Sheffield dancer, 14, dies in her sleep

Lauren Walker, aged 14, who died suddenly at home.
Lauren Walker, aged 14, who died suddenly at home.
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Schoolgirl Lauren Walker is ‘dancing with the angels’ - after dying suddenly in her sleep aged just 14.

Family and friends are devastated by the loss of the teenager, who had been a dance school regular for the last nine years.

Gifted dancer Lauren, from Stradbroke in Sheffield, was found dead in her bed by her family on Tuesday morning.

It is understood she had no previously known health problems, but had been unwell on and off for the past few weeks with unexplained illnesses.

She took classes every week at the Woodhouse branch of the Janet Mitchell School of Dance.

Janet, who had known Lauren since she was four, said: “She was a very talented dancer and all the girls loved her – she was something of a role model for the younger ones.

“She is dancing with the angels now.

“Lauren wanted to study dance at GCSE and was very committed to her classes. Everyone who knew her is very sad.

“We were all talking about her at the class last night and sharing memories. Friends at the dance school have clubbed together to pay for a wreath in the shape of a ballet shoe.”

Lauren was a pupil at City School and headteacher Steve Roberts said the news had caused immense sadness.

He described her as a model pupil who ‘would light up a room when she went in’.

Mr Roberts said: “The City School has lost a wonderful student who showed immense promise and had a bright future ahead of her. Our heartfelt and sincere condolences go out to her family.

“Lauren was a very able, hardworking and popular Year 9 girl who was loved and respected by her peers and the staff alike.

“She always had a smile on her face and played a full part in the life of her school, being involved in school productions.”

Support was being given to students who needed it, Mr Roberts said.

“She was one of those people who would light up the room when she went in. She was also a good athlete, a wonderful dancer and loved her singing lessons,” he said.

“The school community is trying to come to terms with the loss of one of our bright stars and we will do everything we can to support each other.

“She will be greatly missed but leaves a legacy that will live on because of the sort of person she was.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with her family.”

On Lauren’s Facebook page friends left their own tributes.

Messages included, ‘I’m missing you already’, and ‘Mondays and Thursdays are going to be so boring - you light up the room. Love and miss you’.

A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “Officers were called to a property in Stradbroke at 6.50am on Tuesday.

“We invoked our sudden death procedure as a matter of course. It is not being treated as suspicious.”