Chippenham dancers’ festival triumph

This Is Wiltshire: Dance Academy pupils with  their prizes Dance Academy pupils with their prizes

Two Chippenham dance troupes are celebrating a host of successes at a regional dance festival in Bristol.

A 25-strong team of FitzGraham Academy students and 15 from Chippenham’s Dancing Academy spent half-term week competing at Kingswood Eisteddfod.

The FitzGraham team, ranging in age from five to 11, came away with five trophies, seven gold medals, 10 silver medals and seven bronze medals.

They competed in a variety of dance genres and performed solo dances, duets and trios.

Tara Morris, 10, received the highest mark in classical solo aged 10 and under, highest mark in a solo and the most promising dancer award for the whole competition.

And in a category created especially for him, nine-year-old Corey MacDonald was awarded the most promising boy trophy, as well as the highest mark for a classical ballet duet.

Wendy Graham and Rebecca Petty-Fitzmaurice, co-principals of the dance academy, said: “We are utterly amazed by the commitment, dedication and skill that our dancers show and are always blown away by their performances on the stage.”

Chippenham’s Dancing Academy also brought home an array of medals and three cups, with some competitiors as young as four and many performing for the first time.

Katie Dunsden was awarded the Bristol School of Dancing trophy for classical ballet 12 years and over and the Holehouse Cup for highest mark.

First-time performer Ella Egan came first for her ballet solo in the aged six to seven category and also won the Kingswood Eisteddffod solo classes cup for highest mark.

Principal Samantha Reed said: “I am very proud of all the students who worked so hard on their routines and took part. It was a joy to watch them have the opportunity to perform and represent Chippenham. It is an added bonus that many of the students came away with awards.”

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