Dancers from Just Dance put on a terrific show in the Ardglass Community Hall on their first junior Strictly Come Dancing.
Organiser Jenna Finnegan who runs Just Dance, a dancing company that teaches dance to 8-18+ year olds said: “I am absolutely delighted at how well the young dancers performed. They did not seem to be affected by stage nerves and went up there and really gave it their all. The packed hall of excited fans cheering on the dancers added to the fantastic atmosphere on the night.”
Just Dance was initially formed by Jenna’s late mum Bernie as part of Ardglass Youth Club a number of years ago but when Jenna was 17, already a champion dancer in her own right, she took over the dancers and has worked hard to see the returns with some of the dancers winning medals in world, European, national and taking Ulster titles.
“I also teach dancing in schools, and get involved in some other projects and have taught dancers for thirty senior Strictly’s so far. This was my first junior strictly and it was great fun. The main styles I teach are hip hop, commercial, ballroom and Latin and there was a considerable breadth to their performances.
“We had eight pairs dancing on the night and a special appearance from a group of junior dancers. Each pair really performed superbly and the well-deserved winners just had that little bit more to raise themselves up on the pedestal.
“We were rehearsing this event for a number of weeks and the dancers really worked hard in learning their steps and techniques. I’m so proud of them. I’d just like to thank all the ‘dance mums’ who put so much effort into the event too. It all about teamwork and everyone including my family were involved.
“And I’d also like to thank all the sponsors too. The dancers were tasked with finding a single sponsor for £75 or three sponsors at £25 each. Providing the front of house compere role were Paul O’Shea and Margaret Smyth who also did a great job. There were lots of others t0o who helped out and I’m indebted to them all. I’d like to give a special thank you to the judges Megan Crane, Pete Johnston and Beth Gribben who had the unenviable task of picking the winner from the great array of talent on stage.
“The Strictly event aimed to boost the funds of the dance club because it is a very costly business sending dancers to events around the world. We pay their entry fees and dance fees etc and all they have to fund is their accommodation and travel. A single dance can cost £26.50 and there are quite a few in the various heats. We are the only dance club who supports its dancers this way throughout the year in getting them to events far and wide.
“The dancers really benefit from this experience and they become much more confident and their self-esteem is certainly boosted.
“Basically, I teach all sorts of dancing. It is my passion. I took an HND in Dance a few years ago and achieved a top distinction. At the start of the dance sessions the dancers normally do mobility and flexibility moves which helps them perform better and prevents any injuries that may arise.
“If anyone from 8-18 wants to come along to our dance sessions in Ardglass Community Hall, they are very welcome.”
And, congratulations to Gavin O’Shea for collecting the most money in the bucket. Well done!!