Academy wins 3654 public votes

Academy wins 3654 public votes

Stockport College partners Debut Academy of Performing Arts is celebrating winning the public vote for place in the finals of a UK competition.

Performers from the newly refurbished Wood Street school in Stockport will showcase their talents alongside other finalists at the National Entertainment Awards in Essex in December, after beating their closest rivals by almost 500 in the Facebook poll with 3654 votes.

Judges are scrutinising the shortlisted top five candidates on select criteria, including teaching, venue and exam results, before crowning one group of artists, the national champion.

Director of Debut and tap expert Carolann Bruce said: “I’m not tap dancing just yet, but I’m excited that we’ve been recognised for all the hard work we’ve put into the industry.

“We’ve had votes from loads of dance teachers, with one congratulations in the comments section from Las Vegas. We’re delighted with the result.”

The National Entertainment Award would be the second prestigious prize for the Stockport school in under two years, after it collected International Vocational School of the Year in 2017.

All of Debut’s former students have progressed inside the entertainment industry, with alumni at the likes of Masters Performing Arts, London Studio Centre, Wilkes Academy and performing in West-End stage productions and television shows, such as Jimmy Carr’s 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown.

“We’re so proud of every single one of our students. They come with a dream and start a pathway to keep the dreams coming true,” Carolann said.

Several post-16 students have secured the highest award of triple star distinctions in Level 3 BTEC diplomas with the help of industry-renowned teachers, such as Hollyoaks, Coronation Street and Cold Feet actor Lizzie Stravrou, Musical Theatre performer Ryan James and Great British Acro Olympian Vikki Earle.

Congratulating Debut on the place in the finals, Director of the National Entertainment Awards, Lee Knell, said: “It’s the first year these awards have been rolled out nationally outside the South East. We wanted to offer local talent the opportunity to be rewarded. We feel there are a lot of people around the country that need to be recognised for the hard work they put into the industry.”

Debut Academy underwent a £20,000 refurbishment in 2018 to create two state-of-the-art dance studios, a gym, two changing rooms, two student lounges, a classroom and student hub. To find out more about the post-16 courses on offer contact Debut by phone 0161 429 6419 or email at