Young dancers nominated for top national awards

By Megan Archer | Cradley Heath | Sandwell entertainment | Published:

A dance academy is celebrating after five young students were put forward for nominations at a prestigious UK dance awards.

Students at the Cradley Heath dance academy

Debonair Dance Academy, in Cradley Heath, which is currently enjoying its 20th year, boasts more than 200 successful dancers who train at the School Street studio.

Principal Debbie Baggott has achieved a 100 per cent pass rate for students taking exams with dance association, IDTA, over the past 20 years.

Results for the academy’s October exam sessions have once again continued the 100 per cent success rate and this year individual scores for some dancers reached highs of 94 per cent.

Five students have been put forward by IDTA to represent Debonair Dance Academy at the IDTA 2020 Awards, breaking a record for the school.

Between them, as individuals, they have been nominated for seven different awards where they will perform alongside the other highest-scoring dancers from all over the country.

Holly Badger, aged 13, from Kingswinford, received three nominations from achieving 91 per cent in Grade 5 ballet, 92 per cent in Grade 5 tap and 93 per cent in freestyle star 1.

Archie Turner, 12, from Rowley Regis, received the 94 per cent score for his freestyle exam.

And 12-year-old Emily Garrington, from Netherton, received 91 per cent in Grade 5 ballet.


Leoni Jennings, aged 13, from Rowley Regis achieved 90 per cent in Grade 5 ballet while 15-year-old Kyle Robinson, from Cradley Heath, achieved 91 per cent in intermediate tap.

The ballet and tap candidates will go to Manchester in February to compete for recognition and trophies, while the freestyle candidates will compete in the spring at the Midlands Art Centre in Birmingham.

Debbie said: “I’m incredibly proud of all my students who have attained wonderful results this year.

"I’m delighted that these five pupils have been recognised for their talents and we wish them every success going forward.”

These results and nominations mark a very successful end to the 20th anniversary year for the school who performed in New York on Broadway in July and performed to hundreds of people at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre in May.

Megan Archer

By Megan Archer
Chief Reporter - @MeganA_Star

Chief Reporter with the Express & Star. Give me a call on 01902 319363 or email

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