Seeing double at Sheffield school of dance

Ever thought you're seeing double? Well if you head to the June D Gill school of dance theatre, you'd be in for a shock.

Wednesday, 13th June 2018, 2:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 5:08 pm
Pictured are Lucy and Katie Parsons in red, Isobelle and Pippa Rimmer-Clegg in yellow, Julia and Freya Gould in green and Faye and Katie Tweedle in orange.

The school is home to not one, but four sets of dancing twins, who will all be taking part in an adaptation of the Lion King, called the Circle of Life at the City Hall this month.

The twins are all of varying ages, from the youngest at nearly three years old to the oldest who are 25.

Lucy and Katie Parsons aged 25

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Katie and Lucy Parsons, 25, have been dancing all their lives after joining the school when they were three.

They still play a big part in the club, taking part in performances and running the dance accessories shop.

Their mum, Judith, 55, also went to the school as a child and now is a part-time assistant to the owner June, alongside a day job in a bank.

She says the club is like a family, adding: "It's a way of life, it's unique. You never leave. People go away do different things but then they come back and everyone keeps in touch."

Twins Julia and Freya Gould aged 7

So do twins make better dancers? Judith said: "Not really! We've had quite a few sets of twins in the past, but never this many at once!"

The youngest pair, Pippa and Isobelle Rimmer-Clegg, will be turning three in September, and are again second generation dancers to have graced the boards at the school.

Their mum, 'Miss Claire', is also a teacher at the school, and she started dancing as a little girl before progressing to become a teacher in later years.

"We've had third generations through the school as well," Judith added.

Isobelle and Pippa Rimmer-Clegg aged 2

Faye and Katie Tweedle followed in their sister Macy's footsteps after joining the club at a young age, and are the only set of twins who are not identical.

The newest pair, Julia and Freya Gould completed the quartet, when they joined the school a few months ago, having been thrown straight into rehearsals for the show.

Judith said: "The twins do tend to want to dance next to each other, mine do. Most of the time we put them apart to balance it out, but they always move because they like to be together.

"Mine always say, 'Nan won't know which side of the stage to watch'."

Pictured still leading the way is June Gill with Nat Kershaw playing "Bumbaa' and Toby Allwood playing 'Timon'

She says twins can sometimes be competitive: "We send them in to the same exams together, in twos or threes.

"Some examiners can give one mark difference which can cause tension. But they like to have support of their twin."

As for making sure you're not getting the twins mixed up, Judith added: "With mine, obviously I know them. But it can be very hard, you want to get it right, and I know that more than anyone, you want people to know which is which.

"I know they don't like it when people don't know which one they are. During dance routines you've got to think quickly, the little ones are the hardest. You've really got to concentrate."

The school celebrates it's 50th anniversary this year, and is taking part in the adaptation to celebrate.

It will be held at the Sheffield City Hall on June 23 and 24.

The June Gill School of Dance,celebrating its 50th Year with rehearsals taking part at Stephen Hill Methodist Church,Crosspool, for its production at Sheffield City Hall of a Circle of Life

The adaptation will also pay homage to two marble lion statues that, after being removed from the venue during renovation work, were last year put back in situ after 55 years in storage.

It will be the first time an adaptation will be performed at the City Hall.

Speaking about the adaptation, June Gill, the owner of the dance school said: "It is a dancing show with a difference. It was adapted by Elliot Goodhill who plays Simba. It was adapted and written for the dancing school for their routines."

The production will feature 10 main characters all portraying principle parts, integrated with dance numbers, singing and action.

You can buy tickets for the event online at www.sheffieldcityhall.co.uk or via the ticket hotline on 0114 2 789 789