Craigroyston teachers to make TV dance debut

The teachers will perform their newly learned moves on Ashley Banjo's Secret Street Crew. Picture: Peter Devlin
The teachers will perform their newly learned moves on Ashley Banjo's Secret Street Crew. Picture: Peter Devlin
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SIX members of staff from Craigroyston High School are to make their TV debut tomorrow bringing a whole new meaning to the phrase dance teachers.

After four weeks of gruelling practice they will strut their stuff on hit Sky show Ashley Banjo’s Secret Street Crew.

Each week Ashley, star of the hit dance troupe Diversity, takes a group of hopeless movers and – against all the odds – teaches them how to street dance.

During rehearsals the unlikely dance group had to keep their training secret from friends and family – but all was revealed when they put on a show at the school in front of a stunned audience.

Head of English Shelly McLaren, 28, from Leith said: “For the whole month of June last year Ashley came and taught us to dance.

“We took part because we wanted to show the kids that they can be successful if they work hard enough.

“Ashley was lovely but he also worked us really hard – we couldn’t dance then but we can do now.”

Also in the group was curricular leader for expressive arts, Sharon Black, 34, business manager Leslie Russell, 54, depute headteacher Karen Smart, 55, depute headteacher Christopher Santini, 40, and guidance teacher Yvonne Linning, 27.

Shelley, who describes herself as “having two left feet” said: “It was Sharon who applied to go on the show. When she heard back she asked me if I wanted to take part and I told her I couldn’t dance, but she said, that’s the point!”

“On the first day Ashley brought Diversity up to the school and we were shown the routine we would be doing.

“It was really complex and we didn’t think we would ever be able to do it.

“We had only known the routine for a week when Ashley took us down to Newcastle to the Metro Centre where there were thousands of people.

“We had to dance in front of them – it was a complete disaster! But somehow, it all came together in the end.

“The kids went wild at the performance.”

Now in its second series, the show has featured dinner ladies, darts players and even a squad of policemen.

The Craigroyston team, the first group of teachers and the first team from Scotland to feature in the programme, were filmed for hundreds of hours.

Leslie said: “When I first saw the routine, I thought there was no way we were going to be able to do it but when we broke it down it became a bit easier.

“It was really enjoyable, but hard work – we were practising first thing in the morning and late at night.

“Keeping it secret from our families was really difficult, having to make excuses.

“I’m feeling nervous about watching the results though!”

See how they did tomorrow night on Sky One, at 6.30pm.

Big step up


Members: Nine

Ages: Between 17 and 27 years old

From: London/Essex

Performances: Royal Variety Performance, London O2 arena, Limitless: The Tour 2013

Favourite TV show: Britain’s Got Talent

The Teachers

Members: Six

Ages: From 27 to 55

From: Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife

Performances: Craigroyston High School end of year assembly

Favourite TV show: Ashley Banjo’s Secret Street Crew