Nicky’s dancers set to impress

Nicky Figgins and members of her Centre Stage Dance Academy. Back row from left, Hannah Peel, Nicky Figgins and Brittany Armer. Middle row, Emily Aspinall, Lucia Ambrosini-Kirk, Amy Wellings and Sam Ronson. Front row, Phoebe Clark and Shavvon Banks.
Nicky Figgins and members of her Centre Stage Dance Academy. Back row from left, Hannah Peel, Nicky Figgins and Brittany Armer. Middle row, Emily Aspinall, Lucia Ambrosini-Kirk, Amy Wellings and Sam Ronson. Front row, Phoebe Clark and Shavvon Banks.
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The Strictly Centre Stage show is back by popular demand at Blackpool Opera House for matinee and evening performances on Saturday, September 1.

The cast of more than 140 students from the Nicky Figgins Centre Stage Dance Academy are aged from three to 70 and will be taking to the stage at 2pm and 7pm hoping to raise funds for Cancer Research.

Originally staged at the Opera House last month, the show features tap, ballet, Latin, street, jazz, modern, the acclaimed Irish routines that the academy has become renowned for and a special Olympic finale.

There are also solo vocal performances from Tracey Jordan, Emily Adams and Kelly Jump, plus guest hosts including Lionel Vinyl at the matinee.

The show is produced and choreographed by Nicky Figgins, with help from her team of teachers.

Nicky toured for many years as a dancer including eight years with Spirit of the Dance – five of which as lead dancer.

“I have been fortunate enough to perform in many fantastic places all over the world including the amazing Sydney Opera House and the Sultan of Brunei’s palace,” says Nicky.

But holding a special place in her heart is Blackpool North Pier Theatre with Joe Longthorne – the venue which first inspired her to pursue a career in dance after seeing Cannon and Ball headline there when she was a youngster.

“The irony is that now my pupils have two summer seasons in the same theatre performing in the Bernie Clifton Show every Tuesday and Peter Pan every Wednesday,” says Nicky.

“It’s all very exciting for me to be able to pass on my experience to my pupils and see them performing in various shows, and I couldn’t be more proud right now as the pupils have just taken their tap exams with a 100 per cent pass rate – 84% being awarded the top mark of distinction.”

On a sadder note, the show is dedicated to the memory of Shirley Runacre, one of Nicky’s adult pupils and friend who lost her battle with cancer earlier this year.

“Shirley performed in my last four shows and lit up the stage with her personality from the minute she stepped on,” says Nicky. “She loved to tap and would often burst into dance at any opportunity, anywhere.

“It is very sad not to have her performing this year, but I know how proud she would be of the show.”

Tickets for Strictly Centre Stage are available from Ticketmaster or the Opera House box office and cost £10 adults, £6 children/seniors and £28 for a family of four.

The academy also has limited places available for classes and Saturday workshops. For more information, ring 07708 642908.