Don’t Stop Me Now! Dancing display for Shelbi is streets ahead

ALL THE MOVES The flashmob street dancers in Waterlooville.     Pictures: Malcolm Wells (111282-437)
ALL THE MOVES The flashmob street dancers in Waterlooville. Pictures: Malcolm Wells (111282-437)
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IT was a dazzling display of dancing in the street.

A team of around 30 nursery workers, most of whom had never danced before, strutted their stuff in the middle of Waterlooville town centre to raise money for a courageous young girl.

SMILES Shelbi Grist, front, with the dancers   (111282-445)

SMILES Shelbi Grist, front, with the dancers (111282-445)

Shoppers stopped in their tracks to watch the up-tempo performance – fittingly soundtracked by Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now.

The song signified the determination of 16-year-old Shelbi Grist, who has battled with a rare bone condition and has now given herself a fighting chance of competing in the Paralympics in wheelchair basketball.

Her bones are so brittle that even bouncing a basketball can break her fingers.

The teenager, who has won national awards for her bravery, was invited to Growing Places nursery to talk about why she never gives up.

The visit was part of a training session for young staff at the company, which has nurseries in Havant, Waterlooville and Fareham.

Staff were so impressed with her courage that they decided to do a street dance to raise cash to help her bid for the 2016 Paralympics.

David Smith, 21, from Fareham, managed to remember most of his moves.

He said: ‘It was amazingly scary! We have had 10 weeks of training and it was easy in practice, but then you get here and see a ring of people watching.

‘Once you started dancing, though, it was fun. I freestyled some of it.’

Dulcie Warren, 56, who came up with the dance idea, said: ‘We thought she was quite inspiring because she’s been through so much but still manages to achieve things.

‘We practised in the car park to get the feeling of being outside.

‘We have loved it so much most of us want to carry on dancing. It’s such a fun thing to do.’

Becky Smith, 29, from Fratton, is a parent of one of the youngsters at the nursery in Crookhorn and choreographed the routine.

She said: ‘It showed in that performance that anyone, even if they haven’t had dance training, can do it.’

And it certainly brought a big grin to Shelbi’s face.

The South Downs College student, of Linnet Close, Wecock, said: ‘It was nice of them. I thought it was a really good dance. I wouldn’t have been brave enough to do it! It’s nice of them to help me out.’

The dance is expected to raise hundreds of pounds through sponsorship and donations. Anyone who would like to donate can call (023) 9225 8557.