Dancing in the streets

Dancing in the streets

26th July 2013


A PERFORMING arts teacher will be dancing in the streets alongside Britain’s Got Talent sensations Diversity.

Darlington College performance skills tutor Mattie Campbell has been chosen to appear on new SKY 1 HD TV show Ashley Banjo: The Town That Danced Again, which is set to air later this year.

The show will feature star choreographer Ashley Banjo, with the help of Diversity, persuading the people of Stockton-on-Tees to join him in a street dance spectacular, which he hopes will bring the whole community together.

It will focus on workers, ranging from shop assistants and market traders to teachers and librarians, who will be taught routines which will be linked together to create a public dance performance on the town’s high street on Sunday, July 14.

Mattie, 24, of Billingham, who trained at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, set up by ex-Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, said: “Alongside teaching at Darlington College I also run The Picture House, a music venue and dance studios in Billingham.

“The production company for SKY initially contacted me looking to hire studio space to hold the rehearsals for the show.

“When they heard about my past experience in performing arts they suggested that I audition to be one of the dancers so I rang the producers for a chat.

“When they called me back my mum Christine answered, as she does like a good chat, and when they had finished talking to her they invited us both to audition.”

Mattie and his Mum were both successful in the auditions and have now been rehearsing, with the leisure and entertainment group Diversity and dozens of wanabee street dancers from across the region.

“To dance with Diversity is absolutely amazing,” said Mattie. “I see at lot of dancers in my job, but they are something else. Their work ethic and chemistry are amazing but they always find time to have fun.

“To be a part of the show is a once in a lifetime experience and mum and I have met some fantastic people in our group.”

Mattie is also bringing his experience of the production back to the classroom to help inspire his students.

“Darlington College’s NCFE performance skills using acting is a new one year course which started in September last year,” he added.

“We currently have 40 students on the programme, which is a sub set of the college’s computer game design course.

“Performance abilities are great transferable skills which give you a basis to really broaden your imagination and this really helps students on the course create much more elaborate characters for their games.

“Hopefully the college will be running an introduction to performing arts as evening classes next term and courses on street dancing so I’ll be able to use the skills I’ve picked up from the best dancers in the industry to get Darlington College dancing.”

For more information on Darlington College courses contact (01325) 503030 or log on to www.darlington.ac.uk.

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