Aylsham

Tom is helping dancing dreams come true

Just Regional
Dec 9, 2022 3 mins read

A love of performing has led a Sheringham dancer to set up his own “Fame” school in the town.

After a lifetime having to travel long distances to study and practise dance, Tom Withington decided the best way to share his passion and help other local youngsters with their dreams was to set up his own performing arts academy.

“I grew up in the area and started dancing when I was two or three,” he said.

“I carried on all the way through to a BA Honours and a Masters in contemporary dance and dance performance but I had to travel quite far for that training.”

The former Aylsham High School pupil – who studied dance at the London Contemporary Dance School and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance – moved back to Sheringham after the pandemic, and realised there was a need for somewhere local youngsters could go to  widen their dance horizons.

So while also lecturing at City College and performing, he worked at setting up TWPerforming Arts.

“I wanted to provide quality, inclusive dance training,” said Tom, 27.

“We teach contemporary, ballet, commercial, jazz, creative dance but we are also looking at mental health, physical health, nutrition and strength training and learning how to support our bodies.”

Being a dancer takes its toll on the body and Tom, who is a Type 1 diabetic, knows all about the importance of staying healthy.

He has just been in The Crown, where he played the part of a dancer in a performance at The Colisseum in front of “the Queen” – played by Imelda Staunton.

“It was such a fun thing,” he said. “It was a wonderful filming day – a full theatre, TV crew…”

He said he was able to pursue his dream of dancing – with all the travelling to classes and other sacrifices – because of his parents, and parents will play a big part in the life at TWPerformingArts.

“You can’t do it without parental support and I will be forever grateful for that,” he said. “We want parents to come along so they see what we are doing and they get some support, too.”

He believes TV shows such as Strictly Come Dancing and the craze of dance challenges on TikTok have opened the world of dance to more youngsters, and he hopes his new venture will help some of them to realise their dreams – and enjoy dancing.

t For details on classes at St Joseph’s Hall on Cromer Road, visit www.twperformingarts.co.uk

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