Established in 1984 as the Karen Clarke Theatre School by Tracey the Summerscales Performing Arts has grown from what was once just a school of 7 pupils. The school built into a part time performing arts centre where students aged 3-18 are able to train in Ballet, Tap, Modern, Musical Theatre, Jazz, Singing, Pas de Duex, audition technique and much more. Training children to an exceptionally high standard to be able, if desired, go on to full time colleges in Dance and Musical Theatre to perform on the professional stage, or train to be qualified teachers.
Traceys Father, Donald Clarke introduced her to late 30-50’s films of Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly from an early age, which has a significant influence on her. With this love of Golden Age Musical Films, Tracey went on to form The Karen Clarke Theatre Company, with a debut performance of Half a Sixpence in 1986, due to another dancing school had pulled out of the theatre and she was offered the booking to fill single handed. Since this date the Theatre Company has not looked back expanding into two weekly productions which become more lavish and spectacular as they progress.
The ‘Performers Society’ was formed after being chosen to perform at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000 and the elite pupils of the school are chosen to be part of the troop and perform throughout the UK. Disneyland Paris have also offered Karen Clarke an Open Invitation to perform as part of their Magic Music Days program because of the Performers standard of performance.
Tracey is a vocational examiner and dual Fellowship member of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing.
Gemma began her training as soon as she could walk with her mother, Tracey. As a child she experienced a variety of professional experience including, modelling, performances with the New Shakespeare Company, the West End production of Scrooge as well as a solo singer at the Olympic Games in Sydney 2000. Due to an acute illness she stayed under the guidance of her mother until the age of 20 where she went on to study at Tiffany Theatre College in Essex on their Graduate course. A passion for choreographing led her into teaching and creating and became Artistic Director in 2011. Gemma extended her knowledge by training in Chicago (USA) New York (USA), and throughout the UK with recognised practitioner and teachers. An approved tutor and dual Fellowship member of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing.