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Wednesday, 17 September 2014

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Cumbrian dance school ready for West End debut

A teacher is set to make her West End singing debut during the summer holidays – along with 60 others at the dance school where she has been a pupil for more than 20 years.

Kerryann Wilson photo
Kerryann Wilson

Members of the Cowper School of Dance in Whitehaven have been selected to perform at the London Palladium – the first time the school has applied to take part in the annual Class Talent variety show on August 3.

They include 25-year-old Kerryann Wilson, who works as an English teacher at Stainburn School in Workington.

She has been a pupil at the family-run Cowper dance school since the age of three and is now one of its oldest members.

She will be singing Bring Me To Life, one of two numbers 20 senior dancers from Cowper’s dance school will be performing at the 2,286-seater theatre. The other will be a tap routine to I Love A Piano, from White Christmas.

Young members of the Cowper dance troupe will also perform a couple of numbers in front of a sell-out audience.

Kerryann performs I Who Have Nothing. Article continues below...


The 40-strong junior squad will include the school’s only boy, 14-year-old Harry Douglas-Brown, who lives in Stainburn, Workington.

Cowper School of Dance principal Adrienne Kelly said: “The London Palladium is such an iconic venue. Michael Flatley from Riverdance said recently that it was by far the best venue he’d ever performed in.

“I can’t believe so many of us are going down and everyone is funding themselves. Some of the families of our pupils are making a bit of a holiday out of it while we’re in London.

“Kerryann is going to be singing and dancing on the stage. She’s been with us since she was three and it is so lovely she is still with us. We are a family-run school and it really does feel like we are all one big family.

“This has been organised since January and the dancers already knew the routines but they’re still busy rehearsing twice a week in the run-up to the show in August. The young ones are already counting down the days, they’re so excited. It will be something they will remember forever.”

Mrs Kelly added: “I took the business over a long time ago from my mother. It has been in my family since 1871 when my great grandfather founded the school.

“It is my mother Marion’s 80th birthday in August and the school has never been to the Palladium for this before so I think the celebrations will be kicking off early. My mum’s sister is also over from America and she’s insisted she is coming too.”

Cowper School of Dance is based in Cross Street. It has a small studio there but also works a lot with the Carnegie Theatre in Workington.

Class Talent invites dance schools from across the country to apply to take part in its annual West End variety show, giving young dancers the opportunity to perform on one of the most famous stages in showbusiness.

n To hear Kerryann for yourself, visit www.newsandstar.co.uk to see clips of the teacher in action

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