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Linton dance school shines on debut appearance at national competition




A dance school in Linton had a debut to remember at a national finals after coming away with two champions and two top five finishes.

The achievements of the Amy-Leigh Academy of Dance at the national Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing Disco, Freestyle and Rock ’n’ Roll finals in Guildford, Surrey, was all the more impressive given that only seven of its nine students that had qualified were able to attend the day.

Amy-Leigh Sellers, the founder of the school in The Grip, Hadstock Road, said: “The academy were ecstatic with these results with it having been our first year as a competitive school.”

The seven dancers from the Amy-Leigh Academy of Dance at the National ISTD DFR Finals. From left: Brianna Woolcott, 11, Lexi Lawless, 13, Olivia Ataie, six, Isabella Hutton, nine, Karla Woolcott, 17, Jenny Roberts, nine and Tabitha Warren, 12Contributed picture
The seven dancers from the Amy-Leigh Academy of Dance at the National ISTD DFR Finals. From left: Brianna Woolcott, 11, Lexi Lawless, 13, Olivia Ataie, six, Isabella Hutton, nine, Karla Woolcott, 17, Jenny Roberts, nine and Tabitha Warren, 12Contributed picture

The dancers’ uniforms were sponsored by Wates and further financial support came from Langley Roofing and a crowdfunding page set up by the school.

The backing enabled the academy to supply competitors with tailored costumes, funded lessons for the event, healthy fruit and vegetable boxes after their training sessions, new class equipment and paid for entry into the competition, too.

After receiving many recalls in the qualifying events and a nerve-jangling long wait for the fourth and final event, the school gained two national solo champions – Brianna Woolcott, in the U12 category, and Karla Woolcott, in the Over16 - while Isabella Hutton came fourth in the U10 and Olivia Ataie fifth in the U6.

Amy-Leigh Sellers with the four dancers who got into the finals of their events. Contributed picture
Amy-Leigh Sellers with the four dancers who got into the finals of their events. Contributed picture

The other three dancers from the academy to appear in the finals, which featured competitors from 46 schools in total, all of whom had pre-qualified, were Tabitha Warren, who reached the semi-finals in under-12, Jenny Roberts, nine and Lexi Lawless, 13.

Amy-Leigh, who launched the academy in 2016, added: “We would like to thank all involved who supported the academy before the event.

“We are looking for enthusiastic hard working dancers to join our competitive squad for 2020 season.

“We dream big, enjoy the atmosphere and try our very best.”


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