Maryke Burnett says her daughter Sienna managed to break through her conservative shell and embrace her talents and passions thanks to her time at Musical Theatre Masterclass.
Sienna Schmidt is a young and talented soon to be 13-year-old from Paarl, who loves to sing, dance and act. This evidently shines through during her performance at the Musical Theatre Masterclass annual year-end production, where she shared the lead role for the first time.
According to her mother Maryke, this wouldn’t have happened four years ago.
“Sienna was very reserved when she was younger. She was very hesitant when she had the opportunity to do something, especially in front of others. I thought enrolling her into a musical theatre class would be the perfect way to change things,” explained Maryke.
“I was very actively involved in musical theatre and drama when I was younger. It helped me and I knew it would be a great way to get her out of her shell.”
She was right.
Sienna blossomed over the past four years at Musical Theatre Masterclass, especially under the mentorship of founder and musical theatre teacher Dane Marais.
Maryke says she’s proud of her daughter, who has embraced musical theatre in her own right. And commends Dane for the role he has played.
“Sienna is entering her fifth year at Musical Theatre Masterclass and she really enjoys it. I’m quite confident that she would want to carry on when she enters high school. She will just need to find the balance between her schoolwork and classes,” said Maryke.
“Dane is a passionate teacher,” she adds. “He loves what he does. He builds a great relationship with the kids and has a positive influence over them.
“With Sienna, he’s helped her gradually over the years. She grew with confidence and started showing more personality.
“She started out with small roles in his productions and then started elevating to bigger characters. Last year, it was the first time she shared the lead role and it was fantastic to see.”
Maryke believes musical theatre is a great way for young minds to develop – on and off the stage.
“Most kids in South Africa don’t have the opportunity to see productions other kids get to see in other parts of the world. Shows like West Side Story and Bonnie and Clyde,” she said. “The children get to learn about arts and culture, and the lesson behind the play. They also get to test their abilities and develop through that process. And for the parents, it’s a great experience seeing things unfold. It’s a win-win all round.”
Maryke definitely recommends parents enroll their kids at Musical Theatre Masterclass if they have interest in dance, drama and singing.
“Sienna has developed into a great all-round performer. More importantly, she’s developed and matured a lot as a young lady. And that’s thanks to her time at Musical Theatre Masterclass,” said Maryke. “I would recommend parents to enroll their kids, especially if they show an interest in drama or song. Even if they’re not up to standard in the other facets, Dane and his team will be able to help improve their abilities.
“I wish Musical Theatre Masterclass all of the best for 2019. Dane has done very well as a young entrepreneur and I am sure he will achieve a lot of success as he continues to grow and build.”
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