Talented young dance troupe Jukebox Juniors wowed the judging panel on tonight’s Got To Dance premiere and their teacher Liara Williams has revealed that their passion for dancing has helped keep these children off the streets.
The Cardiff based, self taught choreographer, started the troupe to help her brother Tevini and nephew Darnell and is now an unpaid dance teacher for the group of nine young people.
Liara told Walesonline:
“I was worried about them getting involved with stuff – they’re good kids but people can get in with the wrong crowd and a lot of kids in these areas get mixed up in the wrong things.”
She added: “I’m not saying they’d end up in prison but dance shelters them from the bad stuff.
“There have been a few incidents in Ely, really bad things, and many of them live on rough streets and rather than playing out in the streets and being around that, this is giving them focus.
“Some are surrounded by drugs, gangs and violence, and without dancing I think they could be in trouble.
“But some have been dancing with me since they were six and they haven’t got caught up in anything because they haven’t had to.”
As well as impressing on Got To Dance, the Jukebox Juniors have also previously appeared on BBC’s Children In Need and competed in the UK hip hop dance championships.
Liara said: “I wish there had been opportunities like this when I was younger, they’ve won awards, have competed in LA and met amazing people.
“A lot of people are quite ignorant about this kind of dance and I want to get it to be recognised – especially the dance coming from Wales.
“Our dream is to put on our own theatre production – I hope this is going to be our time.”