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Dance club take to rugby pitch

A Stratford dance school will be performing in front of thousands of people at the Ricoh Arena this Sunday.

MCBD Academy Midlands are performing a mixture of traditional and show routines in the Wasps Fan Village at midday, ahead of Wasps’ crunch clash with Connacht on Sunday, 11 December (kick-off 1pm) that will see the winner top Pool Two.

MCBD Academy Midlands is part of The Doherty Academy of Irish Dancing, which hosts weekly classes in Stratford. The dance school teaches Wasps fly-half Jimmy Gopperth’s daughter Bayley Gopperth, and has produced many British, Irish and American dancing champions.

Katie Martin, dance teacher at MCBD Academy Midlands, added: “The opportunity for us to perform at the Ricoh Arena came about because we teach Jimmy Gopperth’s daughter.

“We have around 100 members, so the 15 dancers that have been chosen to perform, including Jimmy’s daughter, are really excited to show off what they can do.

“We’re really grateful to Wasps for this opportunity, and hope that it can attract more members of all ages to our dance school.”

Looking ahead to Sunday, Bayley explained how excited she and her friends are about performing again at the Ricoh Arena:

"I really enjoyed dancing last time at the Ricoh Arena,” she said. “I'm nervous but also excited to be performing again this weekend. It's going to be really cool to dance in front of lots of people.

"We will be performing our Irish dances including Hop Jig, Reel and much more. We had a rehearsal last Sunday and also have one on Friday before the weekend, as well as practicing at home. I’m really looking forward to the dancing and rugby, and also going on the fairground rides in the Fan Village. It looks so much fun!”

MCBD Academy Midlands’ performance is part of a bumper Wasps fan village which will feature fairground rides including dodgems.

Verity Brown, community development manager at Wasps, said: “The fairground went down an absolute treat with fans last year as thousands of people packed inside the fan village to check it out, so we couldn’t resist bringing it back to give our supporters an early Christmas present.

“There’s always a fun-filled carnival atmosphere when the Irish are in town, and the fairground means it promises to be a great family day out.

“This is a massive game for both teams as the winner will top Pool Two going into the fourth round of Europe, and given the extra activities in the fan village, we’d encourage supporters to arrive at the ground early.”

On the day fans can also test out their passing, tackling and shooting skills in the Wasps Interactive Zone, including an inflatable rugby pitch. Rock band Wired will be playing live, while youngsters can enjoy face painting.

Tickets for Wasps vs Connacht are available from www.wasps.co.uk starting from £15 for adults, while under-10s go free.

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