Friend Becky Lancashire's charity dance-a-thon in memory of tragic student Gemma Marshall

Friend Becky Lancashire's charity dance-a-thon in memory of tragic student Gemma Marshall

By Adele Forrest | 07/10/2019

Friend Becky Lancashire's charity dance-a-thon in memory of tragic student Gemma Marshall
Gemma Marshall and Becky Lancashire.

DANCEFLOOR lovers are being invited to a toe-tapping fundraiser where they can learn 19 different styles of dance by top professionals.

The dance-a-thon will raise money for a dance scholarship set up in her memory of 19-year-old Gemma Marshall, who died in a road traffic collision last year.

The event has been organised by friend Becky Lancashire as part of her 19 in 19: A Fundraiser for Gemma challenge, which sees her taking on a range of activities.

“The dance-a-thon will be the big one,” said Becky.

“It will be taught by people who are now professional dancers and are working in the West End or on cruises.

“They are coming back to Rotherham to teach 19 different styles of dance including ballet, tap and modern.”

The event will be held on November 3 at the Janet Mitchell School of Dance in Brecks, where Becky and Gemma trained together from a young age.

Gemma, of Wickersley Road, had a promising dance career ahead of her and was shining bright in her second year of university in Lincoln when she was fatally injured in a collision on February 3 last year.

The former Oakwood pupil was a passenger in a blue Peugeot when it was involved in a single-vehicle collision. She died in hospital ten days later. 

Production journalist Becky (23), who now lives in Jersey, is encouraging anyone to get involved in the four-hour fundraiser, including non-dancers. 

The event will mark the 13th of Becky’s 19 challenges of the year which have seen her jump out of plane, swim in 19 bays and walk the 19-mile north coast of her new hometown.

Becky has so far raised around £1,600 towards the Gemma Marshall Award, which has been set up by Gemma’s mother.

“The skydive was incredible — the best thing ever,” said Becky.

“It was 13,00ft above Jersey, I could see the whole island up there and France, it was mega scary.

“The first thing I said when I jumped out was: ‘This is for you Gemma’.

“She would have loved stuff like that, she was a wild character. It’s nice for me to keep thinking about her in a positive way and it’s keeping a lot of our friends together following my fundraising.”

The year-long challenge has helped Becky to channel some of Gemma’s daring spirit.

“I was always a safe person but doing this challenge has put me in positions I would have never done,” said Becky.

“I’ve been saying for years I wanted to do a skydive but I don’t think I ever would have if it wasn’t for this.

“I’ve also visited new places, which is good as it gives me time to be on my own — outdoor swimming has been very therapeutic and I’ll carry on doing it.”

For her next tricks, Becky will tackle a bake off, a horse ride and two of her biggest fears — ice skating and road cycling.

To follow her progress and for more information on the dance event search 19in19: A Fundraiser for Gemma on Facebook.

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