Dance school’s tribute to cancer victim Beth

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Hard working dance school youngsters paid tribute to the memory of a former pupil by raising nearly £10,000 for cancer charities.

Teenager Beth Fitzpatrick, a member of the Riley School of Dance, died in 2011 after losing a short battle against cancer.

The Cantley youngster, aged 14, a pupil at McAuley School, was diagnosed with the disease before Christmas 2010 and students quickly launched a huge fundraising campaign to send her on a dream holiday.

Sadly she died before she was able to take the break.

But youngsters from the dance school took up the baton in Beth’s memory and threw themselves into eight months of choreography, rehearsals, sewing costumes and making scenery to stage a show and raise the huge amount for Cancer Research UK.

More than 100 pupils aged from three to 18 took part in four spectacular shows in February at The Civic Theatre, raising more than £9,500 for Cancer Research UK’s life saving work into pancreatic cancer.

The Riley School of Dance has raised over £40,000 for various charities over the years and, in addition to putting on the show entitled A Magical Smile, they also bag-packed at local supermarkets and recorded a CD in memory of Beth, Shine Down, which is still available to download via iTunes.

Andrea Day from Cancer Research UK said: “The Riley School has an outstanding reputation in the world of dance and performing arts but this kind of commitment to our lifesaving work makes them a very special organisation.

“They have requested that this donation goes to Prof John Neoptolemos who heads up our ESPAC-4 Trial into pancreatic cancer, and we have been privileged to arrange this on their behalf.

“We would like to say a huge thank you to the school, teachers, pupils and parents, while taking time to remember Bethany.”

Julie Riley, teacher and choreographer, said: ”The show was a wonderful tribute to a beautiful pupil who will be remembered fondly, our Beth.”

Beth had won awards for her own charity fundraising work and Doncaster television star and BAFTA award winning actress Sheridan Smith, who had met the youngster, was among those to pay tribute.

For further information about The Riley School of Dance, call 01302 327 081.