York dance teacher raises £290 from online fitness class for theatre fans

Last Saturday morning, Hannah King, a regular performer at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre, ran an online virtual dance fitness class to help raise funds for the theatre’s Raise the Roof appeal. As well as being a lot of fun, the class raised an impressive £290 for the appeal.  A total of 30 people joined in from 22 households and included participants of all ages. 

Hannah says, “It was a great chance for people to catch up with their theatre friends who they haven’t seen throughout lockdown.  One family had members taking part in Aberdeen, York and London so they could all have fun together and see each other!”

Participants were able to take part with their cameras switched either on or off.  One theatre volunteer noticed that those with their cameras switched on were the performers amongst the group, whereas those more used to spending time backstage or in the orchestra pit tended to be the ones who chose to remain out of the limelight!

Hannah has performed many times at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre, most recently playing the role of Sinbad in the Rowntree Players’ pantomime of the same name last year.

Hannah says, “I have grown up performing and watching shows at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre, made so many friends, built my confidence and made fabulous memories there.  I thought it was definitely time to do something to give back!”

The theatre launched its Raise the Roof campaign last month by creating an online music video put together “virtually” during lockdown.  The appeal has already raised over £2,300.

Dan Shrimpton, Chair of Trustees of the charity says, “There is a lot of momentum now behind the campaign.  We’ve had money raised through the sale of face masks, the sale of bags of sweets and chocolates which we had already stocked up on and from other small fundraisers organised by our volunteers. Our latest launch is Yorkshire’s Got Talent which we are sure will be a huge online event.”

To launch the Raise the Roof campaign the theatre has set up a Just Giving page and is encouraging people to donate even just the amount of a takeaway coffee.  The link to the page is here https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/Raise-the-Roof