Uppingham Teenager finds fame on CBBC TV Show

13 September 2018
Eva Finnemore (13) from Uppingham is a year 8 student at UCC and has spent her summer holidays living every child's dream in London, filming for a TV Show called 'Got What It Takes'.

You might know Eva better as the young, confident and talented musician and singer-songwriter, Eva Rose. Over the summer she has been filming episodes for the show which will be aired on CBBC on Monday 24th September 2018 and she needs your vote to WIN!

Eva Finnemore talks CBBC TV show 'Got What It Takes'.
(Photo Credit: Rutland Creative)
Eva and her Mother, Mel Finnemore moved to London for 3 weeks and stayed in the 'Music Mansion' with 8 other parents and child pairs. By day, the teams each took part competing in pop-star style challenges to get to get the teens to the sing-off. By night, they mingled and jammed together in the Music Mansion's common room, where they made - what Eva said were - friends for life.

The competition features famous mentors and industry experts such as Olly Murs, Maya Jama, John Newman, Sophia Grace and Britain's Got Talents Bars & Melody and the show is presented by Blogger/Influencer Anna Maynard. The winner of 'Got What It Takes' will have the opportunity to star on stage alongside music chart-toppers at Radio 1's Big Weekend.

The Finnemore family are community heroes in Rutland, as Eva's parents are firefighters and charity supporters locally in and around the county and are also Stonemasons at Finnemore Stone in Uppingham.

Eva has been singing and songwriting since she was 8 years old and she can play 7 instruments including the guitar and the piano. She says her love for music helps her academically in school especially in Maths and English which work in harmony with her songwriting, learning instruments and reading music.

She's an academic student at Uppingham Community College but makes as much time as she can for her passion, her music. Eva plays locally at open mic nights at Don Paddy's in Uppingham and monthly at Exeter Arms in Barrowden. She's also won Leicester's Got Talent and performs at HallatonFest annually, whilst still making time to maintain her grades at school and film for TV shows... I don't know how she does it!

Eva Finnemore talks CBBC TV show 'Got What It Takes'.
(Photo Credit: Rutland Creative)
Eva told me all about her look which she says is 'very important'. She loves bright colours and bold clothing choices but it's more than that... 

Every time she writes a new song, she buys a new outfit to go with it! For her song 'Moving On,' she wears a leather steampunk inspired outfits with a 50s style skirt which features a map. Eva is probably most noticeable for her incredible braids, usually in all kinds of colours which takes her Mum 5 hours to do and about 2 and half hours to take out before school.

As a child at primary school, Eva had a difficult time with bullies and she wrote a song called 'Invisible Invincible' at the age of 8 about her struggles and coming out the other side. Listening to Eva and her family explain this time to me and the reasons behind the song, I felt that this really has made Eva the strong, independent and determined thirteen-year-old she is today. She's an extremely polite, confident and utterly charming young woman and I find it hard to believe she's only 13. She carries herself perfectly and a delight to spend time with.

"The show was a great experience and I've met friends for life"
- Eva Finnemore

It's really refreshing to hear such a young lady like Eva talk about how much she loves Rutland, despite traveling around the country performing she says 'she'll never want to live anywhere else'. 

Eva needs your support throughout the 10 'Got What It Takes' Episodes before the final on 26th November which will go to a vote for the winner of the series and Eva would love it if you could support her by voting when the time comes.

You can watch the first episode of 'Got What It Takes' on Monday 24th September on the CBBC channel at 5:25 pm. Watch the teens and their mums take on a Vlogging & Football Challenge!

Please note you must have a BBC online login to vote and I'll keep blogs social media accounts up to date with voting information nearer the time

Follow Eva Rose Music:
Instagram: @EvaRoseMusic05
Twitter: @EvaRoseMusic05

A Visit to: Curtain Upp Dance School, Uppingham

23 August 2018
Curtain Upp Dance School was started by Helen Becque in 2016 and the school now has many pupils of ages 2-12 years, who all love to dance! Helen's passion for dance is so clear as soon as you meet her and you can tell the children admire their teacher.

I visited the Saturday sessions/rehearsals at Uppingham Town Hall, where children of all ages who've formed friendships since joining Curtain Upp all danced together each performing their groups and solo pieces for the show that Sunday. There was lots of laughter and the town hall was full of confidence and complete enjoyment.

(Photo Credit: Rutland Creative)
Sunday was show day! The big day everyone had been waiting for and I was so excited too!
The show featured many different types of dance including tap, modern, Strictly Come Dancing worthy lifts and even cartwheels, worms and 'the floss'!

But don't think the parents got away with it! The show also featured an impressive 'Dad Dance' which was a beautiful ballet! Put it this way, they were actually rather good but my stomach hurt from laughing. Well done Dad's!

(Photo Credit: Rutland Creative)
The school resumes after the Summer break on Thursday 31st August at Uppingham Town Hall. Taster sessions are £1 and your child can enjoy weekly classes from only £3.

I interviewed Helen about the school, the shows and the story behind Curtain Upp...
Take a read!

(Photo Credit: Rutland Creative)
1. Thank you so much for inviting me to your 2018 Summer show! I had so much fun and it was lovely to see children of all ages enjoying dance and being so confident on stage.
Please tell our readers more about Curtain Upp and how it started?

I am so glad you enjoyed the show, I agree it is wonderful to see the joy on the children’s faces when they are performing and so many of them have gained confidence immensely since they started dancing. This is one of the main reasons I started Curtain Upp. My daughter Talia wanted to dance and I wanted to be able to give her all of the wonderful experiences, benefits and opportunities I had as a young dancer. I started dancing at the age of 4 and soon realised it was something I loved to do.

(Photo Credit: Rutland Creative)
I started my career as a professional dancer in Blackpool, it was the best decision I ever made as this led to years of dancing, travelling the world and meeting the most amazing people. After this period in my life, I then trained to be an Art teacher but also taught dance, drama and music.

Opening Curtain Upp has enabled me to combine all of these transferable skills and experiences as a dancer and a classroom teacher. I feel as though I am where I belong and I am so happy I can have a positive impact on the people of Rutland who are interested in performing too.

(Photo Credit: Rutland Creative)
2. One of the things I loved most, was seeing girls and boys dancing together. They all learned some amazing choreography and so many unique skills from different types of dance. Please tell us more about the children that take part in Curtain Upp and the types of dance included?

At Curtain Upp we offer dance classes in Ballet, Tap, Modern, Acrobatics, Street, Commercial, Lyrical and Musical Theatre. We teach group classes and private lessons, which is called the Curtain Upp Elites. We offer a variety of disciplines so that the children have a good choice of classes and can broaden their experience of styles of dance easily.

(Photo Credit: Rutland Creative)
Dance classes start at age 2 and we encourage both girls and boys to join us. Many of the children who dance together attend the local schools in Uppingham. However, others come from various schools in the Rutland area and beyond. Curtain Upp is a family and it is wonderful to see the children making friends and bonding with other children from different areas and classes.

This was definitely apparent during our first ‘Spotlight Dance Festival’ this year and was reinforced at our Summer Show. It is so lovely to see all of our dancers creating lasting memories together. I am still great friends with the people I danced with at dance school and professionally, and they are friendships and memories I will cherish forever.

(Photo Credit: Rutland Creative)
3. I also came along to the dance school on a Saturday, which is located in Uppingham Town Hall and it was lovely to watch the children rehearse their parts, meet some of the parents and the children too. I was amazed by all the children’s confidence, especially 2-year-old Florrie.
Please tell the readers a little more about the Saturday school?

I am so glad you had the opportunity to see the magical transition from rehearsal to a performance on the stage. Little Florrie was just a few weeks old in her Mommy’s arms when Rosie her sister attended Curtain Upp’s very first taster session at our launch. As soon as Florrie could stand she was copying her sister dancing, so she joined the class as soon she was just 2 years old and was the youngest person to take part in our Summer Show at Uppingham Theatre. I think her confidence and ability amazed everyone.

Saturday morning is our busiest day and starts at 9am with Baby Ballet age 2-3, followed by Baby Modern. Each 30-minute session costs £3. As the school is forever growing and evolving, I am currently working on our September timetable and all of the timings of classes can be found on our website www.curtainupp.co.uk.

(Photo Credit: Rutland Creative)
4. The show was outstanding! The music, the choreography and the outfits were stunning. It was clear to see the children love their time at Curtain Upp and seeing their faces beam while they performed was lovely to witness.
Please tell us more about the shows, the rehearsals etc 

This was our first ever theatre show and I must admit it was a little daunting. But I felt very confident it was going to be the most amazing experience for the children and their families. Especially as many of them would be dancing at such a wonderful theatre in their hometown. I started to plan the show a year ago and we began to learn and rehearse the numbers in March. We practised each week, added props and then polished the numbers. I really wanted the children to try their best to remember the steps themselves (apart from the baby group) so I made the decision not to be on stage with the younger children. I am so glad I went ahead with that decision as it meant that each troupe held the stage all by themselves and they were all so fantastic! I was bursting with pride.

(Photo Credit: Rutland Creative)
Our costumes were sourced from a variety of places, but my favourites were those that were made by the Parents and Grandparents themselves. I am so glad you sensed the children’s love for their time at Curtain Upp. This is why I named the show ‘For the Love of Dance’ and ultimately this is the essence of Curtain Upp Stage School.

(Photo Credit: Rutland Creative)
5.  Thanks again for letting me share Curtain Upp on the blog, it really was a pleasure. Helen, what have you and your team got planned for the future of Curtain Upp and where can our readers go to signup their children?

Thank you so much for taking the time to see what we do. I strongly believe that dance can have such a positive effect on life. We have lots of exciting plans for the future and I will continue to ensure our dancers are receiving the highest quality of dance teaching combined with a strong element of fun and creativity.

(Photo Credit: Rutland Creative)
We have been fundraising this year and with the help of this and also donations from local organisations and businesses we will be installing Ballet Barres in Uppingham Town Hall ready for September. We are also purchasing movable dance mirrors. We will be presenting our annual free showcases at The Falcon Hotel for Christmas in Uppingham and Uppingham Feast Day. As well as participating in the Rutland Spotlight Dance Festival 2019. After the huge success of our first Summer School, we plan to continue to hold ‘Holiday’ clubs at various times during the year.

(Photo Credit: Rutland Creative)
We are also collaborating with Brooke Peverall who hosts SINGS! sessions around Rutland, to create a Curtain Upp choir. We will be focusing on Musical Theatre and Pop songs and have a £1 taster session at Uppingham Town Hall on Friday 31st August at 4.15pm.

Finally, from September we will also be focusing on exam work in Ballet, Modern and Tap. It will never be compulsory to take exams, but I feel the dancers are now ready to take this next big step and I am so excited to be presenting them with this new challenge.

(Photo Credit: Rutland Creative)

If your child loves to dance, learn new skills, enjoys activities or maybe just wants something super fun to do at the weekends and perform in a big production with the most amazing costumes I've ever seen then maybe they should try a £1 taster day at Curtain Upp.

If anyone would like to see if there is space to sign their child up for a £1 taster for any session at any time during the year, they can do this via the Curtain Upp website www.curtainupp.co.uk or by emailing Helen directly at helen@curtainupp.co.uk.

Follow Curtain Upp on Facebook:

and if you want to be a dancing Dad just like these heroes...
You know where to go!

(Photo Credit: Rutland Creative)
Please note this blog post contains sponsored content
If you would like to purchase any of the photographs please contact: rutlandcreative@yahoo.com

My Week: 5th August 2018

7 August 2018
August is normally one of my favourite months, as it reminds me that we're nearing the colder stages of the year and I absolutely adore Autumn and Winter. It's not that I don't enjoy summer, I just prefer the seasons and the festivities of August through to December.
However, at the moment the heat wave seems to be staying put, for now anyway!

This past week I've been doing a lot it seems (which I didn't realise until I uploaded all of these photos... There was 30 in total) and it began with a walk in one of my favourite places, Harringworth.

If you read my 'Who is The Rutland Blogger?' post you may know that I spent the majority of my childhood growing up in Harringworth which help sculpt the county-loving-bumpkin I am today!

This particular walk in Harringworth you can access from the village itself or from the green lane on the road from Shotley to Wakerley. It follows the River Welland and features stunning views of the viaduct and the walk starts at a bridge my brother and I used to call 'poo-stick bridge' growing up.

A view from Harringworth.

A Visit to: SINGS! Choirs, Oakham & Stamford

4 August 2018
I recently met Brooke Peverell, the director and brains behind the weekly choirs in Oakham & Stamford called SINGS! Brooke is a talented singer, pianist, and teacher with a passion for business and being her own boss. She has combined all of her interests and passions into her Choir groups, SINGS!

Oakham SINGS! at Braunston Village Hall
(Photo Credit: Rutland Creative)

My Week: 29th July 2018

29 July 2018
When I first started blogging, which was just over 4 years ago now, I used to share 'what I'd been up to' blogs and I even vlogged (video blogging) on YouTube sharing weekly vlogs of my daily life. Since I began 'The Rutland Blogger', the blog itself has been more about sharing local business and upcoming events. Well, as the blog grows and the more readers I meet I realise that what I get up to in my spare time might be of interest (or it might not, but let's give it a go!).

My favourite mug from Stubbs Mugs.

The Rutland Summer Holiday Guide

27 July 2018
The summer holidays are here and other than you actual summer holiday abroad, sometime it can be difficult to plan things to do with the kids. So, I've put together a Summer Holiday Guide for parents in and around Rutland which gives an easy to follow list of places to go with the family!

(Don't forget you can follow the monthly 'What's On Guide' for each month here so you don't miss out on any events, fetes, live performances etc)

What to do during the Summer Holidays with your children in and around Rutland!
(Photo Credit: Rutland Creative)

Coffee Shops in Uppingham #StayIndependent

23 July 2018
Uppingham is a stunning town with mainly independently run shops, restaurants, hotels as well as, so many wonderful coffee shops! The whole reason I started this blog about Rutland was to celebrate and support all the wonderful independent businesses we have around the county. So, I thought why not share a post about the independent coffee houses and lunch spots in Uppingham that you each need to visit whether you're a Rutland resident or visiting the area because they're all pretty special in their own way.

Eat Drink Shop Uppingham #StayIndependent
(Photo Credit: Rutland Creative

What's on in Rutland: July 2018

6 July 2018
Summer is here and the sun is shining in Rutland. It's a busy month in our county with many family friendly events happening all over, so get your diary out and make a note of all these amazing events.

There's village fetes, open mic nights, antique valuations, charity nights and even a pirate party!

Please Note! More information regarding promotions and events will be added as we hear about them!

20/49 Classic Car Club Returns to Rutland

15 June 2018
On 7th June I visited the Rutland village of Barrowden for the return of the annual 20/49 Car Club which I have visited for many years. My mother grew up in Barrowden and my father's and brother's hobby involves doing-up classic cars, so this event is quite the family affair! 

The popular annual event returns with car enthusiasts gathering to appreciate vintage motoring.

What's on in Rutland: June 2018

24 May 2018
Summer is very nearly here and there are events happening all around the county in June! We've listed them all together so you know how to plan your calendar with the family, making sure you don't miss out!

Find out what's on in and around the county for June, with fun for all the family.
Note: Events will be added to this page as we hear about them
Email RutlandBlog@yahoo.com and tell us all about a local event or event in Rutland you're hosting and we'll feature it on our page and tell our readers about it!

Please Note! More information regarding promotions and events will be added as we hear about them!

Who is The Rutland Blogger?

19 May 2018
I've thought about writing this post for a while and I've been nervous to write something this personal, but I think it's the right time and I write this as a huge thank you for everyone who allowed me to turn all of my passions into a business.

It has always amazed me that there are a few thousand people read this blog, but who am I?

For those who do not know, I'm Charlie! Most people are surprised to learn that I am 23 and originally from down the road - just over the Rutland border - in the village of Harringworth. As a child, I went to Leighfield Primary School in Uppingham and then onto Uppingham Community College in 2006.

I enjoyed school, although at the age of 14 I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and school became a challenge due to suffering from depression and anxiety. But I proudly passed all my GCSE's with A-C grades with the support of my incredible teachers and the staff members at UCC.

I then went to QE College in Leicester, where I studied Graphic Communication, Photography and Business Studies. I loved every second of my two years at QE which flew by and my time there really helped me realise what I enjoyed in life and what I wanted to do following our exam results, which might surprise many but my goal was to own my own house in Rutland and I chose not to go to university.

Just a 20-something year old who loves where she lives.

What's on in Rutland: May 2018

3 May 2018
It's kind of scary how fast we've got her in 2018, but believe it or not, it is May!
The month where the weather picks up (hopefully), the sun shines, the days are bright and there are plenty of events and occasions happening in and around Rutland.

Please Note! More information regarding promotions and events will be added as we hear about them!