Sunderland dance school’s Christmas charity extravaganza

DANCERS .... Muriel Harrison is putting show on at the Empire.

DANCERS .... Muriel Harrison is putting show on at the Empire.

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DANCING school starlets aim to tap-out vital funds for charity this Christmas.

Performers from Muriel Harrison School of Dance, Millfield, and Shameem Karim School of Performing Arts, Grindon, are staging their own festive treats of shows at the Sunderland Empire, which aim to raise money for causes around the city.

Muriel’s show, Merry Christmas Everyone, will take to the famous stage for one night only on Saturday December 1, and promises to be full of laughs and Christmas spirit.

A cast of 70 will perform the all-singing all-dancing extravangza, which has become a yearly tradition for Muriel over the last 45 years and each year raises much needed funds for local charities.

This year, the takings will be donated to Grace House and Parkinsons UK.

Muriel Harrison, who has run Muriel Harrison School of Dance for more than four decades, said the show will have something for everyone, with performers ranging from three-year-olds, to those in their 80’s.

“The opening is Its The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” said Muriel.

“Singing and children dancing, with orchestrated music.

“It is a sing-a-long for everyone, because everyone wants a bit of Christmas cheer.

“The school love putting this show on.

“They love performing and everyone is a star.”

The takings from Shameem’s school’s show, Dance Till Dawn, will also go to charity – yet to be decided.

Some 85 students, from toddlers to teens, will perform a range of dances including tap and jazz as well as singing numbers in the show on Tuesday, November 27.

Students have been polishing their performance and perfecting their moves during weekly rehearsals since May.

“They’ve worked really hard and the show will be of a professional standard,” said Shameem. “I am very proud of them all.

“It’s going to be a really enjoyable show for all the family, with something for everyone to enjoy.”

Pupils from Muriel’s School of Dance and Shameem Karim School of Performing Arts will also take part in other performances this winter, including Peter Pan at the Sunderland Empire.

The schools will take it in turn to perform in the pantomime, which will have bucket collections at the end of the show for people to donate to charity.

Muriel, who still dances at the age of 68, and teaches four times a week, said: “Thirteen pupils will perform in Peter Pan.

“Six girls and six boys, and a senior dancer.”

Merry Christmas Everyone will begin at 7pm on Saturday December 1, and last for two hours including interval.

Tickets can be purchased at the Sunderland Empire Box Office, and are priced at £8.

Dance Til Dawn is on Tuesday, November 27, at 7.15pm.

Tickets can be bought at The Empire Theatre Box Office priced at £11.

Proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to charity.

Twitter: @Monica_Turnbull