THE latest stomping performances by talented dancers in Littlehampton have left their school’s trophy cabinet groaning under the weight of all the new silverware.
Fleet-footed pupils at Dance Industry, in Sparks Court, left their opponents dumbfounded after the group stormed through both the Chichester and Godalming festivals in style, winning more than a dozen trophies and medals between them.
The school had many of its students entering both festivals, to show off their skill across the dance disciplines, from ballet and tap, to modern, solo and group performances.
Fourteen-year-old Olivia Foot stunned the judges with her skilful dance display in the lyrical solo category, being awarded the highest, solo mark at the Chichester Festival of 89 out of 100. Dance Industry’s group entry at the competition also shone through, with the jazz-modern team receiving a “near-perfect” mark of 90 per cent.
The squad won nine group trophies alone during the Chichester competition.
Other students demonstrated they had real potential at the Godalming competition.
Whizz-kid, Reuben Natale, five, may be one of the youngest pupils at Dance Industry but he showed he could dance with the best of them after he was awarded the adjudicator’s choice trophy in the junior category, while the fabulous feet of Emily Sangster, nine and Harriet Owers, 13, helped them to win the intermediate and senior trophies, respectively. Dance Industry students also had the chance to learn from the top performers in the industry, during the festivals.
Some worked with Lee Payne, a semi-finalist on Sky One’s flagship dance show, Got to Dance, as well as Rachael Kerridge, head of dance at the Guildford School of Acting and Josephine Darvill-Mill, a former pupil at the prestigious Royal Ballet School, in London. Delighted Muriel Bordenave, the principal and owner of Dance Industry since it began in the town, more than 26 years ago, has seen many of her former pupils go on to study at leading national schools and go on to develop professional careers.
Of the latest successes, she said: “We had some outstanding marks. For some pupils to achieve a score of 90 is so, so rare. It’s like getting a gold medal in the Olympics.
“We managed to beat dancers from all over England, which is a brilliant achievement.
She added: “Now, more than ever before, the profile of dance is at an all-time-high, with fantastic shows like Strictly Come Dancing and Got to Dance. It’s a very exciting time.”