Emily McCormack – Founder and Principal

Founder and Principal – Amber Lights Performing Arts

I have performed since age 3, training in dance, drama and singing through my childhood and teenage years.
I perform in many local productions, developing my love for the performing arts.
I went on to study BA (Hons)
Music Theatre at the University of Central Lancashire, one of the UKs top 10 Universities for performing arts where I graduated with 1st Class Honours, with the highlight being performing my graduate showcase in London’s West End. Following this I went on to work professionally as a performer. Just before covid, I managed a local stage school and taught virtually throughout lockdown. During this time,

I decided I wanted to have my own business, providing my own classes, so started a small community performing arts school. This has now developed to us using state of the art premises in the centre of Bradford, providing Industry Level training in Dance, Performing Arts and other aspects of performing arts such as design, directing, stage management etc. We provide regular performance opportunities and top of the range training to our Academy students, and now hope to venture into local schools as creative arts now severely lacks in the school curriculum.

I grew up in Woodside, BD6. I pushed through many hurdles in my childhood and teenage years. I was severely bullied whilst at school, which left me feeling incredibly isolated. This resulted in problems with my self-esteem and anxiety, which is something that still affects me to this day. Performing in classes and on the stage was my escape and the only place I felt I could truly be myself and express myself. I fell in love with the magic of theatre and have never wanted to work in any other industry.

I now run my own performing arts academy and business, providing industry level training to the children of the city. I started my business aged just 22. and I am a strong believer that you are never too young to achieve success. We are growing, expanding and the future is very bright for Amber Lights Performing Arts.

I am also a huge LGBT advocate as a lesbian woman myself! Last year, I was also diagnosed with ADHD which explained many of my childhood and ongoing social difficulties. I don’t ever see ADHD as a barrier to my success, as I continue to work hard. But sometimes some of the things that may seem trivial or simple to other people and other business owners, may be more of a challenge for me, meaning I have to work even harder and be more focused to ensure I don’t miss the small details.

I am proud to be a young, female, LGBT, neurodivergent entrepreneur and would love to empower and inspire others.

Sectors worked in and routes taken:





    What I would like to get involved in

    Inspirational talk

    Mentoring / Coaching young people

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