Sunday, 24 October 2021

Girl, 11, dances with stars on Strictly

A YOUNG ballroom dancer has fulfilled a dream after performing with the stars on Strictly

A YOUNG ballroom dancer has fulfilled a dream after performing with the stars on Strictly Come Dancing.

Madison Ingoldsby, 11, of Wargrave Road, Henley, has been performing since she was six and competes for Great Britain around the world with her partner, Korey Andrews, 12, from Somerset.

But the highlight of her career so far came last month when the pair were invited to dance with the professional dancers and celebrity contestants during the opening routine of the BBC’s hit show.

Madison said: "It was really fun and I loved seeing all the pros and celebrities.

"I met Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman and all the judges. My favourites were [dancers] AJ Pritchard and Chloe Hewitt. I was a bit nervous but really excited at the same time and I couldn’t wait to go on stage.

"It was really cool and petals came down as we danced, which I liked — it was magical."

Her mother Jane Vaughan, who used to dance herself, was in the audience.

Mrs Vaughan, 47, said: "I was so proud I cried. I see a lot of talent but the atmosphere and the whole evening was incredible.

"There are not many children that get that opportunity. It was a dream come true and the chance of a lifetime. The judges and professional dancers were lovely and made you feel so welcome.”

In 2014 Madison and her then partner Jamie Meah performed with dancers Anton Du Beke and Erin Boag at the Royal Albert Hall and appeared on spin-off show Strictly — It Takes Two, where they presented dance tutorials.

At that time she was considered too young to appear on the main show, so when her mother was contacted with an invitation for Madison to appear on the latest series, they were both delighted.

The routine was filmed just an hour before the Saturday night show was broadcast.

Mrs Vaughan said: "The professional dancers were on first and then the kids went on halfway through the number and they danced together. It takes a lot for me to have a tear in my eye but there was."

Madison discovered a passion for ballroom and Latin dancing after her mother took her to the Broadway Dance Centre in Birmingham, where she had learned.

"I suppose I was an influence because I used to dance as a little girl and let her do all the different classes and she just loved doing it."

Soon after starting, Madison had her first victory in a singles competition in the ballroom and Latin categories.

She then started dancing in a pair with Jamie, which meant Mrs Ingoldsby had to take her to Birmingham every weekend for classes.

She said: "The partnership with the boys is like a mini-marriage and requires commitment — you can’t just let the other person down, you have to be there."

The commitment paid off as Madison and Jamie started to win competitions and in 2014 they represented Team GB with three other UK couples and won the world championships held at Winter Gardens, Blackpool.

In October last year they were crowned the number one juvenile couple at the international championships in Brentwood.

Madison, a pupil at Claires Court School in Maidenhead, has been dancing with Korey since February and their first performance was in front of thousands of fans at the Excel arena in London.

Their first competition was the Easter Festival in Blackpool, where they made the top 48 under-16 dancers in the world. The pair represent Great Britain at competitions around the world.

This year, they went to Israel and won the ballroom class and came second in the Latin class and to Germany, where they won the Latin class and came fourth in ballroom.

Madison played the lead role in Annie at the Arts Theatre in London last year and next month she will play Dorothy in a production of The Wizard of Oz at the Kenton Theatre in Henley.

Mrs Vaughan said: "She loves her dancing and she does a little bit of singing."

As for Madison, she wants to become a professional ballroom dancer. She said: "When I’m older I want to dance on Strictly again."

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