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Dance starlets from academy near Grantham selected to represent England at the Dance World Cup

Two dance starlets have been selected to represent England this summer.

A pair of students from the Dance Academy, in Corby Glen, successfully auditioned for a place at the Dance World Cup which will be held in Spain this July.

Layla Rosa Harker and Isabelle Wade, both aged nine, will be competing in the ‘mini acro duet’ category at the competition, which is set to be held in Burgos in northern Spain.

Layla Rosa Harker, aged nine. (44307255)
Layla Rosa Harker, aged nine. (44307255)

Having students selected for international competition is a first for Jane Brown, who has run the Dance Academy since 2007.

Jane hopes to join Isabelle and Layla’s mothers in flying out to watch the World Cup, providing Covid restrictions allow for this.

Jane said: “It was absolutely amazing, because we managed to video a lot of our kids’ online festival solos before the lockdown, and we’d heard about the Dance World Cup. We thought, we might as well give it a go!

Isabelle Wade, aged nine. (44307258)
Isabelle Wade, aged nine. (44307258)

“The standard is so high, there’s kids all over England competing for a place and we never even thought that we would have a chance or get in. It’s crazy.”

Jane teaches all ages of dancers, ranging from two-year-olds to adults. She has been forced to adapt to the events of the pandemic, now holding lessons over Zoom.

She continued: “Obviously, it’s not ideal to take the classes on to Zoom, but I found that it’s really helping the children to keep motivated.

“They need something to keep themselves active and, mentally, they need to keep going.

“They are all turning up to their normal classes [over Zoom], so that they can see friendly faces, see their friends again and they’re keeping fit and active at the same time.

“It’s really hard as a teacher, because you live with the rapport with the children and you have the laughs with the seniors, so when you’re on Zoom, you’re not getting that as such, because they have to mute themselves so that they can hear the music.

“We’ve still managed to have some laughs, but it is a hard time. It’s keeping us all going.

“It makes us get up and do something rather than just sitting around the house.

“When we get back to the studio, whenever that may be, because they’ve all worked so hard during lockdown, they’re going to be stronger and ready to go for live competitions or shows.

“They won’t have fallen back.”

Jane was hosting an online lesson last Wednesday night when the nation applauded as one to pay tribute to the late Captain Sir Tom Moore.

She decided to pay tribute by setting her students their own 100 challenge.

Jane said: “We knew the clap for Sir Captain Tom was going on whilst we were on Zoom, so we came up with the idea of doing our own 100 challenge.

“The seniors chose to do their own 10 acro tricks to do, then we put it all together in tribute to him.”

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