Spring – Stage 1: Jitterbugs

Ages 4 – 6

Jitterbugs is an introduction to the world of music, dance, drama and visual arts for students aged 4-6. The focus of this program is allowing children to explore various aspects of theatre performance at their own pace in a lively, kid-friendly environment. Our students learn about the basics of performance while building towards a final show at the end of the session.

Ages 4 – 6


Dates and Times:
Saturdays, 10:00 am – 11:15 am
February 3 – April 27, 2024

Dress Rehearsal:
Friday, April 26 at 4:30 pm

Saturday, April 27 at 9:30 am and 11:00 am

Old Firehall Arts Centre
334 Wilson St E
Ancaster, ON L9G 2C2

Laura Bottrell

Laura Bottrell


Laura Bottrell has lovingly directed the Jitterbugs program for several years. She is a teacher with the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, currently teaching Grade 1/2, and taught Kindergarten for several years which holds a special place in her heart. She holds a Bachelor of Education, an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Youth and Children’s Studies and is a Registered Early Childhood Educator.

After a childhood spent on stage, she found a passion for teaching the arts to children and also working on the production side of theatre. She has previously taught in almost all of our youth programs over the past sixteen years in different roles. You may also find her backstage at Theatre Ancaster, having been very involved for many years on our productions in roles including Stage Manager, Youth Coordinator and House Manager. Laura currently sits on Theatre Ancaster’s Production Committee and is busy in the role of producer for our main stage shows throughout the year. Her favourite role, however, is “Mama” to her daughter and future Jitterbug! Directing the Jitterbugs program is a special and fulfilling part of Laura’s life and she is dedicated to ensuring that every young artist has a wonderful experience with us and grows to love the arts! 


How do I know if my child is ready for Jitterbugs?

A child that is ready for Jitterbugs is able to sustain attention to a directed activity for at least ten minutes at a time and is able to attend the class independently without their parents. Children must be independent in using the washroom in order to participate. Of course, no experience in the arts is necessary!

Can I stay and watch the Jitterbugs classes?

In order to encourage independence and confidence in our young performers, parents are not permitted to watch the classes. However, parents may wait in a separate room in the building if needed.

What is your staff to child ratio?

Our program typically has 30 children enrolled with a staff to child ratio of no greater than 1:10. Children spend part of their class divided into small groups of 10, and other parts of the class in a large-group setting.

What training and qualifications do your staff hold?

Our staff is made up of qualified and experienced educators, both in formal education settings and in the arts industry. Our staff have extensive training not only in their field of expertise but on child-development, safety, and effective teaching. All staff members hold their Level C First Aid/CPR training certificates and have a Vulnerable Sector Records Check.

Is participation in the dress rehearsal and final performance mandatory?

Yes, attendance at the dress rehearsal and final performance is mandatory. Our entire program is structured around the creation of the final show and children will get the most out of their experience with full participation.

How long are the final performances?

Typically, Jitterbugs final performances last about one hour including a presentation of certificates following the show. Doors open for audience seating a half hour before the performance begins.

What is your refund policy

If a participant needs to withdraw from the program for any reason, 

100% of the registration fee will be refunded before the beginning of the program.  
75% of the registration fee will be refunded after the first class/rehearsal.
50% of the registration fee will be available after the second or third class/rehearsal.
No refunds will be issued after four classes/rehearsals.

All refunds at the participant’s request will be subject to a $25 administration fee.