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South Holland dancer and former Spalding student feature at The Brits

A former Spalding dance student got ‘physical’ with an international pop star at this year’s Brit Awards.

James Worthington (20), who attended Polka Dot Academy and Spalding School of Dance, was up on stage performing in front of millions of viewers with super star Dua Lipa at Tuesday’s event.

It was a momentous occasion for James but also for the British music industry as the awards at London’s O2 arena was the first non-socially distanced ceremony held in the UK since the pandemic began.

James Worthington appeared on stage at the 2021 BRIT Awards with Dua Lipa (47172234)
James Worthington appeared on stage at the 2021 BRIT Awards with Dua Lipa (47172234)

James, who is in his final year of performance college in Essex, said: “It was an incredible experience!

“The opportunity came through the agency which I have been signed up to during my time at college. I was so pleased to be lucky enough to be chosen - only around 23 people out of my year of 100 classmates were chosen.

“It was a really nice opportunity for me and it’s not luck really because a lot of hard work comes into it.

James Worthington appeared on stage at the 2021 BRIT Awards with Dua Lipa (47172231)
James Worthington appeared on stage at the 2021 BRIT Awards with Dua Lipa (47172231)

“It’s also been great because opportunities for work have been very limited over the past year due to the pandemic, so it was great to get out there and experience it.”

James found out he was due to perform at the ceremony just a week before the event, learning the full routine four days before he was due to take the stage.

His rehearsal at the O2 took place on the Sunday, before a full dress rehearsal on the Tuesday morning and then the 8:05pm call time that evening.

Dua Lipa at the Cambridge Union, October 21, 2019 (19914500)
Dua Lipa at the Cambridge Union, October 21, 2019 (19914500)

James said: “The buzz started straight after we found out we were doing it and it’s still here.

“The nerves kicked in around 7:45pm on the night but excitement definitely overruled it - it was my first professional job and we were the first act to perform in the O2 to the non-socially distanced audience which is such a special thing to hold on to.

“When I was on stage it was like being in a trance - I can’t remember doing it but I know I did it right, which is good as it’s out there forever now!

“There was such an amazing energy there and seeing people in the audience dancing and clapping was amazing.”

Not only did James perform to a crowd of 4,000 in the arena - his biggest crowd to date - he also was seen on 2.9 million televisions across the country.

But after such an incredible first job, what’s next for the young dancer?

“I’m graduating this year and the industry is quite competitive so it’s all about auditioning and hoping for the best,” James explained.

“I love performing and I think it’s important to learn and understand how everything works. However, I would eventually like to go into choreography and the teaching side of things, perhaps in West End musicals or cruises. Maybe even the Brits in a few years!

“It’s been really nice to see the support is there at home and it’s great to think I’m inspiring some of the dancers at Spalding School of Dance.

“It’s great to be able to show the students there that it is possible if you believe in yourself and work hard to get here.”

Tre delighted in spite of near miss

A record producer who grew up in Spalding narrowly missed out on winning his first Brit award.

Tre Jean-Marie (28), who attended Spalding Grammar School, was up against the likes of Harry Styles and Dua Lipa for the British Single award at Tuesday’s ceremony.

Tre co-wrote, produced and mixed Lighter by Nathan Dawe - featuring rapper and social media star KSI - but was sadly pipped to the post by Harry Styles’ Watermelon Sugar.

Speaking the the Free Press, Tre said: It’s amazing to have been nominated and the award is sales number based.

“This means that the song was one of the ten best selling singles of the year which is just great.”

Unfortunately, due to Covid restrictions and attendance limitations, Tre was unable to attend his first Brit Awards, but he hopes to attend in the future.

Tre, who is currently working with Little Mix, added: “Just to be nominated was absolutely amazing and we will just see if we can get there again next year.”

Singer praised over support for nurses

The chairman of the South Lincolnshire branch of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has reacted to pop star Dua Lipa’s comments on nurse’s pay.

Mark Le Sage has applauded the singer after she used an acceptance speech during the event to back calls for a ‘fair pay rise’ for nurses.

After winning best female solo artist at the ceremony, the singer said: “I think what we should do is give a massive round of applause and give Boris (Johnson) a message that we all support a fair pay rise for our frontline.”

There have been campaigns by unions to NHS staff in England to be offered a rise higher than the 1% increase which is currently being proposed by the Government.

Mr Le Sage said: “She used a fantastic platform to make her comments and for such an intelligent, forward thinking and positive role model to be stood there expressing her opinion is just brilliant.”

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