Pond-Grainger Performing Arts




Testimonials from past and present pupils


“I started dancing with PGPA at 4 years old and loved it so much I didn’t leave until

I was in my 20’s!

Miss Jakki is an excellent teacher who inspires her pupils to become the best dancers, singers and actors they can be. She inspired me so much that I became a teacher myself.

The school caters for pupils who want to become professionals as well as those who want to learn for fun.

It’s a great school and I cherish all the amazing memories I have of my time there”

Amanda Cassin  BA (Hons) LIDTA AAC DDI


“PGPA is a special place. Everyone is supportive and friendly. It’s like being part of a second glamorous family! There are so many different classes on offer and everyone is included and welcome. It has been great to see Amelia make progress in dancing and work towards IDTA exams (the school always gets excellent results) but the lessons offer so much more than just technique. They have built her confidence, kept her fit and introduced her to a great group of friends.

The annual shows and performances in big venues have given us memories to last a lifetime. Being part of PGPA gives Amelia so many opportunities both on stage and off. We couldn’t ask for more”

Alison Barber


“Wow phenomenal!!!! Just fantastic all of the girls looked so professional!!!! Absolutely amazing xxx well done miss Jakki Grainger”xxx

Kelly Robinson Stewart


At the age of 6, I went to see one of my friends from school in her 'dancing school show'. Even at that age, I knew this was no ordinary 'dancing school show': there was singing, bright costumes, lights, humour, a live band and lots of different styles of performance. It was a show full of variety, and I knew I wanted to be up on the stage singing and dancing too! Fortunately, my parents allowed me to attend, and so for the next 10 years I was a pupil at the Pond School of Song and Dance - as it was then called! My younger sister joined the school shortly after me, followed by both my Mum and Dad at 'adult tap' - so as a family, we have known Jakki, Paul and the whole family nearing on 40 years! In addition, Paul taught me piano, and my sister was bridesmaid to Jakki and Paul when they married!

I learnt so much from Jakki - not just how to dance and the techniques inherent within that discipline, but also how to put on shows, how to stage numbers and how to give variety to productions. From the age of 6 to 16, my love of musical theatre was greatly encouraged by Jakki and when the school put on shows, there were many music and dance styles that we were all allowed to explore. In class, Jakki allowed me to be myself - never suppressing my humour, but always bring firm and fair.

The skills I learnt, both as a dancer and singer at that young age with Jakki have helped me enormously in my career as a professional director, choreographer and performer. Being able to tap dance to a high standard, is a skill that I am so grateful to have. All the songs we learnt for the school shows gave me much musical history knowledge and opened the door for me to discover similar material - something I continue to do with my ongoing archival work with song writers. In addition to directing and choreographing, I also teach BA and MA Musical Theatre at the Guildford School of Acting at Surrey University. At GSA I try to impart to my students as sense of theatrical discipline - something I clearly understood at the young age of 6 when Jakki began teaching me!

Some teachers find difficulty in relating to students when they grow up and work professionally, but Jakki has always been encouraging and supportive and a regular attendee at my productions. We always have fun and humour-filled conversation!

Here's to the continued success of Pond-Grainger Performing Arts!

Stewart Nicholls – Director & Choreographer >


“Best show, best fun, and best bunch of people. Thankyou to everyone who makes it all happen, and thankyou Miss Jakki, the best teacher ever.”

Joanne Gibbs


“I love PGPA because it’s a place where I can be myself. I love the energy it gives me and the focus for my free time. I love it that I am always learning something new, and when I started secondary school it helped my confidence and gave me a voice. I love the shows and spending time with my friends. My teachers are great at what they do”

Amelia Fensome


“PGPA is a huge part of our lives and we have been at the school for the past 24 years. My 4 year old daughter now attends the school and always comes out of her classes bouncing and happy, just as I used to. I had so many great opportunities to dance at some fantastic venues.

I have made so many memories that will stay with me forever.

If you are looking for a dance school that is fun, yet professional, PGPA has the perfect balance and I would definitely recommend.”

Clare Collins


“I have been at PGPA for 15 years and can honestly say that being with this school has taught me so much: my confidence rose with being able to hold myself in front of an audience, how to convey a story with movement and vocals, and finally, create long lasting relationship. All of these aspects helped me to develop myself both personally and professionally contributing towards my appointment of head girl at school.

I owe Miss Jakki so much, PGPA isn’t just a dance school - it’s a family.”

Zoe Swann


Thankyou so much for all your encouragement and the countless amazing opportunities you have given me over the years. I am so grateful for everything.

I have mostly appreciated the love and support you have given to me and all your students in all that we do. You have enabled me to build my confidence both as a dancer and a person . I have loved every second and will continue dancing at university, I hope to come back in the future, thankyou Miss Jakki.”

Gabrielle Law


Thankyou so much for teaching me to dance for what feels like my whole life!

I have loved being part of the Pond Grainger family. Thankyou so much for giving me wonderful opportunities, these are some of my best memories.

I am very sad to say goodbye.”

Sarah Hogben


Lottie and I have been part of the PGPA family since 2006, before Lottie even started school.

Over the years Lottie has had so many amazing opportunities.

PGPA has been invaluable in teaching Lottie to dance, discipline, confidence and independence but has also allowed her to develop friendships out of her school environment, as they say “friends who dance together stay together “.

We love our dancing family and the memories that are made with PGPA.”

Suzanne Croft


“I have so much love and respect for Miss Jakki, she is always there for me and has taught me so much!”

Hannah Hamilton


“I have been at PGPA for 33 years and Lily for 18 years, Miss Jakki has played a positive and influential part in our lives, we would not be who we are today without Miss Jakki and this amazing dancing family.

We love Miss Jakki, she is a teacher and a friend and want to thank her for simply being the best!”

Yolanda & Lily Hotchkiss


“ My daughter and I have enjoyed being part of the PGPA team for the past ten years. Miss Jakki has taught us Tap, ballet, jazz, modern and drama. There have been numerous amazing opportunities throughout the years which have been exciting and memory making.

We are proud to be part of a family who continue to grow together and stay life long friends”

Lisa Wernick


“I have been at PGPA for 19 years and still enjoy coming to lessons each week! I love the opportunities we get to perform in shows at exciting venues as well as the friendships we get to make that will last for years”

Emily Warner


Thankyou for the best 11 years of my life, you have taught me so much and I am eternally grateful. I love you with all my heart.”

Freya Anning


“I joined the PGPA senior’s a few years ago and even though I came to the school late from another dance school, I was warmly welcomed by Miss Jakki and all the lovely people in the school. I’ve made great friends and love coming to classes each week for fitness, fun and a catch up with friends!”

Amelia Durie


‘Being part of PGPA has been and continues to be an incredible experience.

What makes Pond-Grainger such a special School is the sense of family and acceptance that you feel the minute you enter your first class, and that feeling has stayed with me for the 17 years that I have been with the school.This is so important because I’ve not always been the most confident performer, but thanks to the hard work and dedication of our lovely teacher Miss Jakki, I now absolutely love performing and showcasing the incredible skills I have learnt. It’s more than a dance school, it’s a family in which we make friends for life”

Abi Gibbs





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