Evolution, which prepares students for professional training within the performing arts, was set up by former professional dancer Jacqui Tapsell, to fulfil her passion for working with students to encourage them to grow, both as dancers and as people. She has been supported in realising her dream by her husband and co-director, Kevin, who oversees business development along with their daughter Brooke who has supported Evolution from the beginning and even created the name and college slogan “Find the potential in you”.
Where it all started
‘The idea began in early 2012 and we started to plan the new business using advertising, promoting and finding the right teaching ‘faculty’,’ explains Kevin. ‘The location was the easy part: we wanted to be close to the Essex/Suffolk border due to limited performing arts training specialising in foundation training for students aged 16 years and above.’
Having started the process of planning they needed somewhere to bring their idea to life: ‘We found the Severalls Business Park in Colchester online and came across the Colchester Seedbed centre that offered small, medium and large-scale units. We identified a unit that was ideal for our college vision, and a year later in September 2013 Evolution opened its doors to our first students.’
‘The Seedbed Centre offers everything we need: adequate parking, on-site catering, very good security, a great on-site maintenance team, and it’s close to the A12 and close to Colchester Town where we have Evolution students boarding. We absolutely love our location and we expect to be here for the long term.’
Success is measured in a variety ways, but for The Evolution Foundation College it’s down to the students: ‘Our college slogan is ‘Find the potential in you’. That is our focus for every student who joins our college. We are proud to have a continued 100% success rate with all our students being offered places and funding at vocational colleges. But it’s not just about college acceptances, it’s also about our students – seeing them grow, gaining confidence, self-belief and developing into mature young adults.’
One highlight has been the performance of a some of Evolution’s students at The Brit Awards 2017.: ‘Five of our current boys who are still training with us, along with three of our girls who graduated during the past two years and are now training at vocational colleges across the UK, performed with Katy Perry, Skip Marley and Little Mix. That was a very proud moment for us.’