Dad inspires dancer Amy to put on a show for children's hospice
WHEN Amy Horsley's dad died, dance was a way of moving forward with her life.
The 20-year-old, who had been helped by him to open and run a dance studio in Spain, was inspired to set up a dance group in her home town of Wirksworth after his death.
Now she is performing with her group in a show she is putting on to raise money for a children's charity.
Amy, of Recreation Road, Wirksworth, said: "I've always danced, ever since I was three years old.
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"When I left school at the age of 17, I moved to Spain with my parents, who had retired. There was an opportunity for an old bank to be renovated so my mum and dad bought it for me as a Christmas present and we turned it into a dance studio.
"My dad used to work on reception and my mum, who was a singer and dancer herself, helped with the musical theatre classes. It was a very family-based business. We did street dance and cheerleading. It was very successful and was open every day. We had about 170 students."
The family moved back to Wirksworth in February 2010 after dad Dennis became unwell. He died, aged 50, of a brain haemorrhage in May that same year while on holiday in Majorca.
"When I lost my dad, I needed something to occupy myself with," said Amy, who works as a support worker at Wirksworth Infant School. "I found it really hard but dance was a way to do this."
She visited Wirksworth's Anthony Gell School – where she was once a pupil – and appealed for students to join her class. The group, called Centre Stage Dance, was formed in June 2010 and now meets every Wednesday evening at Wirksworth Methodist Church.
Now, the dancers are performing the show called Show Em What We're Made Of on Friday and Saturday, February 8 and 9, at the school to raise funds for Rainbows – the East Midlands hospice for children and young people.
Amy said: "When I was younger I had pneumonia. I was three years old and was in hospital at the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham for eight weeks.
"We wrote down a list of charities and because the members of the group are children, they wanted to give something back to a children's charity."
Amy's mum, Beverley, 50, said: "She was kept in for a long time and I had to stay with her. When Amy was deciding which charity to donate the funds to, I suggested Rainbows.
"When she was in hospital she had to be put on a cancer ward because there weren't enough beds. There was a little girl who had cancer in the bed next to her and she died overnight – I always remember that.
"That's why Rainbows seemed quite fitting as the chosen charity. It helps a lot of families."
Tickets for the show cost £5 and can be bought from the Rainbows Hospice shop in Firs Parade, Matlock, by calling 07815 443447 or by e-mailing centrestagedance@ hotmail.co.uk.