WHEN Jacqui Wilson was a resident dance tutor at RSAMD in the early 1990s, she was barely older than her students.
There was one in particular who stands out from her five years at the academy – a tall young man who had an interesting take on the request to bring a prop.
That student had a star potential that she's tried to foster in the thousands of young dancers she's coached in the last 22 years.
"David Tennant was fantastic," recalls the 44-year-old.
"I do remember that at the dance exams you had to have a prop and he came in with a rose in his teeth and wearing a top hat.
"I'm not surprised he's done very well.
"There have been lots of actors over the years who I taught dancing. Certainly David was a stand-out.
"He was very strong – he was a natural."
While she was still employed by RSAMD, now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Jacqui began laying the foundations of the dance school that would grow into one of the biggest in Scotland.
Dance UK attracts around 1000 young people every week to its classes held across Glasgow and Lanarkshire.
From the tiny tots of Mini Movers, through the boys' streetdance crews, to the advanced senior girls taking their exams in ballet and modern dance, the school has expanded its scope to give a platform to a broad range of ages and both sexes.
The popularity of boys' streetdance is thanks to Britain's Got Talent, the launchpad for Diversity and Flawless.
"I would say well done Simon Cowell," said Jacqui.
"It's okay for boys to do dance now. In my 20 years, we've had a handful of boys who have come through the dance school. There's definitely more boys now who would normally be playing football and they would never have considered dancing before."
Dance UK's "show team" recently provided stunning finales to the Evening Times' Streets Ahead Awards at the People's Palace and to the Glasgow Community Champion Awards in Maryhill Burgh Halls.
In addition to classes at the revamped Maryhill landmark, it operates at venues in Ballieston, Bellahouston Park, Bishopbriggs, Coatbridge, Cardonald and Wishaw.
Students have performed in panto at the King's Theatre and at a launch for the Street Dance 3D film at Cineworld with Flawless and George Samson.
On a Friday evening, the dance studios of Bannerman High School in Ballieston are a hive of activity.
Girls as young as two practice cancan, hoedowns and Highland flings in a global dance class led by Kristeen Brady.
The Ballieston branch headteacher works magic with the tiny tots, disguising the lessons as a game.
"If you tried to stand them in a line and say this is a straight tap, they don't care," said Kristeen, 36, from Bellshill.
"You have to stimulate them and catch their imagination and they don't realise that they're actually learning something."
Jackie Ferguson, 41, from Garrowhill, has been sending daughter Erann, 5, to classes since she was two.
She said: "It's exercise and it gets her in with groups of people. It's good for their wee personalities to get moving – she has got a lot of confidence out of it."
In the studio next door, primary-aged boys perform headstands and breakdance freezes in a streetdance class led by Susan Haldane.
Every Saturday she coaches advance streetdance to 50 boys together with Bilal Oussellam at the Palace of Art in Bellahouston Park.
"A lot of boys like to come in and run about and do their own things, but we wanted to give them goals and something to work towards," said Susan, 26, from Glasgow's Southside.
Mum-of-two Mandy Queen has watched her sons, Ben, 8, and Zak, 6, grow in confidence since they started streetdance classes last year. The childcare officer from Sandyhills said it's a fun extension of their regular coaching with Scottish Gymnastics.
She added: "They love streetdance because they can do their flips and a lot of power moves.
"There were only about four boys when this started, and now it has taken off.
"They do the flips off the sofa and they'll challenge each other with their dancing."
The dance studios of the Ballieston school later fill with primary and secondary-aged girls who, after a warm-up, begin tuition in ballet, tap, hip hop, disco, cheerleading and dance acrobatics.
Dance UK recently moved into teaching drama and singing, which will open the door to musical theatre for many of its graduates.
The dance school was founded in 2005 by Jacqui, who has amalgamated with a number of other schools.
Its six full-time and 10 part-time teachers are qualified with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing in London.
As an incentive to new customers, the first class is free and lessons cost from £6.50 per hour afterwards.
Apart from the youngsters she's introduced to movement, Jacqui is most proud of lavish productions at the SECC, Theatre Royal, the Cottier and Mitchell theatres.
"I would have loved to be a stage director," she says.
"When it comes to our shows, I'm thinking West End – it's no holds barred.
"We've had spaceships flying onto the stage, we've had full Moulin Rouge windmills with 100 cancan dancers coming out."
Jacqui, a mum-of-four from Partick, took up dancing as a child at a ballet school in Hillhead.
At age 17, she went on to train with ballet teacher Elizabeth Henderson, who now acts as a consultant for Dance UK.
"I did have the option of going down to London to dance training college, but at that time there wasn't any such thing as grants, so financially it wasn't possible," said Jacqui.
She opened her first classes in Barlanark, combining this with teaching at RSAMD, followed by the Dance School of Scotland at Knightswood Secondary.
She gave up working for others in 1996 to concentrate on her school.
"We've got a saying in here – we always go the extra mile," adds Jacqui.
"We just love our job so much that even when the curtain comes down, or when we go home, we're always thinking about our next day's classes and next day's dances or costumes.
"We're on it all the time."
lNew classes start in August. To enrol, visit www.danceuk.co.uk or call 0141 332 0328.
Jacqui Wilson on the journey that has seen her dance school grow to be one of Scotland's biggest