Students dance their way to success

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Dance yourself dizzy is the motto for Alfreton dance group Harlequin School of Dance & Performing Arts.

And the young dancers did just that as they scooped top awards at an annual competition held last month.

Under the watchful eye of dance school owner Lauren Leam, the youngsters danced their socks off at the Midlands Festival and brought home several awards for the following categories – Junior Lyrical, Contemporary Troupes Section, Inter Lyrical, Contemporary Troupe Section and Senior Lyrical and Contemporary Section.

Proud Lauren said it is always a joy to watch the students’ hard work and dedication pay off.

She said: “The festival was a great opportunity for the dancers to really showcase their talent. The event welcomed troupe dances to compete.

“My girls have worked so hard, dedicating their time and effort to being the best they can.

“It is so rewarding to see them achieve their goals and bring back awards. The hard work paid off and I am very proud of them.”

Lauren, 43, herself is no stranger to performance.

She grew up in Swanwick, but left for the bright lights of London to train at the London College of Dance.

She travelled up and down the country performing a contortionist act, but had to stop due to a back injury.

She returned to Derbyshire and decided that while she could not perform, she wanted to help others who had similar dreams.

The school on High Street, was opened in May 1999 at Swanwick Methodist Church and offers a range of styles to learn including ballet, tap, acrobatics, street, modern jazz, musical theatre and more.

The school welcomes keen dancers of any ability from the age of three.

She said: “It’s great to see any age throw themselves into it and enjoy dance – that’s why I started the school.

“There are small class sizes in core subjects, I aim for quality not quantity. At Harlequin every child is encouraged to be the best they can be, they are more than just a number.”

And the latest festival result is just one of many pleasing results for the school this year.

February saw the dancers performing at Chesterfield dance competitions. In April the whole school performed at its annual show, and in June and July Harlequin co-hosted its annual Kings Summer Festival of Dance.

In September, the group performed at the annual Alfreton Party In The Park and October was exam season for the dedicated dancers.

The married mum-of-three said: “There were brilliant results from all students in our recent October exam session with 100 per cent success rate.”

Holly Giles got a hat trick of distinctions, as did Nikita Joseph. Emily Whittle, Sophia Pilsworth and Georgia Patilla also all had distinction results of 90 per cent in their intermediate theatre craft examinations.

Laura Miles, Jessica Bateman, Eleanor Brewin also passed with flying colours in tap and classic ballet.

Finally, Sophie Mcadam and Amelia Wilson both also achieved 90 per cent in their primary modern exams.

“The girls work so hard and I am so proud. They are now busy preparing for more examinations in December before a very well-deserved Christmas break.

“Watching my students perform with confidence and happiness at both examinations and events such as the festivals and displays for charity is overwhelming – this is what job satisfaction is all about.
“I absolutely love my job and I hope to be able to continue to see these young dancers develop and grow both professionally and personally for many more years to come.”

For more visit: www.harlequindancealfreton.co.uk.