Help top British dancer perform on world stage
A TOP British dancer who has always longed to perform on the world stage is appealing for help to make her dream come true.
Amy Ward, 21, and her partner, Fabio D'Angelo, are one of the UK's best ballroom dance pairs.
And now they have been offered the chance of a lifetime – to appear at the World Amateur Ballroom Championships in Melbourne, Australia.
But no funding is available for dancers and Amy's family cannot afford to pay for her trip themselves.
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"It would mean everything to me to go," Amy said.
"It would be our first World Championships dancing together, so it would mean the world.
"We would be holding the flag for England, because we would be the only English couple there."
Every other country's dance federation is paying couples' expenses.
But England has two dance federations instead of just one – and the group Amy is with does not have the funds to pay.
"It's a really small federation," she said.
"It's a bit confusing – there are two federations and we're in the smaller one."
Amy's mum, Annette, runs the Top Class Dance Centre in Hull.
"It doesn't seem right but that's the way it is unfortunately," she said.
"You've got to have money to dance.
"They're the top England couple and, even though Amy's partner is Italian, they're dancing for England."
The family hopes to find someone who will help pay travel and accommodation costs for Amy's trip.
"When people are watching Strictly Come Dancing, you might get someone who is watching who can help Amy," Annette said.
"I've got in touch with a lot of people but funding is so tight because of the recession.
"The lottery doesn't fund individuals and Sport England don't fund dancing – but they said they might do next year."
Annette thinks the trip might cost several thousand pounds, for flights and hotel accommodation.
"Amy was so excited about going but the blow came when they said they couldn't fund her," she said.
"It's an expensive trip.
"We've been paying out for her all the time but we just can't afford to send her there."
Amy is due to dance on Sunday, December 2.
If you can help with her costs, call Top Class Dance Centre on 01482 701701.