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Tap dancer, 12, shuffles off in time to beat world’s best
10:30am Thursday 10th October 2013 in News
WE are used to clashing with the Germans over sport, mostly football.
But now a 12-year-old girl is preparing to step out in the German region of Saxony in a bid to claim victory for England in the World Tap Dancing Championships.
Lily Clifton, of Whitehouse Road, Woodcote, will be the youngest member of our 35-strong national team trying to shuffle, hop, step, tap and ball change their way to victory in Germany.
Lily – who has been dancing since the age of three – will head to Riesa, near Dresden, for the annual world competition. Lily, who goes to school at St Helen & St Katharine in Abingdon, will perform in the trio section.
And she will be hoping to be Oxfordshire’s very own Ginger Rogers when she tap dances between December 1 and 8 She is part of England’s team Tap Attack – and had to get through three rounds of countrywide auditions to get this far.
Lily said: “To be selected to represent your country at anything is a massive honour.
“It took a huge amount of effort to get through the three rounds of auditions just to be selected for the training company and since then real dedication to travel to training in Reading each Sunday.”
She beat off competition from hundreds of tap dancers between the ages of 10 and 27.
She dances at Dance Connection, a studio based at Oxford’s Greyhound Stadium.
Her mum, Sam, who runs Dance Connection, said: “Lily was so excited to be picked. She literally was jumping up and down.
“She was not expecting to be picked for the England team and for her just to be able to wear the tracksuit with the words ‘England Team’ on the back is so amazing.
“She trains every Sunday down in Reading, which is really lucky for us as it is so close by, but there are some having to travel so much further than we are.
“Even though she is the youngest and there are girls there a lot older than her, it is really good because they are good at mentoring the younger ones.”
After school, the youngster wants to go to dance college and pursue a career in dance.
England head coach Jo Scanlan said: “Hundreds of dancers aged from 10 to 27 auditioned this year and competition for places was tough, but Lily has worked extremely hard and shown huge commitment and therefore we were thrilled to be able to offer her a place in the final 35.”
To help the England team reach their fundraising target of £25,000, call Sam Clifton on 07870 501831 or email email@example.com
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