A woman who was an international dancing champion when she was a child was very determined to get her teaching qualifications – despite being pregnant with her third child.
And Lisa Dobson is looking forward to passing on her knowledge to adults and children as she has set up new classes in Morpeth.
The Kirkhill resident, married to Andrew Dobson, started dancing at the age of five and she was very successful in various competitions with her dance partner.
They impressed at various venues across the UK, including the prestigious Blackpool Tower Ballroom.
Lisa is very excited about her new challenge, especially as the classes have been years in the making.
She said: “Becoming a dance teacher has taken a bit longer than expected as life got in the way.
“But I’m pleased with how it has worked out because I have three wonderful boys – Hayden, eight, Jack, two and Elliott, 12 weeks – and I feel that I’m in a really good place to concentrate on teaching.
“Even though I was pregnant with Elliott, I decided that I didn’t want to put getting my qualifications on hold again. Although it meant I had to do my final practical assessment in July when 36 weeks’ pregnant, I’m glad I did them.
“Anyone who is a dancer can teach people the various styles and moves, but being fully qualified means that you can put your students through the medal tests and grades.
“I want to pass on what I was taught to others. I have such a passion for what I do and I’m looking forward to teaching people new skills.”
Her classes for adults will have a social element to begin with and those who wish to take their dancing more seriously can move on to spin-off groups.
Of her success as a child, the 33-year-old said: “I was competing by the age of seven and a year later, I was paired up with Christopher.
“We were at the same school and dance school, so we lived in each other’s pockets over the following six years.
“We did really well across the UK and were ranked in the top three in Britain for the Latin style at various stages between the ages of nine and 15. This meant we could compete abroad and we were victorious in the Italian championships.
“For me, the highlight was being part of a UK team that won a world team competition at Blackpool Tower. Britain hadn’t won this competition for quite a few years, so it was a really big achievement.
“Christopher stopped competing when we were 15 and I carried on dancing for a few years, but didn’t take part in any competitions, before deciding to take a few years out.”
The break for Lisa was extended as a result of having her first child. Soon after taking up dancing again, being paired up with Stuart Hatton for a show was to prove useful.
They became great friends and as well as doing a range of shows – such as charity events – together, she enjoyed a spell as an assistant dance teacher at The Hatton Academy of Dance & Arts in South Shields.
The dance school, which specialises in all popular dance styles, was founded by Wendy Hatton, Stuart’s mum. She is the school principle and director and her son, a head choreographer and trainer, is also part of the team.
Lisa said: “My time at the academy has been extremely valuable and Stuart encouraged me to get the necessary qualifications to set up my own classes.”
She has found a couple of town venues for the sessions, which will cover ballroom and Latin styles.
Saturday afternoons will be for adults and children and Monday evenings will be for adults only.
For more information, call her on 07739 045266.