Performing Arts director debuts a real page-turner

Performing Arts director debuts a real page-turner

The director of Stockport College’s performing arts partner is celebrating the launch of her first novel, a ‘funny’ and ‘light-hearted’ account of her recovery from cancer.

The Dream That Saved My Life tells the story of Carolann Bruce’s journey from her roots in the Isle of Man to the life-changing surgeries she underwent following her diagnosis with breast cancer in 2011 and skin cancer in 2019.

The story revolves around a vision the Debut Performing Arts Academy director had in a dream, telling her to seek medical advice that caught the cancer before it became too late. In her book she mentions working with her students, detailing how a chance encounter with one family prompted another woman to seek help for breast cancer.

Carolann, who is an accomplished tap-dancer, said: “Debut means everything to me. It’s the fabric, the students and the families of Debut Academy of Performing Arts that is what life is all about. All of the tutors here pour so much passion into our training. It’s what makes coming here so special.”

During several years’ recovery, Carolann decided to focus on performing arts full time from a career in nursing at Stepping Hill Hospital, which this October resulted in Debut Academy winning international dance school of the year gold award at the Anne Walker MBE Awards as well as best dance and performing art school for the North West and Midlands at the National Entertainment Awards.

Carolann said: “Being diagnosed reassessed my priorities. I couldn’t walk on my own, I couldn’t take a bath alone or carry on with my journal at my lowest points. Now nothing is too much of a problem. Having gone through what patients go through, it has made me a better nurse and it has certainly made me a better teacher.”

Using the national government lockdown to complete her 100,0000-word manuscript, Carolann says she is poised to better support students with written work in BTEC Performing Arts theory, having proofed several of her own drafts before The Dream That Saved My Life went on sale via Amazon in December.

Carolann is the second member of Debut Academy to release a book, following on from tutor Megan Bowers My Dance Journal, which enjoyed success through the same publishing house, JJ Moffs, after its release in February. Debut also has a scriptwriter on its books, Rob Ward, who tutors acting classes and writes for TV and plays.

The Dream That Saved My Life is available on Amazon at