GAPA dancers surprise Katie Derham on live TV

Katie Derham with Eastenders star John Partridge, John Tsouras (Hairspray) and GAPA Principal Suzanne Gielgud
Katie Derham with Eastenders star John Partridge, John Tsouras (Hairspray) and GAPA Principal Suzanne Gielgud

Hayward’s Heath young performers have enjoyed their share of the Strictly Come Dancing limelight.

Suzanne Gielgud, principal of the Gielgud Academy of Performing Arts (GAPA), explains: “BBC TV Proms and Radio 3 presenter Katie Derham was taken by surprise on live TV on Strictly Come Dancing’s It Takes Two programme.

Natasha and Eleanor Vincent

Natasha and Eleanor Vincent

“The BBC2 TV show screened a choreographed good luck message while she watched on the set with her Strictly partner Anton Du Beke and presenter Zoe Ball.

“The dancers in the film were all pupils at the Gielgud Academy of Performing Arts (GAPA) in Haywards Heath, and the two stars of the dance film message were Katie’s very own daughters Natasha, 15, and Eleanor, 10, who are both pupils at the school.”

Suzanne added: “Katie Derham has been a staunch supporter of GAPA since its inception. In fact, both Natasha and Eleanor came along to our very first open day five years ago. Since then Katie has shown her support each year by contributing to our website films, and I felt that putting together this show of support for her and Anton was a great way of thanking her for her support over the years.

“The video message took two weeks to choreograph, rehearse, costume, film and edit and featured modern, tap, ballet and ballroom steps, culminating with score batons being held up to reveal the words Vote Katie and Anton.

“During the two weeks of preparation the whole thing had to be kept a secret from Katie to ensure she gave a genuine surprise reaction on live TV. Luckily the school (and Katie’s entire family) managed to keep the secret and the enchanting surprise reaction from Katie on the live TV show was well worth the effort.”

The full version of the dance can be seen at www.gielgudacademy.co.uk.

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