Billy comes to the seaside

JUST like Billy Elliot in the famous film, young dancers were told they can get to the top, too.The youngsters at a new Felixstowe stage school learned a little of what it takes to make it as they were taught by a choreographer who works on the award-winning West End version of Billy Elliot.

JUST like Billy Elliot in the famous film, young dancers were told they can get to the top, too.

The youngsters at a new Felixstowe stage school learned a little of what it takes to make it as they were taught by a choreographer who works on the award-winning West End version of Billy Elliot.

Dancer Ian Waller held special workshops with the Stagecoach Theatre School - working first with the six to 11 years olds, and then with the 12s to 16s.

Former Deben High School student Rebecca Darcy, 24, who runs the theatre school at Brackenbury Sports Centre, High Road East, on Sunday mornings for youngsters aged four to 16 to learn singing, dancing and acting, said the youngsters had thoroughly enjoyed the workshop sessions.


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“He did some really good warm ups with them and then some exercises before teaching them a really fast routine,” she said.

“They thoroughly enjoyed it, though most of them found it really challenging, which I was pleased about.

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“It showed them how they can progress and what to aim for and it was great working with someone who has made it to the top.”

While one age group was working with Mr Waller, the others began work on their Christmas panto, Cinderella.

Miss Darcy employing four teachers to help the youngsters with dance, drama and singing. Singing teacher is Chloe Salmon, who teaches at Kesgrave High and has an honours degree in music and drama, while Mark Connell, a professional actor and qualified teacher who has toured with professional shows, is drama teacher.

Laura Dickons, who has worked on cruises ships, and performed at the Royal Opera House and West End theatres, is teaching dance, and Sheila Lewis, who has taken part in many musicals in Suffolk, is the early stages teacher.

Stagecoach schools - there are 550 worldwide - not only teach stage skills but also aim to build youngsters' confidence, encouraging them to learn and stretch themselves to gain poise, self-confidence and self-awareness.

WEBLINK: www.stagecoach.co.uk

To find out more details about the Felixstowe Stagecoach school, contact Rebecca Darcy on 01394 284193.

FAST FACTS: Ian Waller

Ian Waller attended the prestigious Laine Theatre Arts at Epsom in Surrey until 1991.

He has been dance captain on many shows, including the UK tours of Miss Saigon, Me and My Girl and the Full Monty, and West End shows My Fair Lady, West Side Story, Tommy, Hot Shoe Shuffle, and Peggy Sue Got Married.

On TV he has appeared in many shows, including Blue Peter, the Generation Game, This Morning, and the Children's Royal Variety performance.

He can also be seen in the Kevin Spacey movie Beyond the Sea - in the first dance number he is a wearing a brown trilby!.

His choreography work includes Cooking with Elvis, Grease, Girls Night Out and currently Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace Theatre.

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