Teens celebrate finishing marathon walk ahead of global dance competition

A group of dedicated dancers swapped their dance shoes for trainers to complete a marathon fund-raising walk after qualifying for a top competition.

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 12:30 pm

The four girls are part of a 24-strong team from Barbara Jackson’s Theatre Arts Centre (BJTAC) in Fleetwood, who have qualified for this summer’s Dance World Cup.

Emily Richards, 15, Ella-Rae Bailey, 14, Hannah Boden, 14, and Isobel Farey, 14, have been dancing together since they were very young and are friends at their school, Millfield Science

and Performing Arts College in Thornton.

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Emily Richards, 15, Ella-Rae Bailey, 14, Hannah Boden, 14, and Isobel Farey, 14, walked 45 km from Barbara Jacksons Theatre Arts Centre in Fleetwood to Blackpool Pleasure Beach - and back to raise funds for the Dance World Cup competition
Emily Richards, 15, Ella-Rae Bailey, 14, Hannah Boden, 14, and Isobel Farey, 14, walked 45 km from Barbara Jacksons Theatre Arts Centre in Fleetwood to Blackpool Pleasure Beach - and back to raise funds for the Dance World Cup competition

Emily’s mum, Anna Richards, set up a GoFundMe page with a target of £10,000 for all 24 dancers to cover costs such as uniforms, costumes, entry fees, travel and accommodation costs.

And determined to do their bit to support the fund-raising, the girls walked 45km from Barbara Jackson’s Theatre Arts Centre in Fleetwood to Blackpool Pleasure Beach – and back!

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“BJTAC have been amazing over lockdown keeping all their children dancing via Zoom.

“The girls came up with the idea as they had done a lot of walking over lockdown and love the Pleasure Beach.

“They had to walk a bit further to make the distance!

“The girls have danced together since they were tots and are all close dance and school friends. We are so very proud of them all.”

The teenagers study ballet, modern theatre, tap, contemporary, commercial, and acro.

Isobel said: “This could be a once in a lifetime opportunity. It’s something to strive for, look forward to and make amazing memories.”

Hannah said: “It’s an amazing opportunity to represent Team GB.”

Emily added: “I’m really grateful and excited for this opportunity and can’t wait to represent England at the Dance World Cup.”

Ella-Rae said: “I’m so excited to be representing Team England at the DWC. It has always been a massive dream of mine and I’m so proud of us all, making our dreams become a reality.

“I’m thankful to the parents and teachers who have helped us achieve our goals.”

The girls have so far raised over £700 doing their sponsored marathon walk.

Dance World Cup was scheduled to take place in Spain later this year, but due to the pandemic the competition will now be held in England in August.

Lorraine Hill, principal at Barbara Jackson’s Theatre Arts Centre, said: “I’m thrilled with all of them.

“They did this off their own backs and they were shaking their buckets along the walk. The £700 they raised went a long way towards the total. It’s brilliant.”

To donate, visit https://uk.gofundme.com/f/dance-world-cup-2021-help-bjtac-get-there

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