Dance school celebrates a summer of success

Published on: 03 Aug 2013

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IT’S been a summer of success for Downend’s Maureen Ryan School of Dance,

The top performers in the various dance styles took part in the school’s showcase event and five of the senior dancers were part of an elite troupe that won a national competition.

The school teaches classical ballet, modern dance, tap, jazz, character and national dance, with pupils aged from three to 18-plus.

Miss Ryan said: “When we give a showcase there is great excitement. It’s a great experience for everyone and creates very happy memories.”

The school specialises in training suitable students for entry to the professional dance colleges for three-year full-time courses.

Two girls have won places in top theatre schools this coming term. Beccy Daniels, 17, has won a scholarship at the Bodyworks Theatre School in London and Alice Ettle-Iles, 18, has been awarded a place at theatre school in Swindon.

The dancers who were successful in London joined members of the Venus School of Dance in Hanham in a troupe to perform a piece choreographed by Hannah Millichamp, who is a former member of the Maureen Ryan school and now a professional dancer who recently performed in a show in Las Vegas.

The 24-strong troupe was successful in local and regional contests and triumphed over nine other dance teams in the final at the O2 Arena in London’s Docklands in the Dance Make Your Move contest organised in support of the Red Cross.

The dancers’ eight-minute number told the story of the Chanogi Quilt made by interned woman and children in Japanese war camps using pieces of their own clothing and sewn with thread and hair. They were assisted in this work by the Red Cross.

Hannah did not see the troupe perform as she had to fly off to take up her next dance position on a cruise ship in the Caribbean.

Miss Ryan did not see the performance either because she was teaching but said she was delighted and proud at the dancers’ success.

“They were on Cloud Nine when they got back. They really had not expected to win,” she said.

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