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Its your Time to Shine !

COGO Travel Performing Arts – Time to Shine October 2018

October half term’s will never be the same for the 60 families who attended the COGO Travel performing Arts inaugural TIME TO SHINE event at Disneyland Paris.

Celebrating all things Performing Arts, the COGO Travel team welcomed over 250 mum’s, dad’s, brothers, sisters and even grandparents, to the Disney Hotel Cheyenne from all around the UK & Ireland.    As each group arrived the air was full of anticipation, excitement and ‘Jazz Hands’ with performers from as young as 5 years up to 15 years all set for their TIME TO SHINE on stage in the Disney Village.

Home for the next 3 days was Disney’s Hotel Cheyenne, located just a short walk from the main parks and Disney village the Wild West themed hotel, featuring rooms inspired by the Toy Story film is a great value base for any stay at Disneyland Paris.

Time to Shine -The big day!

After an evening of exploring the Disney village, rehearsals and show preparation it was soon time for the big day all the groups had been preparing for.

The groups all assembled early morning with costumes at the ready in an array of dazzling colours, hair accessories to die for, Jazz shoes ready to Pirouette and Leap to the beat, compacts of shimmering makeup and performers eager to shine. The stars of tomorrow were ready for their ‘Performance of a lifetime’ at the Gaumont Theatre in the Disney Village.

Hosted by COGO Travel’s Performing Arts expert, Lucy Newton, an ex West End performer herself, the event was a unique opportunity for students to not only perform in front of a large audience on stage at Disneyland® Paris, but to also hear from industry experts about how to maximise their potential career in the performance industry.  The speakers included Lewis Copland a casting director for Disneyland® Paris, Kelly Hart from McKenna management and Darren Carnall who has performed on the West End as a performer.

The Speakers

Lucy Newton

Breaking the ice with a performance from Wicked, Lucy set the scene for the audience describing her personal rise to fame from local theatre, training at Laine Theatre Arts to appearing on the West end stage in a number of well know shows, before hitting the TV screen on The X factor with her group The Unconventionals

Darren Carnall

Following on from Lucy’s experience, Darren shared how as part of Laine Theatre Arts he believes that the college gives the core training for a stable career in show Business. He gave the students an insight into training at Laine and described how this gave him the tools to embark on a varied career, leading him to become the Associate Choreographer on Kinky Boots in London’s’ West End!

Kelly Hart

Taking the journey one step further Kelly, a senior agent at Mckenna management then gave advice on how to go about securing a reputable agent. She also advised what is expected of a client when they have signed with an agent, and the importance of having the right headshots and how commission structures work.

Kelly and her colleague Julie then went on to watch the performances and scout some of the rising stars, giving them the opportunity to be represented by Mckenna management.

Lewis Copland

As a casting Director for Disneyland Paris we were exceptionally fortunate to be able to welcome Lewis to the stage to share tips and advice on how to Shine at audition. Lewis confirmed how aware performers need to be of casting breakdowns, how important it is to know what role you are applying for and that it is imperative to attend the audition with the intention of accepting the role, should you be offered.

Performance time !

The atmosphere was electrifying as each performing arts group took to the stage with an audience poised for an amazing and varied show of talent, energy and passion from all performers.  Faces beamed as the film crew came into their own – lights, camera, action! The show had begun!

From musical theatre, ballet and street dance to lyrical, the theatre was alive with excitement as a room full of proud parents and teachers looked on.

With such an array of industry experts attending each group were provided with constructive feedback on their performances, highlighting where they shone and also where they could improve.

The finale

As ‘This is me’ from the Greatest Showman played across the theatre the stage came alive as the dance groups became one and performed together with Lucy for the grand finale– and what a finale it was, incredible!

As the event came to a close Lucy summed up the day: “It was wonderful to see the students perform at one of the largest entertainment destinations in Europe and produce work of such a high standard.  Seeing the smiles on their faces and knowing that all their hard work had paid off was truly amazing!”

Coleen, the principal from Coleens dance based in Belfast said after the event “This was such an amazing opportunity for both myself and the students to learn about how to make it in the business and meet successful people from the industry who were prepared to share their valuable experiences in the entertainment world and understood the passion the students’ held for performing”  

Disney Performing Arts Workshops

As if that wasn’t enough of an amazing experience the groups then took part in a Disney’s Performing Arts Workshop in a working Disney performing venue.  Whether it was a Dance or Musical Theatre Workshop, it was another chance to gain some valuable knowledge from the Disney professionals.

The Musical Theatre Workshops

Focused on putting the student’s vocal chords to the test and teaching them a variety of vocal techniques and Disney Commissioned material ; under the guidance of the Disney Vocal Coach.

The Dance Workshop

The dancers brought their talent and enthusiasm with them as they re-enacted Disneyland Paris Commissioned routines that had previously been showcased in the Parks by the actual Disney Cast Members.

It really was an amazing time for the students, a chance in a lifetime that will be cherished forever. And….as the curtain came down, the grand finale was, you guessed it…. more time in parks to experience the magic of Disney before the return journey home.  Needless to say, all the students enjoyed Disneyland® Paris in Halloween mode, making it a fabulous time to visit. The students were thrilled and some even took the opportunity to embark on a mini performance in front of Cinderella’s Castle, much to the delight of the visitors!

That’s a wrap !

Reflecting on the event, Lucy noted, “Time to Shine 2018 was a great success, I’m very proud to have provided the opportunity for our stars of tomorrow to gain an insight into the entertainment industry, meet professionals, and really Shine when they took to the stage.  It was fabulous and although Time to Shine 2018 may be over, the sparkle and experience it has brought will stay with the students forever!”

Meanwhile, Lucy is heavily involved in planning for Time to Shine 2019 which is guaranteed to be an even bigger show stopper than this one and, although it’s sold out, the good news is you can pre-register for Time to Shine 2020 and book our chance to shine and perform at Disneyland® Paris – simply email: disney@cogotravel.co.uk

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