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Kent Cricket Profile: Spitfire Sweethearts Choreographer, Tanya Nicholls

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29 August 2012

*Tanya is pictured middle back row in photo above

Name, and position at Kent Cricket:

Tanya Nicholls – Marketing Assistant

What brought you to Kent Cricket?

I've always enjoyed cricket and attended many matches here with my family before working here as my Dad was a Member. After my first year at University I contacted the Club to see if they had any vacancies and six years later I’m still here!

Role at Kent Cricket:

I have worked in the Kent Cricket Shop for the majority of my time at the Club, but in the last year and a half I have been in the Club's main office dealing with memberships, ticketing, enquiries and more recently helping with marketing and assisting with match enhancement.

What is your background in dance?

I’ve always had a great passion for dance, choreography and teaching. As a child I went to various dance classes including Ballet, Jazz and Tap. I have choreographed routines for various shows, and when I left school I completed a degree in Visual and Performed Arts. I then went on to complete my teaching qualification with the International Dance Teachers Association in London and more locally, where I graduated with Honours. 

During my time with Kent I have choreographed and taught routines for the Halloween/Fireworks Extravaganza - when staff performed Michael Jackson's Thriller! More recently I have been the choreographer for the Spitfire Sweethearts, who perform routines at Friends Life T20 and some Clydesdale Bank 40 matches. Outside of Kent Cricket I am also a dance teacher to younger children of various age groups and abilities. I find this extremely rewarding in that I have the opportunity to see talent grow through their enjoyment of dance. The particular highlights of my dancing career to date have to be performing at Her Majesty’s Theatre (London) and the London 02 Arena last year.

How did you become the Spitfire Sweethearts' choreographer?

As an employee at the Club I have seen dance troupes and cheerleaders most years. It has always been an ambition of mine to create our own troupe of dancers to perform at the Kent matches.  This year we decided to hold open auditions to look for local talent who wanted to take part in this opportunity. I was given the responsibility of choreographing the routines. 

How did you select the cheerleaders?

We held open auditions for potential dancers in January and February. We have a great mix of cheerleaders this year who I am extremely proud of.  They are all local to the area and have various links to the Club. 

How often have you rehearsed this year?

Hayley, Eloise, Karen, Lucy, Jessie, Morgan, Charlotte, Alice, Amy and Tanya have worked extremely hard every week since February. We rehearse up to three times a week to make sure that the routines are of a professional standard. The girls have all been absolutely amazing to work with and it has made my job as a choreographer very easy as they are so enthusiastic and hard working. The rehearsals have been really intense at times but it has been an amazing experience with lots of laughs. 

What is the inspiration for your routines?

There is some great music around at the moment which makes choreographing easier as the movement comes more naturally. I listen to a piece repeatedly and write down any ideas and then try and work it into sections which fit with the genre of the music.  I take inspiration from commercial dance videos, theatre, trending dance styles and I love Bob Fosse’s style of movement.

Who would get your vote as Kent Cricket's Player of the Season for 2012?

Darren Stevens

Which ground is your favourite in England?

I do like Lord's, however, Kent holds many great memories for me as I have watched many matches here from a young age. The atmosphere is lovely when there are Twenty20 matches on, when it’s dusk and the ground looks amazing especially with the new development. The staff and members are great too, and I enjoy seeing our supporters return each year.

If you could perform with the cheerleaders anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Definitely Buckingham Palace - our own stage in front of the Palace . . .amazing!

Who is the greatest cricketer that ever lived?

Shane Warne, a superb talent and amazing sports personality.

If you could create the perfect player, whose facets would they have?

Ricky Ponting , Sachin Tendulker for batting and Shane Warne for bowling