Move those feet Pudsey! Manchester joins Children in Need Tapathon in bid to smash Guinness World Record

By Charlotte Court

Hundreds of avid tap dancers will flock to Manchester next week as they attempt to smash a Guinness World Record to raise money for Children in Need.

Every year Pudsey and his Children in Need chums urge the UK to raise money for disadvantaged children, with Greater Manchester residents getting their fundraising caps on.

Among the weird and wonderful ideas to raise funds is the nationwide Tapathon event on Sunday November 17 with some very talented Manchester tappers taking part.

Tap dancers all over the country are slipping on their toe taps and moving and shaking to Robbie Williams’ hit song Candy for six minutes and 20 seconds.

There are eight dancing school and societies taking part across Greater Manchester, each including a multitude of ages and abilities but all with the same fervent enthusiasm for BBC Children in Need, breaking the record and tapping the good tap.  

“It’s such a great event to get involved in and this is our third year,” said Karen Scott, Principal of Dansworks Dance Academy in Rossendale.

“It’s cheesy and fun and for a really good cause. It brings the whole of the dance school together and makes a fantastic atmosphere.”

The event, which is organised by London-based The Performers’ Project, began in 2010 and has been striving to include more people and raise more money every year since. 

“We’ve just been getting bigger and bigger,” said Joanne Greenhalgh, Founder and Director of The Performers’ Project.

“Last year we raised £15,000 and 4,500 people took part. We’re hoping to go even bigger and better this year and break the record that currently stands at 7,596 people.”

It’s not just the organisers that have helped to boost the donation total and the fundraising doesn’t stop after people have signed up and bought a Tapathon t-shirt.

Each dance academy has voluntarily arranged extra fundraising on the event day from Pudsey buns and raffles to donation buckets and coffees and teas for all.

Mrs Pauline George, principal of Pauline ‘G’ School of Dance in Lees, said: “We will sell drinks and charge a £1 admission to friends and family who want to come and watch,”

Pupils at the Pauline ‘G’ School of Dance range from age six to adults in their 70s and the group includes some who have never even tap danced before.

“At the moment, our adults are a little bit worried and our kids are very excited, but we’re all really proud to be raising money for Children in Need,” she added.

Top Hat Tappers in Stockport has 51 adult participants from beginners to intermediate who have only been practising for six weeks.

“The Performers’ Project created two routines to incorporate all abilities but the chorus is just one dance for all and everybody gets involved together,” Sarah Hicks, principal of Top Hat Tappers, explained.

“Everybody sees Children in Need every year and it’s a wonderful charity so we like to do our bit.”

With the combined incentive of raising money for BBC Children in Need and breaking the Guinness World Record, the energy and excitement is high across all the dancers taking part.

Samantha Greenwood, principal of Samantha Jane School of Dance in Oldham, said: “Both the record and the fundraising encourages people.

“Children in Need is one of the only charities that my dance school is now involved with. Our kids give us so much pleasure with their dancing and excitement that it’s nice to give something back.”

Mrs Greenhalgh added: “Children in Need is such a great charity.

“It’s home-grown and it’s about kids and this really makes people want to get involved. It’s fantastic.”

The BBC Children in Need Appeal Show will be broadcast on Friday November 15 and will feature a whole host of celebrities taking part in the night’s entertainment.

To find out the many different ways to can donate to Children in Need, go to the BBC fundraising page here.

Image courtesy of Sam Fam via Flickr, with thanks.

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