DANCERS who staged their last show at the Wyvern Theatre the day before lockdown is set to make a comeback at the same venue.

Katie Kirby, who runs Kitty Langan Studio Performing Arts School in Greenmeadow, is excited about the reopening of the town centre venue next month.

When the curtains came down in on the Showstoppers performance on March 15 2020, few expected their next opportunity to arrive 18 months later.

Teacher Katie, from Rodbourne, said: “We thought they won’t lock us down, it just won’t happen and it can’t be for that long. It’s so hard, especially with children – we had to lower their expectations.

“The kids were asking us ‘when can we competitions again' and we would say ‘when Boris lets us’. We had online classes but as the competitions weren’t on, it’s not the same. 

"We’re like their second family as they have mates they don’t see at school, so there are lots of friendships.”

After rescheduling the forthcoming show several times, Katie is hoping September 12 will finally see the first performance of Lights, Camera, Showtime – a selection of all the school's best work.

The dance school had to disappoint the youngsters when it was forced to cancel a trip to the Disneyland Paris parade they were due to take part in.

To help keep the school going, parents have been donating money for fees and Katie received grants from the council. 

“It’s difficult to know what the expectation is but we had quite a lot of support from parents,” Katie said. “But it felt like we were swinging from pillar to post.”

The school has struggled to keep its dancers, with membership dropping from 116 students last March to 73 in April. Katie had to make sure the dancers were safe and had adequate space even though they weren’t under her roof. 

On April 12 the school was allowed to reopen for children and on May 17 for adults. 

“We’re gradually building it back up," she said. "But lots of people have turned their hand to other things as they can’t dance in their bedroom, it wasn’t always that easy. There wasn’t the demand before as what they need hasn’t been on offer.”

Even though the school are looking forward to going back and are well under way with planning the performance, Katie remains hesitant because of the past uncertainty over reopening.

She said: “We’re so excited to be back rehearsing but we don’t want to put all our eggs in one basket. It takes a lot of preparation so fingers crossed it will go ahead. But there is no point thinking it won't happen because then we won’t be prepared. We’re actually still making progress.”
Tickets will go on sale this month.