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Prize visit for Practice-a-thon winners

Posted on June 14, 2012


As CLIC Sargent’s Practice-a-thon campaign comes to a close this month, the children of Old Park Primary School are very glad to have taken part. The charity CLIC Sargent had offered the school, group or club that raised the most money by holding a sponsored dance event the chance to visit “Strictly” champion Karen Hardy at her studios.

True to their word, on May 12, Karen was visited by 30 children from Old Park Primary School who held the winning event, a Latin-inspired dance-off, and raised over £2,700 for children and young people with cancer, and their families. 

karendiscussesKaren shared her tips with the group of budding dancers and talked about how practising dance can have a positive impact on your wellbeing. She discussed how practising at school made her “feel happier and focused” and said this, in turn, helped her to study. 

“I first realised that I wanted to become a professional dancer when I was at school,” Karen says. “My dance heroes were John Travolta and Patrick Swayze, and I used to practise five times a week. After every practice, my mind felt really clear and I felt more focused and that definitely had a positive effect on my studies. I felt more confident and I think that really helps when you’re at school. 

“It was great to meet the students and teachers at Old Park Primary School to find out what they thought about the benefits of dance. I think that we all agreed that it makes you feel happier and I had so much fun sharing my top dance tips.” 

Samantha Tidmarsh, dance teacher at Old Park Primary School, said: “The masterclass was really fun and it was great to meet Karen and practise our dance skills. We even got to perform our favourite dance routines for Karen! Practising dance at school definitely brings teachers and students together and it’s such a strong creative outlet.” 

Schools, clubs or groups are encouraged to sign up to the Practice-a-thon campaign from October to June each year and hold a sponsored practice for young pupils to help them pass exams, or even put on a show and sell tickets to support the charity’s work. Schools, clubs and groups also have the option of keeping 25 per cent of the funds raised to develop their own activities or facilities. 

Emily Felix-Davies, national events manager at CLIC Sargent, says:“CLIC Sargent wants to say a huge thank you to Old Park Primary School for taking part in Practice-a-thon. Every penny from each music, dance or singing event helps CLIC Sargent to support families affected by childhood cancer across the UK. Lack of funds means that the charity can only help two out of three children and young people with cancer – that’s why your support makes such a difference.” 

To register and get involved, just visit

Nicola Rayner was editor of Dance Today from 2010 to 2015. She has written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Time Out Buenos Aires, where she cut her teeth as a dance journalist working on the tango section. Today she continues to dance everything from ballroom to breakdance, with varying degrees of success. Her debut novel, The Girl Before You, was published last year in paperback, ebook and audiobook.

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