Ambitious youngsters’ dance show plan

Back, from the left, Annabel Swatton, Katie Harfield and Lily Overing. Front, from the left, Harrison Gibson-Smith and Daniel Swatton
Back, from the left, Annabel Swatton, Katie Harfield and Lily Overing. Front, from the left, Harrison Gibson-Smith and Daniel Swatton

A 13-year-old girl has hatched an ambitious scheme to put on a dance show at a professional theatre in memory of a classmate who died from a brain tumour.

Annabel Swatton is planning the one-night show at Aylesbury Waterside as a fundraiser for Winslow-based charity Alec’s Angels, and she’s looking for support from local businesses.

Set up in memory of Alec Jarvis, the charity raises money for children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent and Oxford children’s hospice Helen & Douglas House.

Annabel’s mum, Charlotte, said: “Alec was in her class at primary school.

“Then, at the Buckingham School, a boy in her tutor group passed away from cancer. By age 11, she’d lost two people to cancer.”

Annabel, who is Helen & Douglas House’s youngest volunteer, and lives in Steeple Claydon is holding auditions for the show at school next week.

She told the Advertiser: “The reason I’m so drawn to do this for Alec’s Angels is he was my friend and this is his own charity so I feel like I’m doing something for him.

“I love performing arts and I also like raising money for charity so I thought I’d put them both together.”

Annabel, who attends dance classes with Claydon Academy, put on a previous show with friends at the Buckingham School in January, in memory of her friend Alex Mott, which raised more than £500.

The new project is on a different scale, requiring some £4,000 for hire of the theatre, microphones, costumes and other items before it starts to raise money for charity.

The show, called Dance Evolution, which involves dance and football, has been written by Annabel and will be performed by her dance troupe, Dancing For Alec.

After approaching Bournemouth University, Annabel has already been approached by four student scriptwriters keen to be involved. She is now looking for a choreographer as well as help with printing and costumes.

The Buckingham School has agreed to hold a non-uniform day next school year, which should raise £1,000.

Annabel’s year head and PE teacher, Andrew Minns, has been supervising rehearsals.

He said: “What they’re doing has been absolutely fantastic. The previous dance show was brilliant, it was very high standard.

“They are extremely ambitious. They know what they want to do and they’ve got it all set out. They’re doing a brilliant job and I’ve got every confidence in them.

“They’re extremely enthusiastic but they’re also realistic about the challenge.

“Now it’s just making sure the auditions go well and it’s all systems go.”

The group are having a stall and hoping to perform a sneak preview at the Alec’s Angels fun day at the Winslow Centre on Sunday, May 25. To offer support, visit