Dancer steps forward

A FENLAND teenager, who attends a dance academy in March, is among those hoping to steal the limelight in this year’s ROI Cambridgeshire Young People of the Year Awards.

The awards recognise inspiring young people and carry a total cash pot prize of £2,000.

Fifteen-year-old Courtney Few not only learns herself but also helps run classes for juniors and keeps dancers going with food and drink.

Courtney, of March, was nominated by Dance Mania principal, Lisa Dickinson, who teachers at the Station Road community centre.

Courtney started taking lessons at the academy when she was four. She started to help at the age of 12 as part of a community project with her school, the Neale-Wade Community College, and has continued to lend a hand ever since.

Two nights a week she helps with classes for four to 11-year-olds, warming up the dancers and doing some choreography.

On Saturdays with different classes taking place Courtney runs a tuck shop for the performers. She also helps with administration, typing letters and doing research for props.

And at times she looks after Lisa’s two youngsters, five-year-old Lyla and two-year-old Lola, while their mum is teaching.

“Courtney has inspired other young people at the academy to offer different forms of help,” said Lisa. “The kids look up to her and respect her. She helps me a lot which makes my life easier.”

Courtney explained when she first started to help she assisted in setting-up classes and encouraging the youngsters.

“I enjoyed it so much that I carried on,” she said, adding: “I love doing everything at the academy, helping others as well as learning commercial jazz, tap and ballet.”

YOPEY founder Tony Gearing said: “It’s great to hear of somebody like Courtney who goes along to something as part of a school project and enjoys it so much that they can continue to volunteer and even extend that help.”

Local sponsors of the YOPEY awards include March-based ROI and Wisbech-based Hutchinsons. Deadline for entries has been extended to Saturday August 13.

The awards are open to young people aged from 10 to 25 who live, work or study in Cambridgeshire. Log on to: www.yopey.org <http://www.yopey.org> for details or send a stamped addressed envelope for an entry form to: YOPEY, PO Box 236, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 1DP. Young people can nominate themselves.