Young tal­ent

From light­ing up the dance floor to cham­pi­oning lo­cal char­i­ties, Oc­to­ber is a big month for Nor­folk school­girl Darcy Amiss

EDP Norfolk - - Inside - www.to­geth­er­for­short­lives.org.uk

We meet a teenage world cham­pion

NOR­WICH TEENAGER Darcy Amiss is no stranger to tak­ing cen­tre stage.

At 15, she is the world Latin Pro-Am un­der-16s cham­pion, and this month she will find out if she has won the ti­tle of Miss Ju­nior Teen Great Bri­tain at a pres­ti­gious event in Black­pool.

Darcy, from Taver­ham, is keen to use her ex­pe­ri­ence to change the per­cep­tion of beauty pageants and is us­ing her place in the fi­nal as a plat­form for char­ity fundrais­ing and to gain ex­pe­ri­ence and life skills which she hopes will help her achieve her ul­ti­mate am­bi­tion of win­ning a place at Ox­ford.

“Some­one had posted some­thing on Face­book about the com­pe­ti­tion and I thought I would en­ter I couldn’t be­lieve it when I was se­lected as a semi-fi­nal­ist in the Miss Ju­nior Teen Nor­folk cat­e­gory and was amazed when I was an­nounced win­ner of the ti­tle.

“As part of the judging process we had to write about char­ity work we had been in­volved in lo­cally. Then in prepa­ra­tion for the na­tional fi­nal, we were all asked to raise money for the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s nom­i­nated char­ity – which this year is To­gether for Short Lives.”

The char­ity sup­ports thou­sands of chil­dren across the UK with life-short­en­ing or life-threat­en­ing con­di­tions, help­ing pro­vide care and sup­port to them and their fam­i­lies, and Darcy, a pupil at Nor­wich High School for Girls, says she has al­ready raised over £1,300 for the cause.

“It has been re­ally hard work but I have loved ev­ery minute of it and it re­ally is a fan­tas­tic cause. I be­gan think­ing about what I could do to help lo­cally. Be­fore any of this hap­pened, I al­ways used to do­nate a lot to the Break char­ity shop, as you can imag­ine, be­ing a girl and a dancer, I tend to have a lot of clothes and make-up, so I liked to hand them on and knew what a great char­ity Break was,” she says. “So I started do­ing some work to help sup­port Break in other ways, help­ing out and vol­un­teer­ing at dif­fer­ent events, and also be­gan sup­port­ing the Priscilla Ba­con Hospice, work­ing in the lo­cal char­ity shop dur­ing the school hol­i­days. “There are so many pageant stereo­types and peo­ple see tod­dlers in tiaras in the US and think that’s what it is all about here, but it couldn’t be more dif­fer­ent. It gives you an op­por­tu­nity to work with char­i­ties and to give you vi­tal ex­pe­ri­ences which will hope­fully help you in the fu­ture.” As well as her World Dance Coun­cil Latin world ti­tle, she has also won in­ter­na­tional ti­tles for her ball­room danc­ing. This month she is firmly back in train­ing with the Miller Dance Stu­dio as she pre­pares to com­pete for a busy sea­son of com­pe­ti­tions with her part­ner Luke Miller. “I had al­ways done bal­let, tap and mod­ern but when I reached 10, I knew those styles weren’t for me and didn’t re­ally suit my per­son­al­ity, so I made the switch and ab­so­lutely loved Latin and ball­room.” De­spite her suc­cesses in both danc­ing and mod­el­ling, she doesn’t wish to pur­sue ei­ther as a ca­reer. “My dream is to study the­ol­ogy at Ox­ford Univer­sity. I love de­bat­ing, look­ing at the moral and eth­i­cal is­sues as­so­ci­ated with re­li­gion and al­though I don’t go to church, the­ol­ogy is such a fas­ci­nat­ing sub­ject as it im­pacts on so many ar­eas of our lives and our his­tory.”Š

Above: Darcy Amiss danc­ing her way to vic­tory

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