Ashley Banjo workshop at Razzamataz Carlisle!

Razz workshop with Ashley Banjo

Dancing star Ashley Banjo, leader of dance troupe Diversity which won Britain’s Got Talent (BGT), dropped in to our school to teach students some new moves.

The street dancer and choreographer visited our studios in Carlisle on Saturday, to teach students from all over Cumbria and south west Scotland moves from Diversity’s recent tour.

Debbie Mitchell, principal of Razzamataz Carlisle, said: “He was just really, really normal and the kids had a great rapport with them. Teaching wise, he was fantastic with the kids.”

Ashley shot to fame with Diversity in 2009 when the street-dance troupe won BGT. They have since completed seven sell-out UK tours, most recently in April this year.

About 60 children and teenagers from Razzamataz schools in Carlisle, Penrith, west Cumbria and Dumfries came to the workshops with Ashley.

They were split into two groups of 7 to 11-year-olds, and 12 to 18-year-olds for the two hour sessions. Ashley introduced himself, did a warm up then took students through a few moves and foundations of street dance before teaching them a combination from the recent Genesis tour.




Many of the children actually went to see Diversity perform during the Genesis tour, so Debbie said it was very exciting for them to learn moves they had seen on stage.

Debbie said: “He came with his wife and they were both just so lovely and normal. He was just really nice to everybody and really down to earth.”


After the dancing, Ashley let students ask him questions which ranged from who inspired him growing up to what was his greatest achievement to-date.

Ashley reportedly said winning BGT was his greatest achievement because up until then he didn’t realise that what they were doing was good and would appeal to so many people.

Children also asked if he got nervous before going on stage to perform and he said yes of course he did.

The parents who met Ashley were apparently just as excited as the children. They came to see what the children and teenagers had been learning at the end of the workshops.

The Razzamataz students have visited Diversity’s studio in Essex twice but on both occasions Ashley couldn’t make it because of other commitments.

Debbie said: “It was really nice for him to come up north. I hope there might be an opportunity for something again in future.”

Denise Hutton-Gosney, managing director of Razzamataz Theatre School, said it was a real privilege to work Ashley as he is an idol for many of the students.

She added: “We always have lots of experiences planned to make our students’ time at Razzamataz the most rewarding it can be.”

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