Teen dancer flies the flag for UK in USA

Pictured  in their outfits for their superior performance (back, from left): Emilia Piekorz, 13, Chloe Stone, 13, Megan Meeds, 14, Mieya-Grace Panrucker, 13, and Rebecca Luckham, 13, and (front) Farrah Marshall, 11.
Pictured in their outfits for their superior performance (back, from left): Emilia Piekorz, 13, Chloe Stone, 13, Megan Meeds, 14, Mieya-Grace Panrucker, 13, and Rebecca Luckham, 13, and (front) Farrah Marshall, 11.

A young dancer from Fishtoft has helped represent the UK in America, performing on Disneyland’s main stage.

Rebecca Luckham, 13, was one of six girls from the Little Gems Dance Academy who travelled to Los Angeles to take part in the Dance Excellence festival.

The annual event features thousands of aspiring dancers from around the world. Schools are invited, in the words of organisers, ‘in honour of their dedication to dance, performance and arts education’.

Little Gems, based in Burgh le Marsh, was one of only two dance schools from the UK to take part in the event, alongside Devon’s Unlimited Dance Company.

The groups collaborated on a performance given on the main stage at Disneyland to represent the UK – a stage that counts Let It Go singer Idina Menzel among its previous guests.

“It was quite a big stage for the children to go on,” said Little Gems principal Gem Marshall.

The six-day event also included masterclass sessions with such professionals as MTV choreographer Heidi Jarrett and Beyoncé dancer Ade Obayomi.

It also saw the students perform, as an academy, a separate routine which judges awarded the highest ranking – ‘superior’.

Of the visit, Gem added said: “They [the students] thought it was fantastic. They told me they all want to be dancers. It was like waking up and you were in your career.”

Little Gems hopes to return to Dance Excellence in 2018 when students will be old enough to audition for a £30,000 scholarship with the Young Americans performance organisation.

Rebecca’s mum Emma said: “Rebecca can’t wait to go back in 2018 to try out.”

Anyone who would like information on Little Gems Dance Academy can find the group on Facebook.