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Shannon BaileyBudding dance stars hope to find Fame at last in theatre show

By james truswell

YOUNG dancer Shannon Bailey hopes her experience of performing in front of thousands of people will land her a role in a summer musical.

The 16-year-old has already appeared in front of Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh and Amanda Holden when she entered ITV1 show Britain's Got Talent.

Shannon, pictured below right, of Lichfield Street, Hanley, was part of a six-person dance group that entered the competition and triumphed over thousands of others to reach the final 80.

Now she is auditioning for musical Fame, which is set to hit The Regent theatre, Hanley, in August.

Yesterday, about 40 hopefuls auditioned at The Victoria Hall, Hanley, in the aged 16 to 25 category. A further 100 in the aged nine to 15 category are expected to audition next weekend.

There are 120 places and those who get through the auditions will take part in a two-week crash course with professional directors before performing four times for the public between August 18 and 20.

Shannon, who now dances at the Sunshine Dance Studios in Hanley, said her group hailing from Dance Nuvo in Stafford had avoided getting "buzzed" by the judges on Britain's Got Talent.

Each judge on the prime-time Saturday night show are able to stop the act at any point during the performance.

She said: "At the audition we did a hip-hop-based routine which lasted about three to four minutes.

"We didn't get buzzed and all three of them put us through to the next round. They said they enjoyed it and it was something fresh.

"I'm not sure how many people were there, but it must have been thousands. We didn't get through the second round though."

Shannon, a pupil at St Thomas More Catholic College, Longton, is now waiting to find out if she was successful at yesterday's auditions.

The auditions were part of the Stage Experience project which aims to give young people a chance to learn and perform in theatre. Already rolled out around the country, it is the first time it is being held in Stoke-on-Trent.

Remade in 2009, Fame was a 1980 film, which spawned a TV series following students at a New York arts academy.

The project, which costs £165 per person, will run from August 8 to 20 and tuition will be provided by art director Robert Marsden, choreographer Caroline Sherratt, Peter Golding, a musical director who has worked with Liza Minnelli and Elton John and stage experience co-ordinator Zoe Scott.

Mr Marsden, who is originally from Stone but now lives in Trent Vale, said he was delighted to be involved.

He said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for the young people of Stoke-on-Trent.

"It's going to be a very intensive two weeks and it'll be very satisfying to have achieved a full-scale production in such a short length of time."

Holly Jordan, of Stuart Avenue in Trentham, is among the hopefuls.

The 17-year-old is a member at the Potteries Theatre Company and the Jenny Brennan School of Dance in Kidsgrove.

Holly, who is doing her AS-levels at Newcastle College, said: "I've been dancing since I was three because my mum and dad encouraged me and since I've done it I've just wanted to carry on.

"This sounded like a really fun idea so I thought I'd go for it."

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