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Norwich dancer gets masterclass

PUBLISHED: 07:30 18 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:21 01 July 2010

Sam Emanuel

A Norwich dance teacher who has worked with stars including Madonna and Justin Timberlake has been given a masterclass in street choreography by a globally successful dancer.

A Norwich dance teacher who has worked with stars including Madonna and Justin Timberlake has been given a masterclass in street choreography by a globally successful dancer.

Scott Atkins, 25, was backed as a rising star by Norfolk County Council's Norfolk Sports and Culture Foundation, and has since performed and taught in four different continents during a whirlwind two years.

He was able to work with London-based dancer Farouk Bhimji on Wednesday at The Garage in Norwich thanks to a council-funded programme designed to set him up to perform at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games.

Mr Bhimji has danced for a number of major music artists on TV, in music videos and on live tours, as well as being featured in a number of TV and online commercials and dance events and choreographing his own routines - including one for Britain's Next Top Model.

The foundation was set up in 2008 to give up to £5,000 a year for up to four years (to include 2012), to young sporting and cultural talents who are aiming for an elite performance level for 2012.

Mr Atkins said: “It was purely by chance I met Farouk at a casting in London. He was instantly interested in coming to Norwich and working with me on my skills and abilities, especially with my weaknesses in picking up and retaining choreography quickly, which is paramount for auditions.

“The funding from the Norfolk Sports and Cultural Foundation is the only reason I am able to do this, as it's giving me the chance to travel outside of Norwich, to attend auditions, build up contacts, and to afford masterclasses with people of Farouk's calibre.

“Everything I gain not only progresses me as an individual, but is then passed on to the people I teach, in the hope that my passion and enthusiasm pushes them to aim harder for their goals.”

Derrick Murphy, Norfolk County Council's cabinet member for cultural services, added: “Scott's a tremendous example to young people in Norfolk that hard work, creativity and talent brings success.

“The County Council, Norse and others are doing what they can to foster what is a fantastic crop of young sporting and cultural excellence in Norfolk.

“I wish Scott all the very best for the future and I very much hope his story continues to inspire others to go on and match his achievements.”

Young people aged 14-25 and involved in cultural pursuits in Norfolk have until July 30 to apply for funding from the Norfolk Sports and Culture Foundation by visiting www.norfolkfoundation.com.

Have you achieved national recognition for your work? Contact Sam Emanuel on 01603 772438 or email sam.emanuel@archant.co.uk

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