Youngsters step up in pop dance festival

Rowner Pop Academy took place  for children to learn how to sing and dance at Nimrod Community Centre in Rowner.  Pictured is: (l-r) Rebecca Caines (10) and Ashten Barr (8) during one of the moves they learnt.  Picture: Sarah Standing (122627-1374)
Rowner Pop Academy took place for children to learn how to sing and dance at Nimrod Community Centre in Rowner. Pictured is: (l-r) Rebecca Caines (10) and Ashten Barr (8) during one of the moves they learnt. Picture: Sarah Standing (122627-1374)
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Youngsters from Rowner became pop stars for a week.

Singing and dancing all week long, the children, aged between 8 and 11, took part in the Rowner Pop Academy at Nimrod Community Centre.

The group of 30 children danced to contemporary pop music by artists such as Chris Brown, Cheryl Cole and Olly Murs.

They designed their own dance routines which they performed to family and friends at the end of the week.

Stuart Mills, of the First Wessex Housing Association, helped run the workshop which was held for children in and around the Rowner area in Gosport.

He says: ‘It was a full week of activity. It’s something for young people to do in the summer holidays but it’s also something for them to learn and achieve.

‘They have learnt lots of skills in singing and dancing and they have learnt about working together.

‘They had a great time. It’s the second time we have run it and we have had a few people come back.

‘People that live in this area might not be able to afford some of the activities.

‘This was a chance for people on a lower income to have something to do.

‘They can’t afford to do what other people can so it’s important to give them the opportunity to do that.

‘Looking at the dance routines it looked really good.’

Dance tutor Caroline Browning adds: ‘They did really well, it was really good.

‘They are really good kids. They really enjoy it.

‘It gives them something to do rather than just hanging around the streets.

‘They feel like they have achieved something. It’s good exercise for them and it stops them being bored.’

Amie McMonagle, 30, from Marlborough Road in Gosport, went to watch her 10-year-old daughter Amelia take part.

She says: ‘Amelia loved it. Every time it’s on she signs up. It’s just something different to do, it’s the dancing and the singing. You don’t normally get both together.

‘She did the show at the end of the week and we went to watch, it was great. It’s very good value for money, if it could run all through the summer holidays that would be brilliant.’