Stalybridge student dances his way to final

KRISTIAN Darby will be taking part in a talent showcase at the Manchester International Festival on Saturday (July 3) where he will be up against gifted performers from schools across Greater Manchester.

The Year 11 Copley Academy student was nominated for the competition by his dance teacher Lucia Pearson who has been helping him to perfect his performances as a dancer alongside his GCSEs.

Kristian impressed judges at the competition heats before the finalists were announced.

He said “I really enjoy preparing my performances and sharing my enthusiasm for dance. It was fun working with my teacher to prepare for the qualification stages of the Manchester International Festival and I am over the moon at reaching the final.”

Kristian Darby

The finalists, reflecting the spectrum of performing arts, will be judged by former England and Manchester United player and Manchester International Festival board member Gary Neville as well as representatives from Manchester International Festival and Manchester United Foundation. Finalists will perform on Saturday, live on Festival Square in Manchester city centre.

Lucia said We are always proud of Kristian. He is an excellent role model for our younger students, but his efforts and commitment for this competition have gone above and beyond over the last few weeks and we wish him all the best in the final.”

The showcase has been developed alongside the Manchester United Foundation in response to the extraordinary situation many young people have faced over the last year and offers an opportunity for students to increase their confidence and wellbeing, alongside providing a platform to develop and showcase young talent across the city.

These will be the first in a series of collaborative opportunities in the run up to the opening of The Factory, Manchester’s landmark new cultural space and the future home of MIF.

Julia Turpin, creative engagement director at Manchester International Festival, said, “At Manchester International Festival we have a proud history of working with and within communities in Greater Manchester, as volunteers, as participants in shows, through skills development and a host of creative activities.

“As we head towards the opening of The Factory, our creative engagement work with schools, children and young people will expand significantly. This new partnership with Manchester United Foundation has introduced some fantastic young talent into this year’s programme – we can’t wait to see them all perform live on Festival Square on Saturday.”

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