Monday, July 22, 2024

Heartache for dancers as Perri Kiely’s old school “denies them” Sky audition.

A THURROCK primary school has been branded as “heartless” by parents for denying their children the chance to audition for Sky TV’s “Got to Dance” minutes before they were due to go on.

Purfleet-based, Urban All Starz Dance Group had been practising for months for their big chance in front of the judges that included Ashley Banjo from Diversity.

But problems began when the producers told them they needed an e-mail from their schools confirming they had authorised absences.

E-mails were sent to the three schools: West Thurrock, Purfleet and Holy Cross primary. The first two schools quickly responded confirming that they were aware of the absences and had authorised them.

Holy Cross in Daiglen Drive, South Ockendon replied that the pupils were out of school without permission and so no authorisation could be given.

Parent, Sandra Kerin takes up the story: “The producers turned to us and said they could not go on. The kids were heartbroken and in tears.

“All they wanted to do was dance and the school took their dream away.”

The remaining eight completed the audition but they failed they did not get through.

Asked why they did not get permission in the first place, Ms Kerin said: “We asked but were told that they would not be given permission so we took the chance and came unstuck.

“There was a hard-heartedness and unwillingness to co-operate right from the beginning.

YT spoke to Holy Cross headteacher, Maria Shepherd.

She said: “I was enforcing policy as laid down by the governors.”

By co-incidence, Diversity’s Perri Kiely is a former pupil of Holy Cross.

The dance troupe have regrouped and will be performing at Trust’s Black History Month event at the Thameside Theatre from 6pm to 9pm on Friday October 7th.


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