YOUNG dancers showed off their moves to help boost charity with a two-and-a-half hour Danceathon.

Angels Performing Arts dance school in Didcot raised just under £1,500 to keep children in Didcot dancing by supporting the charity Off the Streets. It also donated cash to local fundraisers Play2Give.

The event took place before on March 8 at The Park Club in Didcot – before the country went into lockdown and the school was forced to move online.

Thirty dance students were sponsored to dance their socks off for more than two hours straight without stopping.

The dancers smashed last year’s total of £1,280. The aim for next year’s Danceathon is to raise money to take the dancers to Disneyland Paris.

Andy Baker, the founder of Play2give showed his support and joined in the fun at the Danceathon by showing off his own dance skills.

Jennie Featherstone, who runs the dance school, said: “The kids were exhausted. They had so much fun. The parents got involved and made cakes and we had a big raffle.

"It was a really good fun day.”

The fundraising was for Off the Streets, a charity founded by Ms Featherstone which gives less fortunate children the opportunity to join dance classes.

She said: “It is for children who might not necessarily be able to afford to come to dance.

"They might be in social care, have disabilities or they might be students that have been with us for years but have seen their circumstances change – so we fund their dance fees.”

The dance school has been running for nearly nine years and has handed out nearly £50,000 worth of scholarships to children through the scheme.

Ms Featherstone said: “I’m a single parent of four so I know how hard it is for people.

"Dance has been my passion since I was a young girl myself. It is great to see kids doing something they enjoy. We believe all children should be able to dance if they want to.”

This year the money raised for the Off the Streets charity will go towards costumes for youngsters who will be dancing in a show at Her Majesty’s Theatre London in September.

The Didcot dance school has not let coronavirus stop them from enjoying dance and has taken the classes online with Zoom.

Ms Featherstone said: “We have been doing zoom classes, which has been really successful. Almost 90 per cent of the kids have stayed with us, which just shows how committed they are. It has been fun still seeing them week to week.

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“We are not letting coronavirus get to us. We have got a lot of children who have got autism and this keeps their mental health going as well. It has made me realise how lost I am without it. I’m sure all the kids feel the same.”

Ms Featherstone is also putting on free dance taster sessions using Instagram.