The NEAT Dancer

Jan 24, 2023

A TALENTED dancer helped avoid a riot after the Kaiser Chiefs were cut short by a power- cut at the opening ceremony of the Rugby League World Cup.

Benfield School student Keira Hamilton proved the show must go on after the public address system at St James’s Park, Newcastle, lost power just minutes into the Kaiser Chiefs’ set. 

“We were kneeling waiting for the start and nothing happened for about ten minutes,” said Keira, who has been dancing since she was three. “So we just got on with it and managed to get the crowd doing a Mexican wave which was really good as it went around the whole stadium. For some reason the cameramen zoomed in on me so I assume I was televised around the world.” Keira was energetic from being a toddler so her mother signed her up for dance which saw her attend baby ballet and jazz classes. She was also a regular cast member of many pantomimes from the age of five and can act and sing. A member of the Jill Errington Theatre School, the 13-year-old also performed with the National Musical Theatre Company at the Theatre Royal and in her career has played a Munchkin in the Wizard of Oz and a kitten in the musical Cats. She is currently rehearsing for Goldilocks which is due to show at Newcastle’s People’s Theatre and is also performing before the Newcastle Eagles basketball game. “Performing at St James’s in front of 40,000 people and millions of others around the world watching 150 TV channels was an amazing experience,” she said. “I was nervous at first particularly as we had to change the routine at short notice but that soon went when I was on the pitch. “I’m also a backing dancer for the Newcastle singer Channy Thompson, who was the first unsigned artiste to play the Arena and has supported Jess Glynne, Olly Murs and Sigala. I have had so many opportunities through her including filming three music videos. “My dream is to go to dance college and appear in shows in the West End of London, perhaps as Annie as I have red hair, or be a backing dancer for a top singer. I’m also hoping the latest movie of Matilda will revive musicals on the big screen and I could do that too.” 

Benfield School Headteacher Anthony Martin said: “It never fails to amaze me the talent we are blessed with in this school and Keira is a fantastic example of that. Her ability, dedication and commitment to her dance, all of which she does in her own time, is an incredible example of what can be achieved by our young people.”