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Prince Harry commends youngsters from The Way at Royal Albert Hall show - in pictures

By Harriet Evans | Wolverhampton | Wolverhampton entertainment | Published:

Youngsters from The Way have shown off their talents in front of celebrities, including Prince Harry, at The Royal Albert Hall.

WOLVERHMPATON COPYRIGHT TIM STURGESS Express & Star ......... 28/11/19 Some of the young people who go to The Way have performed at the Royal Albert Hall last week as part of a national awards ceremony for onside youth zones. The same ones are going to be competing at a cheer and dance comp. Pictured at the Way are back left, Siann Needham,Victoria Knight,Rianna Lewis,Holy-Angel Biayenda, middle left, Shivani Kumari,Frankie Holden,Danielle Mudzingwa,Maddi Harris and front left , Helena Knight,Hannah Parker and Shekyna Nedham..

Members and staff from OnSide Youth Zones from across the country came together for the first annual awards ceremony to celebrate the work of the club's young people and volunteers.

Among the audience was The Duke of Sussex Prince Harry, who commended the work of the OnSide Youth Zones, he said: "Whether you are an OnSide member, or have helped make OnSide possible, you’re helping pave the way for someone else.

"And this is a chance to celebrate that. A chance for you to see what you have achieved together, the difference you are making, and the role models you have become."

HRH Prince Harry speaking at the Awards Ceremony.

Youngsters were treated to performances from Ms Banks, John Newman and The Script as part of the star studded ceremony on November 17.

As part of the celebration, a group of girls from The Way in Wolverhampton performed in a choir in front of the audience of over 4,000 people.

One of the performers, Rianna Lewis, aged 12, said: "I was very scared because I could see my brother in the audience, but we were backstage with Ms Banks and that was unreal, it was a once in a lifetime experience."

Pictured at the Way are some of the performers back left, Siann Needham,Victoria Knight, Rianna Lewis, Holy-Angel Biayenda, middle left, Shivani Kumari,Frankie Holden,Danielle Mudzingwa,Maddi Harris and front left , Helena Knight,Hannah Parker and Shekyna Nedham.

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Another of the girls from The Way, Frankie Holden aged 12, also performed a solo contemporary and lyrical dance on the night she described the experience as 'amazing'.

As well as the performance at The Royal Albert Hall, another group of youngsters have been preparing to compete at a dance and cheer competition in Stoke.

The dancers are going for gold this year after placing second in 2018 and winning the silver trophy.

Frankie Holden from The Way dancing with Maddison from Mahdlo Youth Zone .

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Hannah Parker, aged 12 who is heading to the competition, said: "We all love dancing and every time we come to The Way we spend all our time in the studio. It's a lot of fun you get to meet new people, be active and I would definitely encourage more people to dance."

Performing arts is just one of the activities offered by the city centre youth club, which costs just 50p per session.

Nayah Shaw, combined arts coordinator at The Way, said: "Jazzi, the cheer coach has been the anchor for the youngsters and brought them together, through the arts they've found themselves.

Frankie Holden from The Way dancing with Maddison from Mahdlo Youth Zone .

"They were so quiet when they started and now we're all one big supportive family network and even their parents are talking to one another and becoming friends.

"It's so exciting for them to be able to come here and have all of these great opportunities to be a part of that they may not have otherwise, it keeps them focused, engaged and keeps their passion alive."

Harriet Evans

By Harriet Evans
Community Reporter - @HarrietEvans_ES

Community Reporter at the Express & Star, covering the issues affecting young people across the Black Country and Staffordshire. Contact me at harriet.evans@expressandstar.co.uk

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