Academy of Dance pupils in star-studded pantos

It’s panto time - oh yes it is - and a golden opportunity for dance students to show off their fancy moves alongside pop stars and television celebrities.

It’s panto time - oh yes it is - and a golden opportunity for dance students to show off their fancy moves alongside pop stars and television celebrities.

Chesterfield’s Academy of Dance is particularly proud of its pupils this year as 21 of them will be dancing their way through professional pantos across the region.

Principal Judith Littlewood said: “It is one of our largest groups of girls in panto so a really good year.”

Taking part in Jack and the Beanstalk, the first of the region’s pantos which opened last weekend at Nottingham Playhouse, are Jade Lee, Olivia Watson, Phoebe Wallington, Molly Thornton Watts and Millie Wilson. They are treading the boards with legendary scriptwriter, director and panto dame Kenneth Alan Taylor.

Joining S Club 7’s Tina Barrett and ITV’s Superstar contender Jon Moses at Chesterfield Pomegranate for the panto Beauty and the Beast are academy students Alice Wilson and Elise Taylor.

Jamie-Lea Jones and Eleanor Goddard-Molyneux will also be appearing in Beauty and the Beast, but at Rotherhan Civic Theatre where the star is Oliver Mellor who plays Dr Matt Carter in Coronation Street.

Amy Marsh, Phoebe Cooper and Aidan Greenfield will be stepping out with Ian ‘H’ Watkins from the pop group Steps in Jack and the Beanstalk at the Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield.

The biggest contingent of dance students is heading for Mansfield Palace Theatre. The academy team, comprising Amy Young, Bethan Tyas, Larissa Wallington, Abigail Orwin, Sophie Toyn, Rebekah Radford, Lucie Hardy and Ellie Partridge, will be performing alongside Hi-de-Hi’s Ruth Madoc and children’s TV favourite Dave Benson-Phillips in Cinderella.

Over at Buxton Opera House, academy student Amber Marriott will be dancing in Cinderella where the stars of the show are Sarah Thomas from Last of the Summer Wine and Jonny Freeman from CBBC’s M.I. High.