Bedford dance teacher wins ‘inspire initiative’ award


Dance teacher Nisha Vyas-Myall has been award the judgesโ€™ prize in the Inspire Initiative awards thanks to the work she does teaching children dance at schools and community centres.

The Inspire Initiative is a competition set up by leading Bedford business mentor Elizabeth Toogood of Elizabeth Toogood Critical Friend, who was recently part of the “Celebrating The Women of Bedfordshire” exhibition at The Higgins Bedford. The competition asked businesswomen who live and/or work in Bedfordshire to submit a video, blog post or presentation about someone who inspired them.

Nisha spoke about her own dance teacher, Gemma Stoddard, who inspired her teaching style and the ethos behind Nishaโ€™s company, VyMy Dance & Fitness. The business has been running for three years and has had slots at the River Festival and Bedfringe, and has participated in the 1Step Youth Dance Platform since it began in 2017.

The prize, two years of business mentorship, will now help Nisha to grow her business: โ€œIโ€™m hoping to get the knowledge and tools to expand the amount of schools I visit and create more performance opportunities. In the long term, I hope to create a dance hub for Bedford, where all dance schools can support and learn from each other and work within the community.โ€

Speaking about the awards, Elizabeth Toogood, says she hopes all the winners will now go on and inspire other women in the area: โ€œWe awarded four prizes. Nisha Vyas-Myallโ€™s enthusiasm was palpable and her passion infectious. We wanted her to have the opportunity to develop the business skills to make her vision a viable reality. Elizabeth Howard won the free draw and is developing a training business based on dramatic performance. Anne Harnan and Sharon De Leonardis were given special awards to support them in their community projects. These four women are special and will contribute to both Bedfordshire life and probably on a national stage. All this will roll out in the next six months to two years. Watch this space!โ€

The Celebrating The Women of Bedfordshire exhibition reflects on women in Bedfordshireโ€™s achievements in those 100 years. From aviators to opera singers, designers to engineers, and rugby players to Suffragettes Bedfordshire has a long history of great women. The exhibition runs until 28th September.