More than forty dancers from the Marlborough Academy of Dance and Drama (MAD) aged between 7 and 18, participated in the Wiltshire Festival of Dance which was held from February 17 to 21. Over half of the students who performed solos and duets received medals.
The annual festival, which takes place over five dance-packed days, consists of over sixty classes, ranging from modern and tap solos and duets to group dances of various genres.
Among the soloists, Evie Montague-Smith received first place in Novice Modern under 14 and won the Novice Cup with Amelia Ferris receiving second place in the same class. Darcey Edwards received a first place in the Novice Modern under 10 class and Annabelle Travis won the Novice Song and Dance under 10 class.
Alex Piper (14), dancing with his partner Kira Jackson (15), was awarded first place in the Duet Cup with a top score of 90 marks. He also received medals for all of his solos. He gained a place in the modern and ballet championships and won the Overall Boys’ Cup for the festival – a staggering achievement. Over the past year, Alex has taken five dance exams, and been awarded distinction in all of them. This achievement has been matched by another MAD student, Gracie Grainger.
The MAD junior, intermediate and senior companies received great feedback for their various group dances. One of the junior company dancers commented, “Dancing with company is so much fun, Cheryl (Heuston) is really good at choreography and gives us amazing dances to do. I love doing ballet and modern, but dancing alongside ten of my friends is the best.”
Cheryl Heuston, who owns and runs MAD, commented, “I could not be more proud of my dancers, they are just such talented, brilliant kids, who have worked so hard whether or not they received a medal. They never cease to amaze me. Our recent modern and ballet exam results were fantastic and we have had our first students taking vocational level exams. Jasmine, Emily and Jess all gained distinctions and are heading for careers in dance.”
Over 250 children from Marlborough and the surrounding areas are involved with MAD. Over the course of a week, Cheryl and her team run more than forty different after-school dance classes ranging from baby ballet to pointe work, jazz, street dance and gym skills for dance. In addition, on Saturdays MAD stage school provides five age-group related sessions of dance, drama and singing.
On July 12, MAD will be performing a summer show at the Wyvern Theatre in Swindon, which will be an extravaganza of dancing and singing. Tickets go on sale via the Wyvern on 16 April 16.