Teacher profile

Nikki’s Certificates:

GSCE Dance, GCSE Drama, National Diploma in Performing Arts, IDTA Examinations in Disco, Modern, Tap, Stage, Ballroom, Guildhall School of Music and Drama for solo acting.

Fully DSB Checked, plus, Certificate in child protection and safeguarding against children in education and first aid and defib trained.

Nikki Parkinson

Born in 1971 Nikki hit the ground running and by the time she was 5 years old was shot into the limelight having auditioned for a car advertisement and, subsequently ended up on our tv screens every night (oh joy)

As a child she tried it all, ballet, tap, piano, swimming lessons but ended up settling with ballroom dancing where she earned trophies entering competitions with her partner.

As she grew into a teenager her focus moved to what was then called “Disco Dancing” and this is where it all started, entering competitions both individually and with the team “Gems” around the country and performing at local events. It was with this team that at the age of 15 Nikki unfortunately broke her pelvis and was told she would never dance again “I don’t think so”!!!. Off crutches and back to it she then continued to perform in many pantomimes acting/dancing and choreographing with “Collinsons School of Dance and Drama”. Many plays followed as did drama and dancing exams.

Watching her friends all travel off dancing on cruise ships Nikki auditioned and was accepted but subsequently backed out, realising that Sheffield was where her heart was. She therefore offered to take over the dance school as retirement was imminent for the school’s proprietor. The school later became Branching Out Dancing.

Nikki by this stage had left Comprehensive school having worked part time at the Crucible Theatre and started her Performing Arts A-level course which she undertook whilst working as a choreographer and dancer for The Roxy and other night clubs in and around Yorkshire 3 nights a week, dancing with “the Hit Man and Her” regularly (old folk will remember this tv spectacle).

Never one for a quiet life she was also using her drama background to film promotional videos for companies such as the International Wool Secretariat for extra money.

Nikki was also spotted by Reflex Model Agency and began modelling on the catwalk in and around the area, and, before long also joined Style Model Management after winning a mother and daughter competition. Nikki then travelled around the country continuing her catwalk and photographic modelling.

Throughout this time Branching Out was still going strong and Nikki moved the class from the centre of Sheffield to a more local location of Stocksbridge and Deepcar with shared responsibilities between her sister Louise and herself. Branching Out had started performing in Galas and other local events, as well as charity shows and elderly homes etc (some of which are listed in our profile)

In 1993 Nikki and Louise decided to set up a dance troupe “The E Girls” which primarily provided entertainment at match days for the Sheffield Eagles RLFC. This was only the beginning as 5 years down the line Nikki had formed a promotion team to run alongside this called the “Gamble Girls”. The E Girls went on to perform throughout the country dancing for lots of other rugby clubs, The Great Britain Spartans American Football, Discovery Zone, shopping malls, Sheffield Tigers Speedway, Noel Edmunds Garden Party, bars and nightclubs, Sky Sports (and were voted number 1 dance troupe), and many more.

In 1996 she joined Hallam FM and continued her dance and promotional work alongside various groups and bands on stage, involving her girls when possible. She then began promotional work as a ring girl at Big Boxing Events holding up the ring cards…(….Round 2 ). She also auditioned for the TV show “Blind Date”, and managed to get through to the final round gaining a place on the show, and then bottled it at the last hurdle!

Since that time she has continued to grasp opportunities to get the children of Branching Out involved in events such as, Fair in the Square, a season of Formula 3 racing, travelling around the race tracks and performing on race days at Silverstone, Donnington, Croft etc. Strictly Come Dancing for Pudsey with Radio Sheffield and has created a dance troupe “Hallam FM Hot Chicks” for events for Hallam FM such as Fright Night, After Dark and 12 days of Christmas. Most recently she has been involved with the “Kids can do” project in Stocksbridge teaching dancing classes for free over the summer holidays and at the local sports centre.

Over the years Nikki has also taught dancing in her local junior school (Oughtibridge) alongside PE and after school. She did this for 3 years. She has also taught for the Darnall Youth Society and is currently about to start doing this again for Kirk Balk Senior School in Hoyland, Barnsley, plus many other school in and around Sheffield and Barnsley.

Now 51! She’s still slogging away looking for the next opportunity to get involved in, the latest being the choreographer and teacher/performer for BBC Radio Sheffield Children in Need show at the Leadmill. In the tiny bit of time she has spare (most recently making it to the last 220 people entering Ninja Warrior UK out of 35000!!, that was a TV performance not to be missed LOL) .. and yes…also feels the need to involve everyone in dancing class too!!I

think this gives a brief insight into the fact that Nikki….needs to learn to say “NO” sometimes…hummmm…somehow I shall not be holding my breath…