A GROUP of dancers are calling for the town’s support as they look to grasp a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity.

Forty students from Julie Scott’s Academy of Performing Arts have been selected to perform as part of the pre-parade at Disneyland Paris and are asking for help in meeting the final costs for the trip.

Julie Williams, principal of the Elgin-based academy, said: “This is an amazing opportunity for our pupils. I’m so proud of everything they have achieved.

“Each child is required to have special shoes, hats and body suits to dance in, and it does all add up,” she added.

The school has managed to raise more than £5,000 towards the cost of transport for trip but needs a further £1,000 towards the costumes.

“It will be wonderful for us to represent Swindon in an international place, in front of people who have come from all over the world,” said Mrs Williams.

The troupe of boys and girls ranging from five years old to 25 years will perform a 20-minute slot, showcasing a mixture of dance including jazz, tap, ballet and contemporary, among others, at the end of August.

“The routine has got a little bit of everything in it really, including a lot of quick changes,” added Mrs Williams.

One of the dancers hoping to perform is Clarissa Lomax, 25, who has been dancing with the school for 18 years.

“I’m just so excited about this,” said Ms Lomax.

“It is a really good opportunity to have as a dancer. It’s really amazing to have this chance and we’ve waited a long time for it," she added.

Mrs Williams, who has been running the school for 26 years, added: “It is something I have wanted to do for the last 20 years, really.

“It has always been one of my dreams to take students from my school there. But we’ve just had to wait for the right time.

“Most of the children have never been to Disneyland. So this will really mean a lot to them,” Mrs Williams added

“We’ve got a really good group of supportive parents at the moment, who have been absolutely amazing,” said Mrs Williams.

Deena Lovegrove, who has been a teacher at the school for 23 years, said: “We’ve had to work really hard to get here. It’s such a great opportunity which we haven’t had before. It really is a once-in-a-lifetime thing.”

The pupils had to audition for the spot by submitting a film of themselves dancing, and found out last October that they had the place.

The pupils have been supported in their efforts by organisers of the MFOR Festival, which will take place in Lydiard Park at the end of July, who have provided £1,000 towards the trip.

Debra Collins, who co-runs the festival, said: “We are absolutely delighted to support this group. I know what it means to them and we really hope we can just get this last bit together so they are able to go. It would be such a shame for them to miss out on this wonderful opportunity.”

Mrs Williams added: “I want to say a massive thank you to the MFOR Festival and all they have done in supporting us.

“And also to our parents, particularly Wayne Sims, who has worked so hard fundraising for this.”

The group are due to leave for Paris on August 25 and return on August 29.

To donate to the trip please visit https://www.gofundme.com/w86btz-perform-at-disney-paris?fbclid=IwAR2co08gF6UvXHFQHWgPxruikXYd5XL5GRswDIlkqJEkrcuIf9cMTFfgn9A