UK Visit).

The JGH Academy was founded by theater producer Joseph Hodges and casting director Jay Gardner in January 2021 to bring a full-time intensive training academy to Canterbury, Kent from September 2021, specializing in exceptional training in musical theater.

Pooling their many years of experience in the performing arts around the world and a unique set of contacts and relationships within the professional musical theater industry, they will offer two courses (a two-year Sixth Form and a one-year Intensive) which enables their students to acquire the knowledge, training and skills necessary to audition for further training in the performing arts or to prepare for a career in the arts.

Each academic year, a talented student will receive the “Joanne Clifton Scholarship” to help with their tuition fees. In addition to this, Joanne will be joining the JGH for masterclasses from time to time.

The one-year course will focus on performance and technical skills, as well as on hearing technique, with training in the following disciplines: singing, vocals, acting, musicality, ballet, tap dancing, jazz, acrobatics, contemporary and commercial.

Their academic calendar, which runs from September to July, will feature two performances at the neighboring Malthouse Theater:

  • A musical theater showcase in March, which will be presented to an invited audience of leading agents, casting directors and representatives of professional theater schools.
  • A life-size musical production in July, to give students the opportunity to understand a professional rehearsal process and how to fully develop a character from start to finish.

They are delighted to be joined by an exceptional faculty of incomparable teachers, who will ensure that a high level of training is maintained in all disciplines, including: Chief Performance Officer, Katie Ray (Joseph, The Sound of Music, Million Dollar Quartet), vocal director, Louise Young (Mamma Mia, The Marvelous Wonderettes, Friends), ballet manager, Anna Stevens (West Side Story, Miss Saigon, The Phantom of the Opera), contemporary manager, Victoria Collins (We Will Rock You), and Commercial Director, Jacob Fearey (Chicago, Bat Out of Hell).

Applications are now open for their September 2021 re-entry for anyone aged 16 and over looking to pursue a career in the performing arts. The application and audition process is completely free and can be viewed online at

There is a lot more information on their website They are also on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @JGHCanterbury.

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