Jo Willey from Fushion Arts Academy on the Isle of Wight

Inspirational Islanders: Jo Willey, Fusion Arts Academy

Fusion Arts is a dance and music academy offering tuition to children from the age of
16 months to adults in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop and acrobatics, as well as musical theatre, pop vocals, piano and violin. The academy was founded by talented violinist and dance teacher Jo in East London in 2003 before it was relocated to the Island in 2007.

“The Island offers that healthy balance of being a breath of fresh air from the mainland yet equally being a stone’s throw away. We love the mainland and travel a lot both for work and pleasure, plus I have family there still. However as Dorothy says in the Wizard of Oz ‘there’s no place like home’ and it’s always lovely to see the Island from the Solent as we travel home. There really is no place like home on the Isle of Wight.

We enjoy the old fashioned seafront in East Cowes. The park, the café and the free parking really appeal and we have spent many hours down there with our children. We enjoy watching the Cruise Liners and Cowes Fireworks from this side and during lockdown it was lovely to have a walk on our local beach.

We like to go walking with our Miniature Schnauzer, Barney, and I’m partial to a nice café or dog-friendly pub for a spot of lunch along the way! Our favourite walks are through Newchurch, The Causeway and East Cowes to West Cowes via the chain ferry as we can take in the shops too!

Osborne is my all-time favourite place on the Island and to now think Fusion Arts Academy is based in the Royal Stable Block with our Dance Studio is a bit of a dream come true! Osborne was the first place we took our daughter Emma at five days old and our son George enjoyed many picnics in the meadow by the Swiss Cottage as a toddler too. I have also been privileged enough to play the Violin for the Friends of Royal Osborne on a number of occasions and witnessed a full hall of guests Waltzing around to my playing which was truly magical!

My husband and children were born here and I was born in Yorkshire but my first memory was sailing past on the Brittany Ferry to France with my aunt at the age of 18. I remember looking at the Island with the feeling that one day I’d visit or have some kind of connection which is amazing as I really do have a massive connection now! The very next year (2000) I met Mark and then moved here in 2007.”

Fusion Arts Academy is supported by Wightlink in the Community.

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