Search

Gravesend girl steps out as dance teacher for disadvantaged children

09:28 12 July 2012

Bethany Price

Bethany Price

Archant

Beth Price always dreamed she would become a professional dancer, but at the age of 13 she had an accident while performing that left her unable to walk.

A year of being stuck in a wheelchair followed with Beth realising that dancing wasn’t an option and she needed to take her life in a different direction.

But when back on her feet and working in a shop she always knew things didn’t feel right.

So her mum, who works at Kings Farm Primary School in Gravesend, suggested Beth started an after-school dance class for the pupils there.

Things kicked off and last year Bethany’s Dance School launched, offering free classes to children in the Kings Farm estate, an area with long-standing social and economic problems.

For Beth, now 20 and living in Chatham, it is a way of keeping dance in her life. “I did miss performing when I first started and I was welling up, but now I channel all my energy through them. Watching them gives me my enjoyment,” she said.

Her dance school takes over the Miracles Youth Centre in the estate on Thursday evenings and Saturdays and offers street, hip-hop and freestyle dancing to children aged four to 17.

She started off in September with about 30 children turning up – now there are more than 60, and it’s not just the young ones that come along. “I started the dance classes at the school and from then on the kids were asking if I could do more. More and more people came from the community and now the parents also come and have a coffee morning while they wait for their kids.”

Beth is convinced in the benefits for children not only for learning a new skill but for life in and out of school.

“When we first started we had a lot of worry from the parents saying the kids had bad concentration and poor attendance and social skills.

“But once they have been with us we had really positive feedback and I check up on the kids that they are going to school,” she explained.

“They come here and seem to be a lot happier. I know a lot of them have a lot going on at home, it is a bit of an escape coming here. It is something to do rather than hanging out on the street, and their confidence has gone through the roof, I can’t shut them up!”

Having launched on a start-up fund of £200 the dance school faces a struggle to stay open. She and her four volunteer teachers run a tuck shop to pay the rent and Beth earns money from doing classes at local schools, but isn’t drawn to teaching private dance lessons. “I haven’t got any money ties and I can do this for them now. I get rewards from the kids. They get to experience the same as I had as a kid, and at the time you take it in your stride but looking back you are thankful for those experiences.”

0 comments

Latest News

Yesterday, 15:37
Kent Police

A quantity of cash was reportedly stolen

Yesterday, 13:31

One of the complainants was aged 12 at the time of the alleged offence

Thu, 13:05
Dartford Magistrates Court

The decision came following a consultation last year

Thu, 11:07
Ann Barnes is still yet to confirm whether she will stand in this May's election Credit: ADY KERRY

It was the only force in England and Wales to receive the rating

Most read

Competitions

Champagne experience

This Valentine’s Day, the Coca-Cola London Eye is the perfect destination for lovebirds, offering a range of romantic experiences from Friday 12th February - Sunday 14th February 2016.

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Gravesend Reporter e-edition today E-edition
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder