Generous Chadwell Heath choreographer earns Young Citizen Award nomination

A hard-working sixth former, who dedicates all her spare time teaching others to dance, has put on a special show to help buy costumes and provide transport to and from competitions.

Sarah Smith, 17, of Flora Gardens, Chadwell Heath has been nominated for the Exchange Ilford-sponsored Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club Young Citizen Award after she choreographed her own show, Off the Wall.

It raised �600 when it was held at her school Chadwell Heath Academy, Christie Gardens, Chadwell Heath last week.

Sarah, who has been dancing since the age of two, teaches pupils at her school for free in between studying for her own sixth form exams.

The student began helping out at her dance school but when she realised there were no clubs at her school, she set up her own classes.

She said: “When my friend said she was getting in touch with the Recorder, I didn’t think I’d even get a mention let alone nominated for an award.

“There weren’t many options for students to get involved in dancing and I wanted them to have the same opportunity I had when I was younger.”

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Sarah now teaches a range of styles, including street dance and ballet, to more than 42 pupils after school.

She said: “The dancers never get to show-off what they have learned so I wanted to put on a show so they could demonstrate what they can do. I’ve been pestering the headteacher for ages.

“It went really well and I did it all without any help which was so stressful, but it all came together in the end.”

Money raised from the show will go towards costumes, taking part in dance competitions and offering more students the chance to join in.

Sarah added: “I have had such a positive reaction from the sessions and it has been so rewarding to see how much people have learned.”