Page last updated at 12:43 GMT, Monday, 15 March 2010

Follow your dreams, but work hard, says Alesha Dixon

Alesha Dixon at Lewsiham CLC
Alesha described School Report as 'inspiring'

Strictly Come Dancing judge Alesha Dixon has told school pupils to follow their dreams - but to make sure they have a back-up option, too.

The pop star told a team from the BBC's School Report project that at school she wanted to be a teacher herself - and thought she would make a nice, but disciplined, member of staff.

But anyone who wanted success should finish their education, she advised.

Reporters Cara and Olaiton from Catford High School, Lewisham, quizzed Dixon.

The singer said her appearance on Strictly Come Dancing helped because "people got to know me as an individual, not the girl from the girl group".

"Doing a show like Strictly, you can't hide behind anything - what you see is what you get," she said.

Alesha Dixon at Lewsiham CLC
'I wanted to be a teacher' Alesha tells the students

So did she want to be a singer or a dancer?

"When I was growing up I would say both… for me they go hand in hand."

But she also had very down-to-earth ideas for her future, and having gained her diploma in sport studies, she planned to become a teacher.

"Fall-back career"

"When I was at school and my teachers used to ask me what I wanted to do when I left school, I used to say I want to be a teacher," she said.

Trying to build a career in the music industry was a "huge risk", but with a proper education behind you "you have a fall back career".

She described School Report as inspiring in how it shows students what opportunities are "out there", and said it was something she would have loved to do when she was at school.

Her final message was to: "Follow your heart, follow your dreams and work hard… and just enjoy yourselves."


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