A DANCE teacher from Swindon has dedicated her role in the dazzling Paralympic Games opening ceremony to a youngster with cerebral palsy.
Natasha Dixon was inspired to take part by six-year-old Corey Cummings, who needs fuding for an operation called selective dorsal rhizotomy to help him gain the use of his legs. Corey, whose family are trying to raise £24,000 for the procedure after being turned down by the NHS, has become a familiar face at Natasha’s Hotstepper Dance school, where his seven-year-old sister Amber attends classes.
The mum-of-one, of Park South , said: “We have already been raising money for Corey and showing him all the different things people with disabilities can do.
“He absolutely loves dancing, I do some stretches with him and he joins in with the other children, even though he can’t do it in the same way because he can’t walk.
“Over time he has really got into it. He is very excited I am doing the opening and closing ceremonies and it has been a lift and encouragement for him.
“He’s my real inspiration for doing all of this.”
Natasha, 31, has been to five rehearsals so far, with the opening ceremony taking place on August 29 in the Olympic Park and Viillage.
The team in charge of the spectacle is headed by award-winning film director Stephen Daldry, whose credits include Billy Elliot.
Natasha said: “It’s been a nightmare going back and forth to London but it’s already been worth it as I've met so many people from all walks of life.
“I can’t wait for the night, it's going to be amazing. I’ve danced in a lot of different places, but nothing compares to this.
“I can’t say too much but it’s not going to have the normal Olympic symbols and imagery, people will be amazed.
“To be part of it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity as I might not be around when the next Olympics comes to the country.
“It will be amazing to say I was part of history and danced in a stadium in front of 80,000 people."
Natasha, who teaches performing arts at Lyneham Primary School, has been given tickets for the Paralympics technical rehearsal and hopes Corey can make the trip to London to watch. She is also looking forward to impressing her seven-year-old daughter Memphis-Lee.
“My daughter has told me she can’t believe that I am doing the Olympics,” said Natasha. “She’s so excited I’m going to be on TV and she's told me I’m going to be like Will.i.am.”
For more information visit www.thecoreycummingsfund.org or search for The Corey Cummings Fund on Facebook.