ABOVE - REBECCA AND LUCIE PRACTISE ON THE BEACH
Since a very early age, the 'Gifford Girls' have loved to dance and over the years, being encouraged to perform has increased their confidence in many ways beyond the dance floor. The sisters have won countless medals, titles and trophies as partners and know how to keep themselves very flexible.
As well as being professional dancers, choreographers and teachers, both Rebecca and Lucie are accomplished acrobatic gymnasts. They have had the honour of being the regional champions at the highest grade and have reached national level on multiple occasions.
The sisters are keen to pass on their knowledge and to encourage others to discover what they are capable of. They have an enthusiasm and energy that most would envy and a natural way with children. Young people respond well to the girls as they enjoy their classes, learn and achieve.
At GDA we love nothing more than a dance show and believe in giving parents a chance to watch routines that have been prepared so they can see how their child is progressing. It does the kids good too to show off what they can do!
REBECCA graduated with a first class honours degree in dance and professional practice and studied at the critically acclaimed number one institution for contemporary dance in the world, Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London. There she has attained a postgraduate diploma in community dance. Her time at Laban has been a real privilege, giving her the opportunity to progress even further as a professional dancer and to learn from some of the very best. Rebecca is also a level two British Gymnastics coach.
LUCIE is currently studying for a degree in dance and professional practice.
She is a very strong dancer well suited to hip-hop and street dance and in contrast, she is a beautiful contemporary dancer.
The sisters filmed with Britain's Got Talent following an invitation for two consecutive years. Rebecca was recently involved in dancing on the latest big Bollywood movie too. Their choreography is new and challenging and has already won Gifford Dance a place in the final of the largest group dance competition in the UK, where they won the adjudicator's award at Liverpool Echo Arena. They have performed at Blackpool Opera House on multiple occasions along with their students, danced alongside the 'Big Band' at Birmingham Symphony Hall and have just performed with some of their dancers at Disneyland Paris.
Having grown up in Stotfold (and being the sixth generation in their family to live here) the girls are now enjoying giving back to, and playing a part in, the local community to which they belong, as well as expanding farther afield. They are branching out with national competitions, working on behalf of large international organisations leading workshops, teaching, choreographing for external groups and shows, performing across the country and travelling with their dance company too.
Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours
in Dance and Professional Practice as well as a postgraduate diploma in Community Dance from Trinity Laban Conservatoire.
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Britain's Got Talent 2019
As a dance academy we are a little different and like to be flexible in our thinking. We do not always stick to the same rigid schedules and so far every year since Gifford Dance started we have offered our dancers new, challenging and varied experiences compared to the year before.
If an opportunity arises that we think dancers would enjoy, helping with confidence and learning, then we take it and try to open these adventures up to those they would most benefit.
In the last twelve months alone we have started lots of new classes, taken dancers to perform at Disneyland Paris, we did our first weekend at Elite Dance Championships, entered new national competitions progressing to the finals, set up the Professional Programme for those wishing to take their training to the next level and so much more. We are also organising new workshops with guests in the profession as well as trips to aid learning. This is only mentioning what's NEW this year! In addition we have our annual show, performances at local fetes and our Summer school as well as all the regular classes and competitions etc etc. Hopefully you get the idea! There is always a lot going on and dancers work as a team on their group routines where every individual counts and plays an important role.
We often refer to our ‘GDA family’ and this is how we see ourselves. Everyone connected with the academy becomes an honorary ‘Gifford’. Not only do the students make valuable and life long friendships through the dance school, but the parents often do as well. We hold regular events which are often fundraisers to support the dancers, allowing us to invest in equipment and costumes. In the past these have included the fabulous Christmas ball, coffee mornings, discos, a Disney event, bbqs, cake sales, movie nights and parties to name but a few, some of which now happen annually. We rely on the help of the parents/carers to make events like this happen and we never cease to be amazed at the generosity and support received. Everyone gets on so well, looking out for each other and GDA offers a friendly, welcoming environment for all. This year we even organised a parents/helpers dance routine and classes and the excitement this generated continues. We try to keep all our events very family orientated putting the dancers at the centre of all we chose to do. This is incredibly important to us.
GIFFORD DANCE ACADEMY
Some of you will know that Rebecca and Lucie also run SSA (Stotfold Salvation Army) Dance Company and have done for several years. This is a Christian based group that performs at Salvation Army events.