Pupils lead the way at Copley
Thursday 15th January 2015 @ 12:15 by Mark Phillip

It’s not often you’ll hear a teacher bemoan the lack of time spent with pupils on a daily basis, but for one devoted leader, things are completely different.

Becci (middle) with two other Spectrum dancers.

Becci (middle) with two other Spectrum dancers.

Over the course of last year, in which a series of accolades were racked up, Copley Dance Academy appear to have stamped their authority in the dancing world.

Rebecca Cunningham, who is head of dance at the Stalybridge campus, has instilled a winning mentality into all those that represent the school and reaped the rewards in doing so.

According to her, the 90 minute sessions provided to pupils per week just isn’t enough.

She told Reporter Sport “We currently have one training session, per team, per week, which usually last about an hour and a half long.

“I would love to have them much longer, probably three times a week, but there’s only one of me and nine teams.”

The squads Becci alludes to have certainly showcased some exceptional talent of late, with recent assessments graded at A*-C, but those unfamiliar with the sport would be mistaken in thinking it’s been an easy ride.

The dance teacher, who is currently pregnant, has attributed recent achievements to a fusion of intrinsic talent and hellish sacrifice.

She told us “there’s some amazing talent who dance with us here but also with different clubs across the borough.

“When they dance in a competition, it’s only between two and two and a half minutes long, but I can tell you from my competitive days that when you’re banging out a routine, trying to make it spot on is very strenuous.”

The physical boundaries are certainly pushed to the limit during competition time, and Becci assured us that the effort required to achieve success is taxing on the body.

She added “I’ve seen some girls be physically sick after a two minute routine which shows how difficult they can be!”

The commitment of students usually transcends into their personal time, as they are often prescribed routines to practice at home in front of the mirror.

The growing influence of TV Shows such as ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ have shed light on the sport which is growing in prominence and according to Becci, it can only get bigger and better.

She added “There’s a bit more recognition surrounding it (dancing) these days with TV programmes centred on it and there’s more recognition for all the different dance styles which is really promising.”

Promising indeed, given the Academies tendency to focus on a variety of moves.

One of the more popular styles the school adopts is Hip-Hop, which over the past year has favoured both genders equally.

The influx of male dancers during September’s auditions was promising to say the least and is an aspect of the sport lauded by the Academy.

“We have lots of boys that take part in Hip-Hop, but we’re trying to get them involved with the cheerleading at the minute as well” Becci said.

“We have some pupils who come to us in year seven that have never danced before but done really well in the five years they’ve been with us.

“We also have pupils that have danced since the age of three and progressed, but as long as they’re willing to work hard then that’s all they need to get the basis for a possible career.”

High prestige competitions are scheduled for June this year which include the Nationals and Tameside Cheerleading event, which will trail December’s precursor based on Hip-Hop.

Regardless of the style practiced and competition entered, the Academy has proven on numerous occasions that they have every chance of dancing their way to success with Becci at the helm.