Successful period earns Centre Stage School of Dance, Thetford, award nomination

Young dancers from Centre Stage School of Dance, Thetford. Left to right: Darcee Cogan; Georgie Wake

Young dancers from Centre Stage School of Dance, Thetford. Left to right: Darcee Cogan; Georgie Wakeling; Teiya-Mae Simonds; Lia Wing; Grace-Lilly Ross, and Lylith Hradsky-Foster with dance school owner Kim Ritchie. Picture: Kim Ritchie - Credit: Archant

It has been a successful period for Centre Stage School of Dance in Thetford.

In just eight months the school has increased its student numbers from 83 to 240.

And now the school has beaten thousands of others from across the UK and Europe to be selected as a finalist for an awards ceremony.

On Friday, July 28, Kim Ritchie, who started the dance school, will travel to the Dance School of the Year Award Ceremony, held in Exeter.

The school is in the 100 to 200 student category, where a silver, gold, category winner and overall winner will be announced.

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Mrs Ritchie, who lives in Attleborough, said: 'I cannot wait, it is going to be brilliant to meet other people from different classes.

'It will be incredible if we win. It is the first time I have applied.

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Every year I have been like 'can we do it? Shall I do it?' But I thought we have done so well this year.'

The awards were founded to celebrate the achievements of theatre dance schools and one of the judges will be broadcaster and journalist Angela Rippon.

In the application, Mrs Ritchie had to demonstrate the school's success over the past year and community involvement.

The dance school holds many different types of classes, including acrobatic arts, signing song and a pre-school class, and is heavily involved in the town and surrounding area.

Recent exam success included in the acrobatic dance exams where all 27 of the dancers, who were aged from five to 15, were graded as excellent or superior - the two highest score levels.

The 34-year-old said: 'It is about what difference the club can make to the community. That is our main aim. We do charity shows. I go out and help a homeless group in Norwich and the parents here donate things.'

Mrs Ritchie started the dance school as a Saturday morning class six years ago. She has been teaching full time for three years and now has five staff members.

'It had been me for so long on my own,' she said. 'Now we have five people in the club who are passionate and have the same values. That has been huge I think. They care and I think it shows.'

To find out more about the school and lessons visit Centre Stage School of Dance on Facebook.

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