Swindon AdvertiserDancing for life (From Swindon Advertiser)

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Dancing for life

Swindon Advertiser: Ann-Marie Burgess at the show with Gaynor Moreton and Vicki Hornby Ann-Marie Burgess at the show with Gaynor Moreton and Vicki Hornby

DANCERS wowed a packed-out audience at the Wyvern Theatre for a special show for professional dancer Ann-Marie Burgess, who has been given just six months to live.

Ann-Marie, 41, who had a successful dancing career after training at Judith Hockaday’s School of Dance, was diagnosed with eye cancer several years ago but was then given the all-clear.

But last year, the mum-of-two from Redhouse started feeling pain in her back and following an MRI scan, doctors diagnosed her with an inoperable tumour and she was given between two to six months to live.

The devastating news rocked a family which had already suffered crippling tragedy after Ann-Marie’s husband Gary and stepson Elliott, 13, lost their first wife and mother to cancer.

After hearing the news, Ann-Marie’s friends Gaynor Moreton and Vicki Hornby started an appeal to help the family make the most of the time they have left, and one of the biggest fundraisers was the dance show – To Live Is To Dance.

Gaynor, who was Ann-Marie’s job-share partner at Nationwide, said: “Ann-Marie has always been so strong. She’s an amazing, amazing character, and she has worked so hard.

“The money we raise will enable them to enjoy some really special holidays and events without having to worry about how to finance these. We just want to take that stress away from her and give her the freedom to concentrate on being with her family and making the remaining time count.”

Dance schools from across the town came together for the first-of-its kind, sell out event, with dancers from the Wilkes Academy of Performing Arts, the Judith Hockaday School of Dance and Drama, Tanwood School of Performing Arts, The Kirsty Farrow Dance Academy, Cadley Dance School, Danzone, Baby Ballet, JS Dance Academy, The Farrell School of Irish Dancing and Tap Attack all setting aside their rivalries to share the stage for Ann-Marie.

Gaynor said: “It was just amazing, all the dance schools were just fantastic, they gave all their time, all their hard work, costumes, everything without question.

“There was such a range of different dance types, schools, and ages, all the children were amazing, and when the Baby Ballet came on the audience went wild, they were the cutest things.

“Ann-Marie was just so overwhelmed and she loved every minute of it.”

All profits from the night will go towards the appeal, which has so far reached the £5,000 mark.

To find out more about the fundraising or to get involved and help the family make lasting memories, visit www.facebook.com/memoriesforBurgessfamily.

Comments (1)

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11:14am Fri 11 Jul 14

Victoria Hornby says...

I’m happy to report that aside from the show, we have already raised over £7,000!

We started with a simple goal – help the Burgess family to create memories and make their remaining time together count!

Since then, there have been a number of activities including a huge raffle, cake bakes, big breakfast and dress down across Swindon, Northampton and Bournemouth Nationwide Building Society sites.

Along with donations via Paypal from across the country (as far away as Manchester), a curry night at Swindon’s Biplob and now the truly amazing sell-out Wyvern Show – ‘To Live is to Dance’!

Thanks to everyone’s support and generosity, we’ve already managed to send the Burgess family on holiday to Turkey and WE ARE helping to create those precious moments.

The involvement, even from complete strangers has been overwhelming and it is truly heart-warming and uplifting.

I’m incredibly grateful we’re able to help put smiles on the faces of the family during this time.

Vicki Hornby
I’m happy to report that aside from the show, we have already raised over £7,000! We started with a simple goal – help the Burgess family to create memories and make their remaining time together count! Since then, there have been a number of activities including a huge raffle, cake bakes, big breakfast and dress down across Swindon, Northampton and Bournemouth Nationwide Building Society sites. Along with donations via Paypal from across the country (as far away as Manchester), a curry night at Swindon’s Biplob and now the truly amazing sell-out Wyvern Show – ‘To Live is to Dance’! Thanks to everyone’s support and generosity, we’ve already managed to send the Burgess family on holiday to Turkey and WE ARE helping to create those precious moments. The involvement, even from complete strangers has been overwhelming and it is truly heart-warming and uplifting. I’m incredibly grateful we’re able to help put smiles on the faces of the family during this time. Vicki Hornby Victoria Hornby
  • Score: 11
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