Lancing student leads 24-hour danceathon for Comic Relief

Lancing student Chloe Ellman-Baker has danced for 24 hours non-stop, leading her university dance club in a fundraising effort for Comic Relief.

Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 11:19 am

Putting her best foot forward, the 21-year-old model stepped up and danced through 24 hours of classes and entertainment with the University of Portsmouth Dance Club.

As president, Chloe led the charge and spent the entire danceathon on her feet in an outbuilding at her home in Coombes Road.

She said: “I absolutely love pushing myself for charity. I just give everything a go. I didn’t really think about it until the 24 hours started.

University of Portsmouth Dance Club at a competition pre-Covid, with president Chloe Ellman-Baker from Lancing in the front row, fourth left.
University of Portsmouth Dance Club at a competition pre-Covid, with president Chloe Ellman-Baker from Lancing in the front row, fourth left.

“A few members of the dance club were with me, keeping me motivated. At 4am it was a bit of a struggle and some of the girls came on and did some silly dances. They definitely kept me going.

“At one point, we had 100 people on, and overall it was about 300. Knowing so many people were involved really took the pain away from my feet, though at one point, I was dancing on a pillow, it was so bad.

“During the daytime, we had special guests and opened it up to everyone. In the evening, we focused on the Portsmouth societies and dance clubs, as we have had a lack of engagement and they have all struggled. We managed to get 16 clubs and societies involved and it was lovely.”

Since lockdown, all the dance classes have been on Zoom and members have adapted over the months, some even managing to continue in their tiny student accommodation.

Chloe Ellman-Baker danced for 24 hours non-stop for Comic Relief

At the start, everyone was keen to keep classes running online but keeping members motivated has not always been easy, so the Zoom danceathon was one way of getting everyone together.

Chloe, who is in the final year of an architecture and design degree, said: “I organised an action-packed 24 hours, with each hour hosted by a dance teacher from the south coast.

“Our main aims, in these times without theatre and dance, were all about promoting teachers in the south coast and allowing people to give dance a go and maybe then think about trying it again when we can do it in person.

“It was also about mental health, because a lot of people are struggling.”

So far, £2,661 has been raised for Comic Relief. Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/updcdancearoundtheclock for more information and to make a donation.