X-Factor dancer Gareth Woodward schools young talent

A TALENTED dancer who once performed with some of the country’s top pop acts is helping to prepare young performers for highlight of some of the county’s top talent.

Gareth Woodward (23) from Nottingham, who performed as a backing dancer for Cheryl Cole on X Factor, is behind encouraging youngsters to get involved with Nottinghamshire County Council’s Showcase 2012, which takes place at Mansfield Palace Theatre in February.

On Saturday mornings Gareth is working with young people in Mansfield to devise a performance which will headline next year’s Showcase.

The performer, who also backed Take That for their Royal Variety performance last year, said: “The Showcase is a brilliant opportunity for teenagers to try out their skills and talents in front of a big live audience and to meet other young people with similar interests.

“When I started out, I would have jumped at the chance to get involved with such a fantastic event.”

The youngsters taking part are experienced dancers and some have taken part in previous Showcases.

Coun Lynn Sykes, county council deputy cabinet member for children and young people’s services, added: “The Showcase is tremendously popular for young people who love performing live. We’ve got a lot of very talented youngsters in every corner of the county, so I’d urge them to get in their entries quickly for what promises to be another fantastic event.

“Last year, for example, over 50 acts involving more than 330 Nottinghamshire teenagers performed to over 1,000 people.”

l Next year’s event kicks off with the Mansfield and Ashfield Dance Showcase on 15th February followed by non-dance performances on 16th and 17th February.

Teenagers aged 13 to 19 who want to show off their talents dancing, singing, acting, playing in a band or doing comedy are being invitedto take part .

Auditions will be held at The Old Library in Mansfield on Saturday, 4th February.

Log on to www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/showcase2012 to download an application form. Alternatively call Mansfield 644377 or email countyyoutharts@nottscc.gov.uk.

The deadline for entries is 27th January.