Wondering if your child needs to be a ‘triple’ threat to join a theatre company?
The triple threat is someone who can act, sing AND dance. Famous examples are Gwyneth Paltrow, Jamie Foxx and the late Dame Barbara Windsor. These professionals entertain with any of their skills. But if your child wants to do performing arts, do they need this super skillset?
Of course, all three skills come into play in theatre training, so you might be surprised by the way we balance dancing, singing and acting in Theatretrain groups.
Focus On One vs All Three
Does your child have a special interest in one particular aspect of theatre? You might have a serious actor on your hands, a passionate dancer or a show-stopping singer.
If that sounds familiar, you might think your child is better off focusing on the single subject that they’re already interested in. That way, they can channel all of their time and energy into it, rather than splitting that focus.
The main benefit is the dedication your child then gives their chosen subject. But they may be missing out on some of the most helpful and useful skills that can enhance them as a young performer overall.
By taking part in all three subjects, your child will expand their understanding of what it is to perform and create performance art. They can draw upon an extended skillset to do it in their next shows and performances.
Each subject ‘cross fertilises’ another, and the links and exchanges only serve to make a well-rounded performer – even if you have a ‘weaker’ subject.
For example, the spatial awareness a performer gets from learning to dance becomes foundational to blocking when acting on stage. Each nugget of skill learnt works to enhance your child’s other abilities, giving them a boost where they might otherwise struggle.
Likewise, singing gives you brilliant voice flexibility that has no end of use in acting. And all three core subjects teach one of the most powerful skills a human can possess – non-verbal communication. This is one of the most valuable things students can take away from their sessions because it can colour the rest of their lives too, even off the stage.
It’s Ok To Have A Favourite
Just because your child does all three, doesn’t mean they can’t have a favourite. It’s important to encourage and nurture the self-belief that comes with a particular interest in one subject. A child who can’t wait to sing their solo is one who thoroughly believes in their own ability to give a performance they’ll be proud of.
But by being involved in singing, acting and dancing altogether, they’ll find their favourite subject is improved. The strengths from each can be applied to their favourite skill, making them a stronger overall performer and someone their stage mates can rely on.
And if your child is hoping to pursue a career in the performing arts, then having experience in all three is vital. Musical theatre is a staple in the UK, from pantomime to musicals to singing comedians!
So much goes into the performing arts that your child would be cheating themselves out of a crucial knowledge base if they focused solely on one subject and nothing more. If a future on the stage is something they’re hopeful for, then having ability across all three disciplines sets them apart from other hopefuls they may be auditioning against.
It’s also important to note that multi-subject students find a deeper sense of discipline – particularly when it comes to training in a less favoured subject.
So having favourites can be a useful motivator, but we can’t neglect the full spectrum of skills when it comes to theatre training.
Theatretrain: Harnessing The Skills
Theatretrain was created to demonstrate just how all three subjects work in parallel to develop immersive performers. Children and young people have the chance to grow in their performance abilities, their personalities and their future prospects.
All that aside, we know it’s more engaging and fun to have variety in your learning, particularly with young performers who are already so open to developing an abundance of skills they can apply throughout their lives.
Singing, dancing and acting – while they may sound like entirely separate areas – have a surprising amount in common.
- Each tells a story
- Each uses movement and sound
- Each deals with human emotion and complexities
- Theatre is what brings them together
Theatretrain performances, both local and national, clearly show how impactful a story or narrative becomes when all three subjects are vehicles in the story-telling. Without this holistic understanding of what goes into theatre, we can’t expect our performers to be properly prepared for the shows and events ahead of them either with Theatretrain or in their futures.
Because of this ethic, our young performers have a more keenly developed sense of the art of performing due to their multifaceted training.
Examining The Skills
Often, performing arts classes are embroiled with exams. You don’t need to be a young person to feel a sense of dread and boredom when you know examinations are the only reward for all of your hard work, and a rigid measurement of your achievements.
But for Theatretrain, performance is the objective. We give students the opportunity to be an important part of large-scale events in noteworthy and historic venues.
It’s a broader and more rewarding lens to learn through because each performer is able to use the entirety of their learning for the benefit of their company and the audience together. A performance is bigger than just a single performer; each brings their specialities, talent and knowledge to the stage to entertain the audience and support their fellow performers.
That cohesive aspect drives the deeper learning that a multi-disciplinary approach can give.
Dance, Act, Sing Together!
Your child doesn’t have to be an actor, singer and dancer all rolled into one – but learning the skills does give them a wealth of knowledge that makes their performing arts experience all the richer.
For a taste of what Theatretrain can do for your child, whether they have a favourite aspect or not, find a Theatretrain class near you using our online tool here.