PATIENCE paid off for a group of students who enjoyed a magical four days as Take That’s backing dancers.
The group of 20 City of Sunderland College dance students had just hours to rehearse before taking to the Stadium of Light’s stage in front of tens of thousands of fans.
But after quickly picking up the steps with a helping hand from Take That’s own choreographers, the girls were ready to rock.
Dressed as riot police, the dancers, aged 17 to 21, lived out their dream when they joined Take That on stage for Mark Owen-led song, Kidz, during all four of their Sunderland shows.
Abbey Stokoe, 20, of Grangetown, had already bagged herself a ticket to see the chart-toppers perform on Monday.
But it didn’t even take a minute for the superfan to swap her spot in the crowd for a space behind the band.
She said: “It was absolutely amazing and so surreal to perform in front of the crowd of thousands. Nothing can describe it.
“We only found out the day before and when we were told my first reaction was I thought it was a joke but when I realised it wasn’t I couldn’t stop screaming.
“To dance with Take That was like a dream come true and it was the best experience I’ve ever had.”
And to add to the excitement, the girls got to meet their idols with Robbie Williams and Mark Owen taking the time out to thank the girls personally during a dress rehearsal.
“Robbie’s my favourite so I couldn’t believe it when he came down and thanked us and said we were doing a really good job,” Abbey said.
The experience has also proved pivotal in Naomi Robson’s career path and not only is she now a converted Take That fan, she has also decided she wants to pursue dancing.
The 18-year-old, of East Herrington, said: “It was incredible and the most phenomenal experience I’ve ever had.
“We had 50,000 people surrounding us and screaming and shouting. You could feel the atmosphere it was so energetic.
“After that I definitely want to do this sort of dancing professionally. Performing on stage was amazing and an unbelievable opportunity.”
Student Emma Williamson, 20, added: “It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and something I’ll never forget.
“The buzz of being on stage and performing in front of 58,000 people with Take That was absolutely amazing and meeting Robbie and Mark was the icing on the cake.”