Stockport's Inclusion in the Queen's Jubilee Pageant 2022

Two talented dancers from Stockport have been selected to join the biggest street celebration in decades.

Two talented dancers from Stockport have been selected to join the biggest street celebration in decades.

Louise Hand and Lisa Vigour are amongst 200 people from Greater Manchester who are currently rehearsing for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Pageant, a spectacular parade which is taking place in London on Sunday 5 June.

The performers were chosen to take part in the parade by Greater Manchester carnival arts organisation Global Grooves, the only northern group to produce a section of the Royal celebrations.

Louise, 25, from Offerton, has a background in Irish dancing and a degree in dance from Liverpool Hope University. Whilst singer/songwriter Lisa, 43, from Heaton Chapel, says she dances for 30 minutes at the start of every day.

After an intensive rehearsal period at carnival arts centre of excellence, The Vale, in Tameside, the performers will travel to the capital to represent Stockport in front of members of the Royal Family. The day's events will be viewed by a global TV and online audience of hundreds of millions.

Louise said: "I have studied traditional Irish dance and music and competed in many Irish Feis festivals during my childhood. I believe bringing together different members of the community to celebrate a variety of cultures will be an extremely impactful event. This is something I am really excited to be part of.

"Representing my hometown of Stockport at the Pageant will be an honour, especially when surrounded by a group of artists who are also from Greater Manchester."

Lisa said: " "My mum is Irish/ Pakistani and my biological father is from Fiji. I was born in London but now call Heaton Chapel home.

"I want to be part of the Pageant to meet other like-minded souls and to be part of something amazingly special.

"You don't often get the chance to dress up, dance and be part of an amazing group of people. As soon as I saw the opportunity, I jumped straight in. I can't wait!"

Freya Bennett-Nielsen, producer, Global Grooves, said: "Our carnival parade celebrates Greater Manchester in all of its wonderful diversity and shines a light on the cultural exchanges that take place when people collaborate with others who have vastly different experiences, ideas and ways of living.

“We are proud to be taking some of Stockport's finest young performers down to London and absolutely know they will do us proud in front of the eyes of the world."

Kirsty Connell, network coordinator, Greater Manchester Arts, which is supporting Global Grooves to take the young people to London, said: "The Queen's Platinum Jubilee Pageant offers a fantastic opportunity to showcase some of the talent we have here in Greater Manchester.

"We're really pleased to be able to support Global Grooves in ensuring that all of Greater Manchester is represented."

Global Grooves' colourful carnival influenced spectacle, called A Sharing of Gifts, draws inspiration from across the Commonwealth, including the Caribbean, Africa and the Indian subcontinent. It will also feature readily recognisable music, fashion and dance influences from closer to home.

At the head of the promenading entourage will be a glorious carnival queen in her own chariot, played by drag artist Cheddar Gorgeous. Following behind will be four giant walkabout puppets, a 100-strong young people's carnival music group, 50 lavishly costumed dancers and a sea of giant flag bearers.

The parade will wind its way through the streets of Westminster and along the Mall, past Buckingham Palace, using carnival, dance, music, circus and street theatre to tell the story of HRH's record 70-year-long reign.

The pageant will be one of the final events across a four day bank holiday weekend 2-5 June.

Since 2003, Global Grooves has inspired people all over the globe to take part in carnival-style events, working across Greater Manchester as well as in Gambia, Brazil, New Zealand, Singapore, and Trinidad & Tobago. In 2021, Global Grooves launched the Northern Carnival Centre of Excellence within The Vale arts centre in Mossley, Tameside.