Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk, the Ipswich art trail inspired by children’s favourite Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, by David McKee, which runs from 15th June to 7th September, has got its own dance.

The dance, which has been developed by former Northgate High School pupil and professional dancer Millie Mayhew, is inspired by a ballet dancing ‘Elmer’ called Big Ballet Bertha – one of 55 elephant sculptures that will be appearing across Ipswich over the summer.

Millie, who has recently returned from performing in Disney’s Tarzan the Musical, produced the dance to bring even more fun to the trail and encourage trail participants to be more active.

She said “The dance is being launched today because it’s Move Suffolk Week. It’s all about encouraging people to have some fun whilst being active.”

“I’ve had so much fun developing it. Being brought-up in Ipswich and having danced with local groups like the Co-op Juniors for almost 10 years, it means a lot to have produced something that might just inspire more people to dance more.”

“I hope it really catches on and we see lots of people doing all, or some, of the Big Ballet Bertha dance throughout the summer.”

The one-minute long dance will be accompanied by a tutorial for schools, community groups, families and individuals, giving easy to follow instructions on the fun moves included in it.

During the trail participants will be encouraged to upload short clips of themselves doing the dance for a chance to win tickets to the Co-op Juniors Christmas Spectacular.

A number of people from local organisations including BBC Radio Suffolk, St Elizabeth Hospice (the organisation behind Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk), Suffolk County Council, Marketing Force Ltd and Dance East, have already given the dance a go with their efforts being captured in a short video clip.

Jackie Wilding, Joint Managing Director at Marketing Force said “The dance is so much fun. Everybody genuinely enjoyed doing it and really felt the benefits afterwards from undertaking a bout of physical activity.”

Cllr James Reeder, cabinet member for health at Suffolk County Council commented “Whilst the Big Ballet Bertha dance is all about having fun, the serious side is that it’s encouraging people to be more active and we know that, whatever your age, there is strong scientific evidence to show that being physically active helps improve health and wellbeing”.

Norman Lloyd, Campaign Manager for Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk said “The Big Ballet Bertha Dance is a wonderful addition to our parade and is sure to bring ‘tons of fun’ to the trail this summer! We can’t wait to see everybody giving it a go. It’s sure to be one of this year’s highlights.” 

To watch the dance, and view the tutorial, visit www.movesuffolkweek.com/big-ballet-bertha.

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