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Carlisle dads take to the ballroom in a ‘Strictly’ style extravaganza

A local theatre school is set to raise hundreds of pounds for charity with the help of some nervous dads. Rehearsals are currently underway for a spectacular event to be held at the Hallmark Hotel in Carlisle on Friday 3rd, Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th May.

Razzamataz Carlisle will be putting on a Strictly Come Razzing show, involving, staff, parents and students as Principal Debbie Mitchell explains: “I was involved in a similar event in my home town of Dumfries in 2015 and 2017 that raised thousands of pounds for local charities. I had often thought that this would make a great event for Razzamataz. With the backing of my wonderful team of teachers and students’ families, I decided that this year would be a great time to go for it.”

Eight Razzamataz teachers have partnered with eight Razzamataz dads and are currently rehearsing a routine in their couples to perform in the show. The event will also feature students who take the Razz Project Intense classes who will open with a fabulous dance routine. Some of the Razzamataz mums are also rehearsing for a special mums’ number to close the show, which will feature audience voting, judges scores and a disco to end the night.

“We have recently had our launch night and it was wonderful to see so many excited, nervous and enthusiastic parents ready to get involved and give their all,” says Debbie. “Everyone is really looking forward to it and willing to put lots of work into making it a great success. For most of the parents, this is taking them completely out of their comfort zone and it is a definite first for them. But they are in safe hands because the Razzamataz team are leading the rehearsals while allowing for lots of creative input from the parents too.”

Razzamataz Carlisle are very committed to fundraising, having raised thousands of pounds over the years for various charities. For this event, Debbie will be fundraising for the school’s own charity, Future Fund, which helps to finance a former Razzamataz student through further performing arts education and CFM Cash for Kids. Each couple will also be selecting a charity close to their own hearts to raise money through sponsorship and donations.

Katie Jones, CFM Cash for Kids Charity Manager says: “We are delighted to have been chosen by Razzamataz Carlisle to receive proceeds from this exciting event, alongside the Razzamataz Future Fund. The young students who attend the theatre school have always been very supportive of CFM Cash for Kids, and it’s great to see that these kids want to help and make a real difference to those in their community, who are less fortunate or have a disability. We believe that all children deserve to reach their full potential in life and with the support from Razzamataz and friends, we can really help children achieve more. We’re really looking forward to watching the show and hope you can make it along to see it too.”

Razzamataz Carlisle will be helping to raise money through ticket sales as well as looking for local businesses to sponsor the event. The team will also be holding an auction and raffle on the performance evening, so there are plenty of ways to get involved.

If you are able to help, please contact Debbie Mitchell on 07809121494 or email [email protected].

Razzamataz Carlisle offers performing arts classes for all children with a strong focus on keeping fit and active, having fun and making friends. Classes start at age two and go on to 18 and there are lots of chances to perform giving children the opportunity to grow in confidence.

There are currently opportunities to try a taster class for free. To book your place or find out more, contact Debbie on [email protected]. Alternatively call 07809121494 or visit Classes are every Saturday in term time at The Performing Arts Centre, Richard Rose Central Academy, Victoria Place, Carlisle.

Strictly Couples

Couple number 1; Lewis Logie and Katie McCall. Lewis and Katie are both senior students at Razzamataz Carlisle and Katie is also a member of the teaching team, teaching our littlest superstars, our Razz Minis. Both aspiring actors and with exciting futures studying performing in the pipeline, they are strong contenders to win the glitter ball trophy. Lewis says ‘I love dance, because theres no better feeling than being onstage and telling a story, wether it be though dialogue, song or dance.’ Katie adds that dance brings her ‘joy!’ and we can certainly see that in their performance.

Katie and Lewis will be dancing a lyrical routine to an acoustic version of ‘I Need a Hero’ and supporting the Razzamataz Future Fund with any sponsorship they receive.

Couple Number 2; Matty Aitchison and Charlotte Young. Matty and Charlotte are both Razzmatazz veterans and both previously been part of the teaching team at Razz Carlisle. Now, Charlotte works for Razzamataz Head Office as Creative Director and Matty is principal of Razzamataz West Cumbria! Matty said he got involved with the Strictly event in a ‘moment of madness’ and Charlotte adds they are both excited to raise money for the charities involved while having lots of fun!

Charlotte trained as a professional dancer and performer and says ‘I have danced for as long as I could stand up, and its always been a huge passion of mine, but I haven’t danced (apart from teaching) for about 15 years.’ Charlottes favourite styles of dance are street and tap.

Matty, who claims he is ‘absolutely NOT’ a good dancer (we beg to differ) trained in drama and technical theatre says his favourite styles are Musical Theatre and commercial.

What can you expect from Matty and Charlottes routine? ‘Entertainment and lots of laughs,’ say the dancing couple.

Charlotte will be fundraising for West sound Cash for Kids to support young people in and around Dumfries and Galloway. ‘I have been working for Razzamataz Dumfries for 14 years and seeing what a difference the extra mile the charity go to for people in the area is amazing.’

Matty will be supporting Eden Valley Hospice and Jigsaw Childrens Hospice. ‘They do amazing work and I want to be able to help them continue to do so’

Couple number 3; Rikki Inglesfield and Jon Ashurst! Rikki and Jon are in it to win it, and are hard at work rehearsing their dance piece which is inspired by the film ‘The Mask!’ which is definitely set to entertain and impress audiences. Rikki, who is a performing arts teacher at William Howard and has danced since she was 3 years old, is partnering Razz dad Jon who is a workshop controller at Lloyd Land Rover. Ella, Jon’s daughter who attends Razzamataz, managed to talk her dad into taking part, with a little bit of extra persuasion from Jons wife Alyssia, who is also taking part in the show making it a real family affair. Jon says ‘I enjoy drunk dancing the best and don’t take myself too seriously, I love to dance,’ with old school Ibiza music being his favourite songs to hit the dance floor too.

What can we expect from Rikki and Jon? Big smiles, high energy, 100% commitment and fun fun fun!

Jon is fundraising for Carlisle Eden Mind as he aware first hand of the growing problem of mental health issues in people of all ages and Rikki fundraising for Marie Curie.

Couple Number 4; Anna Bartle and Rab Desborough Hartley! Anna and Rab are the cool kids of the competition and will be bringing you a very impressive street dance routine to some hip hop classics. Anna teaches dance at Razzamataz Carlisle and Razzamataz Newcastle as well as dancing professionally. ‘I love the feeling you get onstage,’ says Anna. Rab, dad of Razz senior Rico, is an electrician and an audio visual engineer. A self proclaimed ‘dad dancer,’ Rap says he likes to ‘move it, move it,’ and his favourite styles of dance are street dance and jive.

Rab is raising money for the Alzheimers Society as his grandad has the condition therefore he understands the importance of funding further research. Anna is fundraising for Cancer Research, a charity close to Annas heart after her auntie passed away suddenly.

Couple number 5; Lyndsey Campbell and Paul Turney! Lyndsey is our Razztastic bookkeeper and Paul a proud Razzamadad to Inters student Benjamin who works in accountancy at Cumbria County Council. Lyndsey and Paul will be taking to the stage in a country dance inspired spectacular, complete with cowboys boots and hats. Their routine has been inspired by Paul’s passion for line dancing. ‘Dancing is a great form of exercise and stress reliever’ says Paul ‘My favourite style is line dancing, it covers every rhythm and style and theres definitely something for everyone.’ Lyndsey favourite thing about dancing is ‘letting your hair down, and having a laugh.’

Lyndsey will be fundraising for MS UK as she is was diagnosed with the condition in her early 20s. She is no stranger to fundraising for the charity and completed the London Marathon in 2015. Paul is fundraising for Diabetes UK, a charity close to his heart after his dad was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes almost 60 years ago and battled many complications for many years since.

Couple number 6; Rebecca Waters and Angus McCall! We are so excited to have Rebecca and Angus joining the competition and they are set to entertain with their ‘Rocky Horror’ inspired dance piece. Rebecca, who is Head of Singing at Razz Carlisle and also a Primary School Teacher is partnering Razz Dad Angus, who is a big supporter of everything we do at Razz and his daughters, Katie and Freya had him signed up before he had a chance to think about it. Angus says he ‘enjoys dad dancing, and is a surprisingly good at dancing to ‘I’m Sexy and I know it” and says he particularly loves dancing to embarrass his children, claiming he is a ‘dab hand at the floss!’ They are both excited about the competitions, Rebecca says ‘I love dance because it is accessible to all, wether you’re a pro or a novice.’ and adds ‘expect lots of laughter and entertainment from our dance, and maybe even a bit of horror!’

We are so excited to be entertained by this couple, and Rebecca will also be entertaining the audiences on the evening with her stunning vocals.

Rebecca and Angus are proud to be fundraising for Eden Valley Hospice. ‘They provide invaluable care and support during the most difficult time in an individuals and their families lives.’

Couple Number 7; Kayleigh Redford and Roy Hyslop. Kayleigh is principal of Razzamataz Theatre School in Newcastle and the dance teacher at Razzamataz Dumfries and Roy, razzdad to Inters student Ollie, is a tyre examiner at Pirellis. Kayleigh and Roy are set to entertain audiences with their party dance inspired medley and are hard at work in rehearsals perfecting their routine. Roy admits he is a better dancer ‘when drunk’ says he’s looking forward to having a laugh and entertaining the crowds whilst Kayleigh has her sites set on the glitterball trophy and will be pulling out all the stops to be the winners on the night!

Roy will be fundraising for We are verses arthritis as he suffers from Ankylosing spondylitis, a form of Arthritis. Kayleigh will be raising money for the Razzamataz Future Fund to support her students pursue their performing arts ambitions when they leave her school.

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