Once upon a time in a land far away (well Lewisham actually) there lived a beautiful little girl who had just taken part in her first show and from that day dreamed of having a dance school
She did many shows along the way and whilst at university…
The first J’s Dance Factory class was held with seven students in a church hall.
In the same year we had our first show and grew to 70 students in 3 months.
We held our first professional exam session with the IDTA
We performed at the O2 area with The British Red Cross
Orange became the new black! and we changed the logo to reflect this
We got booked to perform for OK! magazine at The Alvin and the Chipmunk movie premiere
We were part of the Olympic Celebrations in Stratford and launch our talent agency
We did our first International performance in Disneyland Paris
We launched our first franchise
We get booked to perform at Kids Fest. Britain’s biggest kids festival
We performed at Disneyland Paris for the 2nd time.
We celebrate our 10th Year in business by Winning a UK Enterprise Award for Best Children’s dance school
In what is unquestionably the era of the young entrepreneur, Jessica Elliott is one of the UK’s most visible young pioneers to have laughed in the face of rising unemployment figures and university debt to take control of her own financial future and become her own boss.
Aged just 20, in 2007 Jessica founded J’s Dance Factory with £200 and a dream. Months later Dancing after School classes followed and today provide dance classes in more than 24 schools across London in four Boroughs. More than 1000 J’s Dance Factory children aged 3-17, access classes on a weekly basis and perform at community based events while completing examinations, and the school has a growing talent agency and is being rolled out across the UK as a franchise.
Ask Jessica where her burning ambition stems from and she says; “seeing the children so happy in classes and growing in confidence makes me want to create more opportunities for children all over the world to access quality affordable dance sessions“
Her dedicated work ethic and desire to make a social contribution, have lead to a mantel full of awards ranging from the Natwest Everywoman award in 2010, to the Spirit of London Community Business Entrepreneur the same year.Jessica’s social impact is unquestionable. Last year His Royal Highness Prince Andrew visited the J’s Dance Factory office (which she won rent free after winning the London Metropolitan University Business plan competition in 2009) to discuss the importance of support for young entrepreneurs in the UK, and commend the young entrepreneur on her company’s fast growth. This year she was invited to St James Palace to present an award ceremony alongside the Prince.
Raised in Lewisham in London by a mother who put aside a successful career working for Barings bank in the city to devote herself to caring for children, her own and others, Jessica was inspired by seeing her mother take pride in raising confident children with strong self esteem, to follow a similar path; “ Growing up it was just me and my mum and she has always made me believe that I can achieve anything I want to! She has taught me that to be happy is the most important thing in life so your work should be something you enjoy. At times things were tough but seeing her determination to push through hard times and seeing how far we have come in truly inspiring.
With demand for classes widespread and existing classes near capacity, the launch of J’s Dance Factory Franchise was an organic evolution for the brand.
Equally the off-shoot J’s Dance Factory talent agency, Jessica Elliott Management for 5-17 year olds, has already seen Jessica’s students secure high profile roles in The Lion King, Matilda and work with Apple, The Disney Channel and the BBC to name a few. For brands, JE Management represents an agency brimming with un-media trained ethnically diverse and talented children whose USP is their genuine love of performing. She has also choreographed for the likes of Stella Mc Cartney and Dreamworks latest animation The Trolls Movie.
Jessica is being heralded as one of the UK’s brightest entrepreneurial talents and in the coming year is featured on the Power featuring the most influential talents in the UK of African and Caribbean origin. Recognised my former Prime Minister David Cameron as a shining example for others.
A glistening role model for the next generation of how a recession or our economy need not determine your future, Jessica’s success is empowering for us all. Aside from heading up J’s Dance Factory and the agency, Jessica also supports women who want to start businesses, has presented a start up business series featuring famous entrepreneurs for The Independent, blogged for The Times on Young Entrepreneurship and has penned her first book Girl Got a Business which launches on 1st January 2018.
As one of the many awards that adorn her mantel exclaims, Jessica Elliot is absolutely one of “London’s top 10 young people.”