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Youngsters set to bounce with delight

A group of young Bedfordshire dancers are jumping for joy now that they can order a specialist cushioned floor mat to practice gymnastics, acro-dance and flips.

From Press releases - 30 March 2020 12:00 AM


Around 150 dancers belong to the Gifford Dance Academy, which holds 24 weekly classes in the Stotfold area. They have just been awarded a £250 Team Sport Award from UK Power Networks through employee Carly Jukes who is a health and safety adviser for the company in Stevenage.

Carly’s daughter Scarlett, is a dancer with the academy, which began in 2015, and Carly helps out at shows and as a chaperone.

The money will go towards the special mat which means they can practise acro dance and gymnastics fused with dance including new skills, flips and tricks on the bouncy surface. “Not only will this cushioned flooring keep them safe while they master new moves it will also help them build confidence to eventually be able to perform new skills on the floor,” said head coach Rebecca Gifford.

The Mini Competition team were crowned National Champions 2019 coming top in the Dance Challenge UK National Final at Blackpool Opera House after qualifying in their regional heat. They were the highest scoring seven to eleven year old group in any dance genre from the UK including some of the top schools. Their mixed age team also came second.

The dancers have been working towards their 2020 competition season. This year as well as attending many national competitions they are excited about being invited to compete at The International Elite Dance Championships in Spain.

“Team Sport Award is a great way to support the local community,” said Carly.

UK Power Networks’ Team Sport Award scheme encourages staff to volunteer in the community and is aimed at promoting healthy living, teamwork and the development of sporting opportunities.

Hundreds of community and sports groups have benefited from grants since the scheme was set up. Last year £18,000 was donated to 70 sporting groups connected to UK Power Networks staff