Dance troupe appeal for help with dress fund

Fleetwood Royalettes are on the fundraising campaign for new costumes.  PIC BY ROB LOCK
Fleetwood Royalettes are on the fundraising campaign for new costumes. PIC BY ROB LOCK

It certainly isn’t a case of being all dressed up with nowhere to go, as far as dance troupe Fleetwood Royalettes are concerned.

In fact, it’s the opposite.

The group are gearing up for a top championship competition at the end of this year, with the chance of glittering trophies at stake and then the 2017 season to consider.

But they are desperate to get new costume dresses for the event – and the total bill is likely to be £4,000.

The Royalettes, first established in 1986 by Carol Brooks, are busy fund-raising to try and raise the cash.

However, current co-principals Shirley Farrington and Sammy Williams hope that anyone with offers of sponsorship support or raffle prizes may be able to help them out.

The Royalettes are well known in the town and often turn out to support charity nights and Fleetwood’s biggest events, such as Tram Sunday and Fleetwood Carnival.

Sammy said: “Our costume dresses are a vital part of what we do but they are very expensive.

“They have to be specially made with sequins and a lot of detail and that doesn’t come cheap. Having the right look is vital and without the dresses for all the girls, we won’t be at our best

“The girls can’t stay in their current dresses much longer, we need new ones. They work ever so hard to learn their routines and are competing with troupes from all over the North.”

The dance troupe is divided into four age sections, the Tots (up to four years old), Dinkies (up to age nine), Juniors (up to 15) and the Seniors (16 and above). There are nearly 80 girls altogether, hence the large costume bill.

The Tameside Morris Dancing Organisation Championships (TMDO), held at the Prestatyn Sands Holiday Park, North Wales, is the finale of the season and the event at which all the troupes want to be at their best. In previous seasons the Royalettes have emerged from this event with a string of prizes.

Shirley said: “We have girls from all different social and economic backgrounds and dancing helps them learn about teamwork, commitment and also gives them a sense of pride in everything they do and achieve.

“This year we are asking the public and businesses if they can help us to reach our target of £4,000 to buy the girls much needed new dresses. These dresses are so expensive as they are specialist-made. We would be so grateful if there is any business out there that could donate anything for us to raffle or sponsor us.”

The Royalettes meet every Thursday night at Fleetwood’s United Reformed Church on Dronsfield Road, between 6pm and 9pm, with new members welcome.

Anyone able to help the Royalettes can contact them the troupe’s Facebook page and leave their contact