image4 Marie Idara Bassey, known to many as just ‘Marie’ is the CEO of the Marie Performing Arts Academy (MPAA) in Benin, Edo State Nigeria.
With over 10 students emerging as winners, finalists and semi-finalists in various performing arts competitions all over the country, the academy prides itself as the one stop shop for the holistic development of children and teenagers in music, acting, visual art, dance, creative writing and art critiquing.


The successes of this academy are too many too mention. But this had not always been the case. Marie Bassey had humble beginnings and like every little girl, she dreamed of becoming a princess wearing a tiara and dancing ballet. But in true Nigerian fashion, these were dismissed as ‘just dreams’ by her friends and some of her family. Her loving mother, however, saw possibilities of these dreams. When Marie was 9 years old, her mother entrusted her training to Miss Vanessia Thompson ( A dance instructor from Jamaica) and after years of painful, rigorous and mind boggling training sessions, Marie graduated to becoming a dancer, choreographer and a trainer.

All this rehearsal and training didn’t deter Marie from going to school. In fact, she excelled in all things academic. And then, in her first year in the university, Marie’s combined love for children and the performing art of dance led her to start “Marie Dance Academy”… a place where she could train young minds with an interest in dance who become young professionals and masters of dance. This didn’t come without challenges seeing as a dream of such magnitude had to be funded. To solve this, she started a poultry and sold chickens and eggs to bring her dreams to life.


As the dream grew, so did the size of the academy, the need for a more equipped dance studio, hence, more funding was needed. These needs inspired Marie to enroll some of her students in competitions and exactly one year after its inception, the academy produced the winner of CGMI’s got talent 10years old Joanna Mshelia in 2011. But Marie didn’t stop there. In 2013 Marie produced seven finalists and the eventual winner(Amarachi Uyanne) of Airtel’s Nigeria’s got talent. She also produced the winner of the 2014 edition (Robots for Christ). She continued from there to motivating and training other young stars like Emmanuel Osahor at GCGT 2016 and the award winning duo, Jesse Umoh and Oghomwen Edosomwan.

Somehow, in all of this Marie still graduated with a degree in Industrial Chemistry, ventured into different businesses, and continued to take her students on tour all over the country to events organized by individuals, states and the federal government.

It was her love for children and performing arts that drove her to transform her dream into a dance academy and her dance academy into an academy for performing arts. And it is that same love that has propelled her to start and annual two-week long Performing Arts Camp for children from the age of five (5) to twenty (20). The performance camp will hold in a suitable and secure environment and would provide the options of camping or attending from home for attendees. For nine hours daily in two weeks, participants will go through rigorous fun and learning activities, leadership and entrepreneurial education classes, arts and crafts alongside the main performing arts curriculum.

So… if you seek to process raw talent into formidable strengths, MPAA and its amazing instructors offer professional and unrivalled training in dance (ballet, contemporary, hiphop, jazz and traditional), music (vocals and instrumentation), acting and visual arts with a determination to personally guide every student to the mastery of the well designed developmental courses. Turning beginners into exceptional performers and experts into stars


Marie Idara Bassey. Marie had a passion to fulfill purpose at an early age, to be unique and to be a different girl. Beginning her dance career at age nine with proper training by a professional dancer Vanessia Thompson from Jamaica, she had a dream of owning her academy to raise stars in the performing arts. In spite of the many challenges that threaten great dreams and dreamers, she resolved to break the norm and not give in to the status quo. This resolve drove her to generate funding by starting a small scale poultry, partner with small businesses and lots more, just to raise funds for her dreams.


Today, the Marie Performing Arts Academy (MPAA) is a reality and is fast becoming the standard in less than a decade of operation. Her story, which has just begun inspires us all and drives us to support each one of our students into seeing his/her dreams become real just as hers.

So we invite you to join us this summer at the Performing Arts Camp starting from 24th July to 8th August 2016 in Benin City of MPAA… a place where dreams become real.

Please contact: 08135977554,08065204590,08175294233.
IG- @ceo_marie @mariedanceacademy
Twitter- @MarieAcademy_

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Admin, @WarriUpdate

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