Both my mother and father met in the Theatre, she the Director of a Dancing School and a Theatre Company, and he the Technician behind the scenes, working with set, sound and lights. So from birth I was bound to have a love for the stage and a love for it, I definitely did.
From the beginning my sister and I were surrounded by the musicals my parents produced and directed, and the influence from my grand parents about the ‘Golden Era’ really struck me. My dream was to be in those movies, I wanted to be like Grace Kelly, Cyd Charisse and Vera Ellen dancing with Gene Kelly. My favourite film was "Singing in the Rain". Of course with age more and more knowledge of these films influenced me, "Hello Dolly", "High Society", "Easter Parade", "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" and "White Christmas" to name just a few.
I quickly realised that this wonderful ‘Golden Era’ was over, but my passion for the arts and dance never stopped. From the age of 3 to 16 I was taught at my mother's dancing school in Woking Surrey, Summerscales Performing Arts (formally the Karen Clarke Theatre School) at the time I was there. I learnt Tap, Modern, Ballet, Musical Theatre, Drama, Acting, Jazz and Singing as well as doing Musicals once a year at Easter time. I also did extra ballet, as my mother saw a hidden quality in the way I used my arms, she felt with extra lessons this might develop into something special, so sent me to another dancing school called Susan Robinson School of Ballet.
Over these years I got so many opportunities to dance on Stage. I did the yearly Musicals for two weeks, biannual shows for the Dancing Schools and then also many competitions all over England. Extra dancing displays were performed in France, Spain, Germany and also Disneyland Paris. However, the two biggest highlights of all were dancing at the Royal Opera House with the Bolshoi Ballet and being the entertainment at the parks for the Sydney Australian Olympic Games in 2000. Amazing times, I basically lived on stage!
At 16, I got offered a place at English National Ballet School, where I studied for 18 months, before being offered a contract at the Company by Wayne Eagling, a year early. Now the dream became a reality....
Photo above of Laurretta's sister (left) and Laurretta (right) onstage performing Annie the Musical with the Karen Clarke Theatre Company. Laurretta playing the role of "Molly", and her sister, Gemma Summerscales, as the Lead, "Annie".
Without the knowledge, training and opportunities at Summerscales Performing Arts I would have never of reached my goal to become a Principal Ballerina. If your child or you know of any children that would like to start learning about this amazing art form then click on the link below to learn more.