Huntingdon students with learning disabilities record Olly Murs and Taylor Swift songs

Children, young people and adults with learning disabilities at 'pop school' at Orchard Lane, Huntin

Children, young people and adults with learning disabilities at 'pop school' at Orchard Lane, Huntingdon - Credit: Archant

CHILDREN, young people and adults with learning disabilities became pop stars for a week at a performing arts school in Huntingdon.

Guided by the school’s industry professionals, the group of 21 rehearsed a song of their choice and recorded a 6 song CD together.

On Friday (August 16), they performed their songs to an audience of proud family and friends at Huntingdon Dance Centre.

The students, who are aged between 19 and 50, performed songs from a range of genres including Troublemaker by Olly Murs, We Are Never Getting Back Together by Taylor Swift and Tragedy by the Bee Gees.

The team at Bedazzle are seasoned performers themselves and have many years of experience in the industry.

The principal, Diane Janssen, has over 30 years of professional experience including theatre tours, West End performances and roles in television programmes including Brookside, The Bill, and Crossroads.

She said: “We try to do something different in the summer holidays. Each student has their own individual journey, for some singing and dancing comes really easily to them, for some it’s just about coming to a new place and joining a class full of people. Everybody is reflected regardless of their abilities and we find a way of making sure that everybody is represented on the finished piece.”

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Bedazzle students have gone on to appear in the Oscar winning film Les Miserables, West End shows and in soaps such as Eastenders.

The company received funding from the Strangward Trust which allowed them to offer the course at subsidised rates.

Mrs Janssen added: “We enable each person to be the best that they can be and they can just be really proud of their achievement. By Friday they are doing a whole host of things they never thought they could do.”

INFORMATION: Bedazzle also offer performing arts courses throughout the year for those with and without learning disabilities in addition to their summer holiday activities. Visit for more information.