Proud moment as Blackpool dancer performs in royal show in front of Queen
A professional dancer from Blackpool has spoken of his pride at performing in front of the Queen as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
Stephen Johnson, 29, was a member of the Emerald Storm dance group who performed a traditional Irish routine at Windsor Castle on Sunday.
Their stunning performance at the Royal Windsor Horse Show was part of a line-up that included Katherine Jenkins, Dame Helen Mirren and Tom Cruise, alongside equestrian, military and musical talent from all over the world.
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Stephen, originally from Grange Park, said: “Words don't do the experience justice, as corny as that sounds.
"I’ve been dancing so long now that I don’t really get nervous, but it was like the old days when I used to get the nerves when I danced in public.
"It felt like a huge occasion, it was unreal, and we all just felt so proud to be involved in such a major historic event.
"I’ve been lucky enough to have had some great professional experiences, but nothing will top that.”
The event was broadcast ‘live’ on ITV on Sunday night.
Stephen, who lives with fellow dancer Elysia Pemberton in Alcester, Warwickshire, performs under the stage name of Stephen Alexander.
He first started dancing as a 13 year old when classes were made available at his local youth centre by dance teacher Louse Fitzgerald.
Although he and his pals joked about the new dance sessions, when he was given the chance to try it he discovered he had a flair for it – and, encouraged by youth activities manager Paul Freeman, he never looked back.
Stephen decided to follow his dreams and graduated from a three year dance and dance teaching course at Preston College.
Since then, he has performed on cruise ships, in pantomimes and was even a regular dancer at the world-famous Moulin Rouge cabaret show in Paris.
Stephen added: “When I was younger, dancing wasn’t really considered the thing to do for your average lad – I think it’s different these days.
"I decided to follow my dreams and I would say to any young person – just go for it. Follow your dreams, work hard, don’t be put off.”
Stephen’s mum Yvonne said: “The Platinum Jubilee is a unique occasion, so the whole family was really proud of Stephen.”