Pandemic can’t stop Bedford dancers qualifying for 2021 Dance World Cup

Getting the good news! Top row: Hazel, Ava Bottom row: Elsie, D’Lainie

A team of young dancers from Bedford have fought off fierce national competition and contended with a global pandemic to gain coveted places on Team England to compete at the Dance World Cup in 2021.

The dedicated dancers usually train between 10-20 hours a week at ELEV8 Studios Dance Academy in Bedford and lockdown wasn’t going to stop them from packing in the practice sessions.

Coronavirus guidelines may have prevented them from visiting the dance studio, but they’ve continued to train and take daily ELEV8 classes via Zoom – and the practice has paid off.

The nine dancers will represent England at the Dance World Cup Final which was due to take place in Rome this year.

As a consequence of the pandemic, this year’s Dance World Cup Final has been postponed and will take place alongside the 2021 competition next year.

Ava, 10 (Sharnbrook), D’Lainie, 9 (Bromham), Elsie, 10 (Bedford) and Hazel, 9 (Lavendon) have been selected to perform a Classical Ballet Quartet in the youngest age category.

Alexa, 13 (Sharnbrook), Emma, 12 (Lavendon) and Sophie, 18 (Sharnbrook) have all been selected as soloists.

Alexa and Emma will both compete as classical ballet soloists and Sophie will compete in the Commercial Dance section.

For the second year in a row, Lior, 13 (Clapham) and Will, 17 (Sharnbrook) have also been selected for Team England as soloists.

Lior won a silver medal in 2019 and is going back in full force – performing three solos in Theatre Jazz and Classical Ballet.

After his success last year, Will is competing with two Classical Ballet Solos, Lyrical Solo and Classical Ballet Pas De Deux (with Emma).

ELEV8’s co-director, Angela Feehan said, “Like all businesses, we found ourselves in a completely foreign situation and we have done all we can to keep our students dancing and having fun, offering structure and some semblance of normal for all of us.

“Zoom did have its challenges to begin with, but all of our students and teachers have adapted brilliantly and we’ve seen amazing progress and enthusiasm from everyone.”

“The benefits of moving to an online platform during this time have been amazing – we are so proud of everything our students and team have achieved,” added co-director, Sarah Young.

“Of course they look forward to a time when it is safe to return to dance, but in the meantime, this talented group of dancers won’t let anything stop them.

“The new venue and dates for the competition will be released later this Autumn and they’re all extremely excited.

“Virtual Dance Classes have been keeping everyone busy at ELEV8 STUDIOS – not even the pandemic will stop them.”

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