Her own Olympic legacy
PUBLISHED: 12:22 26 September 2012 | UPDATED: 22:04 20 February 2013
Ella Fleetwood, 17, from Duncton is in her last year at St Phillip Howard Catholic High School in Barnham. She is studying English Language, History and Politics. Ella is also a talented dancer who performed in the Olympics closing ceremony in August
Ella Fleetwood will never forget the closing night of the London 2012 Olympics.
As one of the youngest dancers in the closing ceremony, she performed for 15 minutes amidst the roar from 100,000 spectators in the Olympic Stadium. It seems like an age since we did it but Im still completely buzzing, said Ella.
Ella decided to audition after receiving an email from a dance website. I just thought there was no point not going for it. I feel extremely lucky to have got it considering how many people went for it.
Ella and around 200 other dancers created a large pyramid from white boxes. The idea was that highlights from the Games would be projected onto its surface, but a technical hitch meant the graphics didnt work on the night. Afterwards the dancers performed with flower umbrellas one of which Ella was allowed to take home as a keepsake.
The glamour and excitement of the closing ceremony was preceded by months of hard work. Since March, the dancers had been rehearsing for up to 10 hours in all weather conditions, most recently at the former Ford plant in Dagenham. Basically we rehearsed in a massive car park with tents in it. They had two fields of play which were basically replicas of the stadium, so they had all the entrances marked out and the set was there. We were there in our ponchoswe were told if it rained in the night we just had to get on with it, so it was good practice.
I have met so many incredible people and because theres quite a lot of sitting around, you do get to know people quite well. I think Ive made some friends for life.
The dancers set foot in the stadium for the first time at 9.30 on the day of the performance. There was only time for one rehearsal in situ before viewers from around the world tuned in. The atmosphere was absolutely incredible, says Ella. We performed quite early in the show and our dressing rooms were right under the stadium seats, so we could feel the eruptions from the crowd. We all had a brilliant time.
We didnt meet any of the athletes, but we met Darcy Bussell she was mobbed by all the dancers and I got her to sign my programme - and the Chairman of the IOC, Jacques Rogge walked past us a couple of times.
Ella, who started dancing at 12, has amassed a great deal of experience in a short time. She began dancing locally in Storrington, before becoming an Associate at The Legat School of Dance in St Bedes. She now attends the London Contemporary Dance School every Saturday where she receives intensive training.
Around Easter she will audition for an undergraduate place at vocational dance schools Lambert and the London Contemporary Dance School, with the aim of becoming a professional contemporary dancer or outreach teacher.