A proud dance teacher has shared her joy after learning that former pupil Natalie Gumede will be gracing screens up and down the country in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing.
Soap star Natalie (29), who appeared in shows at the Pendle Hippodrome Theatre and the Muni, was taught by Susan Thorp since she was four-years-old.
She was trained in various dance disciplines, including ballet and modern jazz, during her time at the Chippendale School of Dance, in Colne, and was said to have excelled with her tap abilities. She left the school in her early teens, before going to train at the prestigious Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts in 2003.
Susan, known professionally by her maiden name Susan Chippendale, is delighted with the progress Natalie has made – but is quick to reassure the public that she is nothing like her former Coronation Street character Kirsty Soames.
The teacher, who retired six years ago, said: “I am very pleased – she has done very well.
“She got the part in Coronation Street, which isn’t anything like her at all – she must be a good actress. People would say ‘She’s horrible’ and I would say ‘No she’s not, she’s lovely’.
“I still see quite a few people who Natalie danced with, and they are very pleased with how she’s done.”
See Natalie begin her fight for the coveted glitterball trophy in the Strictly Come Dancing launch show on BBC One on Saturday at 6-50pm.