Monday, 18 October 2021

Tap dancer, 12, to compete at world championships

A GIRL from Woodcote has been selected to represent England at the world tap championships.

A GIRL from Woodcote has been selected to represent England at the world tap championships.

Lily Clifton, 12, will fly to Germany on December 1 with the 35-strong national squad to compete in the week-long tournament.

She will take part in the trio section with a routine called Jazz Police.

Lily, who is one of the youngest members of the squad, has been dancing since the age of three as her mother Sam runs dance school Dance Connection.

She is trained in a range of styles including tap, modern and ballet.

Eighteen months ago she successfully auditioned for a place with national tap school Tap Attack, which is based in Reading and provides all the candidates for the England squad. When she first joined, she only had to attend rehearsals once a month but since joining the main company in April she must practise all day every Sunday.

Her mother said: “We’re lucky that the school is right on our doorstep. There are kids who come from as far as Scotland and Cornwall every week.

“Lily is very good at coping under pressure — she has to be. The speed at which they teach them and expect them to pick stuff up is incredible.

“She doesn’t buckle at all — she is very confident and thrives on the challenge.”

Lily will travel to Germany with her mother and her father Tony, of Whitehouse Road. Her brother Alfie, 16, is staying at home as he has school exams. Each competitor has to raise £1,000 to cover the cost of the trip to Riesa, near Dresden. They are raising the money as a group by dancing at private functions around the country.

Lily has also received donations from friends, family and businesses, including £100 from Caversham dance supplies shop Dancia.

Mrs Clifton said: “We are incredibly proud. Dance is a passion I share with Lily so it’s great to see her go off and compete at such a high level.”

Lily hopes to go to dance college after finishing at St Helen and St Katharine School in Abingdon and then pursue a professional career.

Mrs Clifton said: “She is very young to be making those decisions but once it’s in your blood, it’s in your blood. I would be amazed if she did anything else.”

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