St Neots dance academy to get Molly back on her feet

Cast members of the Ajs Dance Academy show All aboard on stage with Molly Moore whose charity all p

Cast members of the Ajs Dance Academy show All aboard on stage with Molly Moore whose charity all proceeds are going towards. - Credit: Archant

A CAST of almost 200 dancers will take to the stage in an attempt to get a little girl back on her feet.

Molly Moore, from Offord, Fundraising for her physiotherapy, with mum Katie Moore

Molly Moore, from Offord, Fundraising for her physiotherapy, with mum Katie Moore - Credit: Archant

Molly Moore, 10, of Opeford Close, Offord Cluny, has not been able to walk since a second stroke at the age of six left the girl who “loved to dance and twirl” in a wheelchair.

AJS Dance Academy's Amanda Smith with Molly Moore

AJS Dance Academy's Amanda Smith with Molly Moore - Credit: Archant

Now, having inspired a former dancer who knows what it is like to have to re-learn how to walk, Molly’s struggle for independence has become the driving force behind a huge production that has been 18 months in the making.

Nearly 200 performers from AJS Dance Academy in St Neots, most of whom are children, will be dancing to raise money for the crucial rehabilitation that could help Molly to walk again.

Amanda Smith has been teaching dance for more than 30 years but after suffering a foot injury in 2008 and having major re-constructive surgery, it looked as though her dancing days were over.


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Mrs Smith, who lives in Hartford, said: “It was like having a new foot. I was in a plaster cast for six weeks, a ski boot for four months and then on crutches for 18 months.

“I then contracted chronic regional pain syndrome which is the most excruciating pain I’ve ever had – it was worse than child birth, I cried and cried and cried.”

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Through the pain, Mrs Smith, who is known to her students as Miss M, set about re-learning how to walk with what she describes as a baby foot. It took two years of rehabilitation and invaluable support from her family, but now she can jump and dance again and it is this experience that led her to want to help Molly.

She said: “I feel I know the battle that you face on a daily basis that people don’t see. I was so determined and I see in Molly a determined little girl with an incredible upbeat family who will do anything to make her life better.”

It was decided just over a month ago that the profits from AJS Dance Academy’s show All Aboard, which they have been working on for 18 months, would go towards funding Molly’s rehabilitation.

The group has sold more than 620 tickets and there are still about 120 available for the show which takes place at the Priory Centre in St Neots on the weekend of July 13 and 14.

In the meantime Molly started her second three-week course at the Footsteps Centre in Oxford on Monday, which offers specialist intensive rehabilitation for children and young adults. Each course costs £2,250 but her first spell at the centre saw her go from not being able to walk at all to walking 19 steps unaided.

Molly’s mother Katie, who has tirelessly fundraised to try to pay for the sessions, says she is extremely grateful for the help from AJS.

Mrs Moore said: “Amanda came round and was showing Molly her foot and all the scars – she’s been there and she knows the fight.

“She danced for Molly in the garden, they’re all lovely people. When we went to the rehearsal Molly loved it. A lot of the little children came up to Molly and said that she would be up there dancing with them eventually – she used to love to dance and twirl.”

Some of the dancers will also be joining Molly as she attempts to walk half-a-mile on July 7 at the recreation ground in Offord D’Arcy.

On the day there will be a raffle with the top prize being a two-week stay at a time share in Florida.

INFORMATION: For tickets visit www.ajsdanceacademy.com. For information on Molly’s walk, raffle tickets and how to sponsor her visit www.justgiving.com/Molly-will-walk-again or e-mail katiearcher21@hotmail.com

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