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Redbridge Dance Link performers to take theatre stage by storm

PUBLISHED: 12:00 06 March 2016

The Alexandra School of Performing Arts is among the dance schools taking part in this year's Redbridge Dance Link at the Kenneth More Theatre

The Alexandra School of Performing Arts is among the dance schools taking part in this year's Redbridge Dance Link at the Kenneth More Theatre

Archant

The borough’s dance schools are set to come together and dazzle audiences at an iconic theatre.

Alexandra Hughes of the Alexandra School of Performing ArtsAlexandra Hughes of the Alexandra School of Performing Arts

There will be everything from jazz, tap, ballet and Indian styles on show at the Redbridge Dance Link Dance Gala at the Kenneth More Theatre (KMT), Oakfield Road, Ilford, on Saturday.

Among the dance schools taking part is the Alexandra School of Performing Arts (ASPA), which will have 10 performers taking on four routines.

Dance teacher Alexandra Hughes, 37, from Woodford Green, said she grew up taking part in the annual Dance Link shows, which started in 1988, and said it is now something her own students look forward to every year.

“ASPA has been open for 16 years and we have done at least 10 Dance Links – it’s something we look forward to.

The Alexandra School of Performing Arts is among the dance schools taking part in this year's Redbridge Dance Link at the Kenneth More TheatreThe Alexandra School of Performing Arts is among the dance schools taking part in this year's Redbridge Dance Link at the Kenneth More Theatre

“We do our own shows every year but to perform at the KMT is great – it’s a really nice theatre and we get to meet other dancers too, it’s a great experience for the kids.”

Alexandra, who teaches every Saturday at Woodford Green Primary School, Sunset Avenue, Woodford Green, said the youngsters’ pieces included musical theatre-inspired routines.

“The show in its entirety is a mix of different dance schools and styles – there will be everything from contemporary, to Indian styles and ballet – it’s a variety show.”

The experienced instructor said she could “completely rely” on the young dancers, aged between nine and 18, to put on a polished performance.

The Alexandra School of Performing Arts is among the dance schools taking part in this year's Redbridge Dance Link at the Kenneth More TheatreThe Alexandra School of Performing Arts is among the dance schools taking part in this year's Redbridge Dance Link at the Kenneth More Theatre

“They perform together a lot and they’re quite excited about it,” she added.

“It’s going to be quite a visual show – I’m still sewing [costumes].”

Speaking about the benefits of dance, she said it helped countless youngsters with their confidence.

“It even helps in job interviews,” she said.

“And they really have to learn to work together. Everybody knows everyone here and they look out for each other too.”

The Dance Link movement was set up by Gladys Graham after teachers got together to set up projects and performances and encourage schools to promote dance education.

“Redbridge Dance Link has always found performing at the Kenneth More Theatre the highlight of the year,” said Gladys.

“Support for it and its work has been fantastic over the past 30 years. We have seen many changes in dance, but the enthusiasm has not waned.

“To be a dancer takes dedication and hard work, but the results are amazing to see.”

The passionate dance enthusiast called on the public to come along and watch the borough’s talent at the two showings.

She added: “Long may theatres be able to show such an amazing discipline and give many performers the start to professional careers, which could take them all over the world.”

Showings are at 2.30pm and 7pm. Tickets cost £8, concessions £6.50. Call the box office on 020 8553 4466.


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