The WOW Factor

WOW has turned all Simon Cowellish!
She is currently judging some of the regional heats in the fantastic Dance For life programme, run by the British Red Cross. Mind you, the tables will turn if WOW and Mark Foster put in a performance at the Grand Finale at the O2 venue in July. (Press release follows.)

O2 Hosts British Red Cross Dance for Life final
Over 5000 young people have signed up to take part in Dance for life this year creating Dance on Moving and thought provoking Global issues such as Child Soldiers, Haiti, HIV and climate change to name just a few.

Primary schools, secondary schools, colleges, dance groups and youth groups from across the UK have signed up to be part of Dance for Life 2010. Young people from have been battling it out in heats across the country and finalists will be performing at the IndigO2 Rooms at the prestigious O2 Dome on July 18 for a chance to be crowned winners of the Dance for Life 2010. The events supported by Britain’s Got Talent Winners Diversity are open to all young people who love to dance, regardless of their ability.
Dance for life Project Manager, Laura Deacon, said: “By taking part in Dance for Life you could join the young performers from across the country who have already come together to do something amazing for charity and celebrate the work of the Red Cross through dance. This year the competition has gone nationwide so we hope to raise even more money for vulnerable people in crisis in the UK and overseas.”
Tickets are now on sale for the event at and there is still time to get involved in the most enjoyable fundraising dance event of the year and raise money for the lifesaving work of the British Red Cross.

Young performers can enjoy dancing while raising money for the world’s largest humanitarian network. Dance for Life is part of Youth Dance England’s national U.Dance programme, which aims to give every child and young person in England the opportunity to take part in a dance performance each year. Since 2006 over 10,000 young people have taken part in Dance for Life and have helped raise £165,000 for the Red Cross.
The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies. We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.

Dance Launch in Manchester

Wheelchair dancers are masters of spin
A spectacular wheelchair dancing showcase is being held this Saturday (15 May) at Wythenshawe Forum. The showcase is the culmination of a series of classes taught by Wythenshawe resident Ray Bulpitt, who was also one of the consultants to the recent BBC3 Dancing on Wheels series.

The ballroom and Latin dancing classes were open to wheelchair users and their able-bodied friends or relatives and the course was the first of its kind in the north of England. 'Strictly Wheelchair Dancing' was open to all ages and abilities, but was aimed at people who wanted to progress to a high standard and perhaps go on to become wheelchair dance coaches themselves.
And now, after 10 weeks of training, the dancers are ready to demonstrate their skills in the main hall at Wythenshawe Forum from 1pm to 4pm on Saturday. Di Morgan-Hill, who was runner-up on the Dancing on Wheels series will be in the audience, along with Sue Cummings, president of the Wheelchair Dance Association.

Ray Bulpitt said: "The participants have put in a tremendous amount of effort and will be going on to national competition level. To dance in a wheelchair takes a great deal of control, co-ordination and determination. But, the results are worth it and the exhilaration from being at one with the music is incredible."Councillor Mike Amesbury, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure at Manchester City Council, said: "I think the audience on Saturday will be blown away by how graceful the dancers are. This has been a fantastic course and it's great that Manchester has been leading the way in a sport which is also an art form."
Disability Sports UK has backed the Strictly Wheelchair Dancing project, which has been jointly funded by Manchester City Council and NHS Manchester. Laura Roberts, Chief Executive of NHS Manchester, said: "Saturday sounds like it is going to be an exciting day. I'm certain that the dancers will not only be entertaining, but will really enjoy it themselves. I'm delighted to hear that so many people both able-bodied and disabled have taken part in the course."

(Manchester City Council news feed, 14th May 2010.)

Dance Champions Press Release

Olympic gold medallist Mark Foster, who stars in BBC 3’s Dancing on Wheels, championed dance for people of all abilities at the UK’s first Dance Summit, in London.
He’s part of the Dance Champions Group (, an alliance of the nation’s top dancing and exercise personalities working towards a goal of inspiring 100,000 people of all abilities to take up dance by 2012.

Mark, and his TV dance partner Diana Morgan-Hill, attended the Dance Champions Dance Summit, at which dance and exercise experts from across the country devised a strategy to increase public participation.While the main aim is to improve public fitness, the Champions are also keen to emphasise the general benefits gained through dance and its ability to breakdown social barriers.
Geoff, Diana, Mark and James

In a recent YouGov survey on behalf of the Dance Champions Group, 68% of those questioned believed dance was a good way to bring people together. 64% stated that they would happily dance with a partner from a differing religion, culture or physical ability.

Mark Foster commented: “Dancing on Wheels was an amazing and humbling experience for me. After a few minutes on the dance floor with Di, I had completely forgotten her disability and it was just a connection between two people. I absolutely loved dancing with her and she taught me a lot. I realised how much more thought Di had to put into every daily action and realised how lucky I am.”

Mark’s ‘Dancing on Wheels’ dance partner Diana Morgan Hill commented: “After nearly 20 'dance free' years to be given the opportunity to dance again has been, and will continue to be, one of the most wonderful experiences in my life.

”Dance brings me so much joy and this incredible experience has in turn re-ignited my love for music and creative movement, along with the happiness and fulfillment from learning something new.”

The Dance Champions Group includes TV broadcaster Angela Rippon
Angela and Diana

Capital Radio presenter Lisa Snowdon
Diana, Mark and Lisa

professional dancers Darren Bennett and Camilla Dallerup, Olympic swimmer Mark Foster, Choreographer Wayne McGregor, Janet Archer from the Arts Council and is chaired by Rod Aldridge, Chair of the Aldridge Foundation
Rod and Diana

with the Physical Activity Alliance leading on delivery of the Dance Champions initiatives.

For further information visit