South Hornchurch councillor to dance in Olympic opening ceremony

A Havering councillor will be dancing in front of a television audience of up to four billion people on Friday at the Olympics opening ceremony.

South Hornchurch’s Cllr Michael-Deon Burton will be putting on his dancing shoes as part of the spectacular event which starts at 9pm.

A former professional dancer, Cllr Burton decided to rekindle his passion for the art by auditioning for the ceremony, and will take part in the event some 30 years after he stopped dancing professionally.

He said he’s also been using the opportunity to raise awareness of the need for organ donation within ethnic minority communities.

The councillor, who has been rehearsing since the beginning of the year, said: “It’s our Games and it’s not against the rules to get involved. I think even more so as elected officials it’s important to take part in these things.

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“I feel a terrified pride. At an early rehearsal someone, it might have been (director) Danny Boyle himself, said: ‘When you’re on stage on the opening night, two thirds of the world’s population will be watching you,’ I thought ‘Oh well no pressure then’.”

He added: “I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but I can say that the director and his staff have managed to make the vast number of persons involved feel as if they really matter, and the audience on TV will see that too.

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“It is something that will certainly never happen again in my lifetime and it’s already been an experience I won’t forget.”

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