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  3. Reflections from participants

“It was a pleasure to see all the young dancers competing in the Janet Cram Awards. The commitment, focus and talent of all the performers were truly inspiring and a testament to the value of the ISTD Modern Theatre technical training.  It was particularly wonderful to hear the wise and encouraging words of our industry adjudicators; Dollie Henry, Bafana Matea and David Leighton, who joined Cathy Russell, Jackie Barnes and Tereza Theodoulou from the Modern Theatre Faculty, in the difficult task of choosing the award winner.

Sincere thanks to everyone involved in making this event such a success – the teachers, Modern Theatre Faculty Committee, ISTD staff and adjudicators.  But, most of all, congratulations to all the young dancers for their amazing performances”

Ginny Brown CEO

“I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for inviting me to be part of the Janet Cram Awards 2022 on 19 June. What a wonderful event to be part of, and of course to witness the dance and dancers participating in the awards this year. After the hiatus of Covid, it was wonderful to be back in a theatre again and share the joy of dance together as a community. As an adjudicator in the morning Junior category, I was truly impressed by the quality and ability of the young dancers who shared themselves with commitment and love. The level was outstanding and exciting to see the next generation going for their best. Wonderful to see and share in their joy.

The organisation and respect shared by Lisa and the rest of the team was much appreciated. Warm, friendly, organised, and delightful surroundings, enabling us all to relax and feel supported. So thank you for welcoming me to the party and occasion! Once again, my congratulations on a wonderful awards programme, that certainly allows the young dancers to continue their journey through education, expression, and artistry. I wish you all the best for the year ahead and forthcoming programmes”

 DOLLIE HENRY MBE – Junior Section Adjudicator

“I just wanted to say a huge well done and thank you for a wonderful day of dance yesterday. The whole event was so brilliantly organised, and the team created such a lovely atmosphere with warmth, respect, and integrity. I thought the classes were very well pitched and delivered, and the judges' decisions spot on!”  


“After a long absence of attending ISTD events, it was so wonderful to be back at the Greenwood Theatre for the Finals of the Janet Cram awards. The day was superbly organised by Lisa Harrison-Jones, supported by Alex Batts, the Modern Theatre Committee, examiners, and colleagues!

As a previous Janet Cram organiser, it was such a privilege to be able to adjudicate the gorgeous Junior class and to really appreciate the hard work from the competitors and their teachers. There were some stunning performances and I hope that the children realised what they had achieved in being a Finalist - especially after such a difficult period in their lives. I must admit to a tear or two as the Juniors paraded around the stage!

The whole day was a triumph with lovely classes led by Rebecca Herszenhorn, Karina Hind and Belinda Basu and such talent and performance levels shown onstage. Congratulations to all involved, but especially to the teachers who have Zoomed through the pandemic with such resilience. It was worth it! Hoping to see you all in 2023.”

CAThY STEVENS – Junior Section Adjudicator

“Fantastic to see the technical standard of work at this year’s Janet Cram Awards. Congratulations to all teachers and students for their continued hard work over the past two years online training. The atmosphere was exciting, with brilliant, stylised classes and stunning showcase dance solos”.

DAVID LEIGHTON – Senior and Premier Adjudicator

“It was exciting to see so many young and talented dancers all on stage together. The whole awards had great representation, and the amount of dedication and commitment was pouring on stage and I think overall we were also excited to get back to what we love doing after such a challenging two years”

Bafana S. Matea – Senior and Premier Adjudicator  

“The day was just wonderful. I felt very lucky to be a part of such a lovely day teaching the senior class. The dancers in my class coming together from all over the country were fantastic. The technique from the dancers was lovely and they showed great versatility in the two combinations. What a lovely event for the dancers to be a part of, sharing the experience together”.  

KARINA HIND – Senior Finals Teacher

“A huge thank you to you, all the modern faculty and industry professionals for providing an amazing finals event yesterday. The classes were a joy to watch, the class teachers an inspiration and as always, we come away having learnt so much. My students have all said every year that what they take from the day is pride and what to work on next. Always learning!  I thank you very much for our awards given and for my teacher's award, a complete honour. It is never expected as we come to learn, grow, and appreciate all the wonderful children and teachers we have in this country. As always to have received the awards we have been given over the years of supporting this event is the icing on the cake!” 

Teacher: KERRY BUCKBY - Kilburn School of Dancing

Hannah Digby

“The Janet Cram Finals are the highlight of the dancing Calendar, that we have missed so much during the pandemic.  The build-up and training and the extra hours in the studio are all worth it. The experience of the whole weekend, from the train journey down, to classes at Pineapple.

Having the full dancer's experience is incredibly important as well as being able to see all the dancers attain such a high professional standard, whilst working in a competitive but friendly environment with the best of the best. When the music starts and the dancer gets ready for the famous 'Janet Cram Walk', you can feel the excitement.

I personally love to watch the classes, which are engaging with exciting and innovative choreography from leading industry professionals. The energy and enthusiasm on stage were fabulous to watch.  For a teacher it is great to meet faculty members and fellow teachers and share news, it's been a long time since some of us have had a chance to chat.”  

SUZANNE SHARKEY - Elizabeth Hill School of Dance

''Definitely something every dancer should experience; the atmosphere is so lovely and I had the best time.''

ATALIA MAI CORNELIA – winner of Junior Class Award for “Outstanding Musicality

“Janet cram is an experience that is unique to any other. It simulates an audition situation and is such a good way of improving pick-up skills, as well as being able to perform under pressure. I love doing Janet Cram and even though I was very nervous for the class, I had such an amazing time on stage, surrounded by incredible dancers”.

HANNAH DIGBY Premier Section Competitor from Kilburn School of Dancing

“It was such a great pleasure to teach the class on Sunday - what a talented bunch of young dancers, so huge congratulations for the whole day! Lovely also to see so many from the ISTD, especially from the Modern Faculty!”

BELINDA BASU – Premier Finals Teacher

“Teaching at the Janet Cram awards this year was incredibly special to me. Having participated in the competition myself when I was younger, making it more exciting. I thought all students in the junior section were beautifully talented and stayed engaged throughout the entire class. They worked hard and listened well. Many of the solos performed were exceptional, showing great strength and wonderfully innovative choreography. The whole day was run smoothly and expertly. It’s so exciting to see the next generation of dancers coming through with such exceptional talent. I felt very grateful and humbled to be a small part of this prestigious dance competition”

BECKY HERZSENHORN – Junior Finals Teacher

“I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Janet Cram Finals and how wonderful to see these talented dancers regain their competitive spirit and perform both classwork and solos with strong technique, style, and confidence. All the adjudicators and class teachers were highly professional, generously passing their knowledge and experience to the young dancers. They praised and encouraged, and they gave some very relevant advice for future performances.

Two mentions must go to, Dollie Henry, who recently was awarded an MBE for her outstanding services to dance and it was also announced that Lyn Richardson received the Muriel Ashcroft Award for her very special contributions to the Modern Theatre Faculty of the ISTD. The event was extremely well organised by Lisa Harrison Jones with the help of Modern Theatre examiners and committee members”  

PADDY HURLINGS – Grand Council Member and Lead Examiner for Modern Theatre and Tap

Laura Bruce“It was the first time LBDA have been at the Crams and we loved it. We only compete in a couple of competitions a year, but this will be one that we would love to do again. Smoothly run and a nice vibe with such beautiful young dancers. An absolute pleasure to be part of it. Thank you and your team for all the work behind the scenes! We can’t wait to come back!”Hannah Hutchins Premier Class Award Winner for Outstanding Commitment, from LBDA

LAURA BRUCE – Laura Bruce Dance Academy (LBDA)


Hannah Hutchins Premier Class Award Winner for Outstanding Commitment from LBDA

“You could feel the buzz and anticipation as soon as we walked through the doors of the Greenwood theatre. The Janet Crams was back and WOW what a treat it was to spend a Sunday watching the talented students from all over the country who had gained a place in the London finale.

The class work was inspiring and taught so clearly and thoroughly.

We particularly enjoyed the beautiful lyrical arrangement by Karina Hind in the senior section and loved the Bollywood-themed sequence by Belinda Basu in the premier section. What lucky students to be taught by the industry experts!

Congratulations to all the ISTD staff in front of house and behind the scenes and of course to all the teachers- the choreography in the solo dances blew us away! On a personal note, it was lovely to catch up with teacher friends within the audience. Simple things but after the pandemic makes us appreciate them all the more.” 

SARAH CAIRNS, Langley Dance Academy

Rosie Harrison“I was so happy to have been picked to dance at the prestigious ISTD Janet Crams awards. To dance at the Greenwood Theatre in London was such a fantastic opportunity and to receive the outstanding commitment award is one of my proudest moments. Thank you, my amazing teachers, and to the ISTD.”

Rosie Harrison - Winner of Outstanding Committee in Junior Section from Langley Dance Academy

“Wow - what a fantastic weekend I’ve had at the ISTD Janet Cram Awards 202.2 I loved the class by Karina Hind. To be honest I was a little nervous, but I really didn’t need to worry, it was great fun and really enjoyed the ‘shake it out' with vocals! Well done to all my dancing friends who were in the finals too. I loved catching up with you all - you all were amazing. First time in the Senior section and I still can’t believe I came away with two awards! Thank you to the ISTD for a brilliant weekend” Gabrielle English

Gabrielle English. Senior section Overall Commendation and Outstanding Technique in Dance
Langley Dance Academy





“It was so rewarding to watch a whole day of dance in a Theatre and sense the enthusiasm from teachers, students and not least, the ISTD organisers of the Janet Cram Competition. The atmosphere throughout the day was focused on the stage and the audience of dedicated critics was without doubt inspired by the work created by talented teachers and artistically performed by their pupils.

Change is inevitable in our dance world but in embracing new ideas it would be unwise to ignore the value of a sound technical underpinning that is the backbone of ISTD teaching.  Artistry, musicality, and sound technique in movement choices in choreography have been explored for, many years and additional physical skills do not always enhance the creative process. The choices we make are subjective and this is a strength of the Society and always has been.

In 2022 the Janet Cram dance competition did not disappoint but as always provided an opportunity for discussion, reviewing values in teaching, and celebrating the creative skills of young dancers and their teachers. Congratulations to everyone”.

SUE PASSMORE – ISTD Grand Council Member