Dancers shimmer and shine at show

Youngsters from Chelsey Marie's Dance Academy in their dress rehearsal for their show, Acro Extravaganza.  Pictured L-R are Ezme Malin, Lucia Malin, Ronnie Smith and Lily Khatri.
Youngsters from Chelsey Marie's Dance Academy in their dress rehearsal for their show, Acro Extravaganza. Pictured L-R are Ezme Malin, Lucia Malin, Ronnie Smith and Lily Khatri.
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They’ve been rehearsing for weeks – and all the hard work has paid off!

Performers aged 18 months to 21 took to the stage at Viva Blackpool for their first show with the CMDA Chelsey Marie Dance Academy.

It’s only been six months since 24-year-old Chelsey Marie Baldwin opened the school, but the youngsters were ready to show off their talents last Friday and Saturday evenings.

Chelsey was named as one of the best young gymnasts in the country a few years ago and was ranked seventh nationally on the vault.

But an injury forced her to retire from the sport in 2010 and after taking up coaching and professional instructor positions, she set up her own academy thanks to help from Blackpool Council’s Get Started service.

CMDA Chelsey Marie Dance Academy rehearse next to Palmer Avenue Methodist Church in Blackpool and at The Oracle on St Annes Road.

The show last weekend featured 90 performers, who took to the stage in front of proud family and friends. They performed three themes: Frozen, Egyptians and Legends, Divas and Superstars.

Chelsey, who has been a gymnast since the age of four, added: “I’m so proud of everyone who was involved in the show.

“It was our first show since opening in September.

“It’s been great.”

A young gymnast is head over heels after setting up her own acrobatic school, thanks to help from Blackpool Council’s Get Started service.

Chelsey Marie Baldwin has set up her own dance school - the Chelsey Marie Dance Academy - in Blackpool to help young children become Olympic superstars, after her own dream ended through injury.

Named as one of the best young gymnasts in the country a few years ago, Chelsey regularly competed with Britain’s best such as Olympic medallist Beth Tweddle, reaching a ranking of the seventh in the country on the vault.

However, when injury took its toll, Chelsey was forced to retire from the sport in 2010, aged just 17.

Chelsey was then introduced to gymnastics coaching, where her eye for detail and perfection allowed her to help young gymnasts in Blackpool to improve and progress through the ranks.

Through her success, she was hired as a professional instructor for a dance school’s acrobatics team, where she learnt to choreograph routines and new acrobatic techniques.

From there, Chelsey decided the time was right to become her own boss and set up the Chelsey Marie Dance Academy, approaching the Council’s Get Started team for help to secure finance and a location to make her new dream a reality.

Thanks to help from the service and a £1,910 grant from the BIBAs foundation, Chelsey has now started the academy, which helps children in South Shore to enjoy acrobatics. It operates five evenings a week ranging from parent and baby sessions up to advanced acrobatics for teenagers.

Chelsey said: “I’d been a gymnast since the age of four years old and started my journey in the world of gymnastics at Blackpool Gymnastic Club in Blackpool Sports Centre.

“I was introduced to coaching by my own coach Sammy Mankowska and I fell in love with it. I had the eye for spotting mistakes and also the praise for the children who gave it their all.

“It was the buzz I received from them learning new skills and the looks on their faces when they had successfully completed it that kept me going back for more. It was then I decided to extend my ambitions onto another level.

Monday and Tuesday sessions take place at The Oracle on St Annes Road, with Wednesday, Thursday and Friday sessions next to the Methodist church at Palmer Avenue.

Coun Mark Smith, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for business and economic development, said: “This is a great story of Chelsey bouncing back from a setback, taking control of her future and setting up in business - I wish her the best of luck.”