PUPILS and staff from a local school staged a ‘danceathon’ in support of their friend who is battling cancer.

The children, teachers and staff of St Michael’s CE School in Wimborne put on a mammoth dance show for Year 8 pupil and World Tap Dance gold medalist Jude Feltham.

They gathered in their hundreds at the school for a danceathon to raise £4,000 for the Piam Brown children’s cancer unit at Southampton General Hospital.

Headteacher Ron Jenkinson said: “We couldn’t think of a better way of showing our support for Jude than by embracing the thing he loves most and excels at – dancing.

“Jude is an incredible talent and won a gold and bronze in the World Tap Dancing Championships just one month before he was diagnosed with leukaemia.

“It is amazing that he achieved this level of success with the leukaemia present his blood system.

“He is responding well to treatment which is, of course, challenging and painful but he has shown exceptional courage.

“Jude and his family are embedded into many aspects of Wimborne life and he has touched so many hearts.”

The danceathon was led by staff and sixth formers from Queen Elizabeth’s School who taught everyone a 60 second dance routine in the school hall in less than 30 minutes.

It was then performed by all 595 students plus staff in the school playground.

Jude’s mum, Boo,said: “Jude has been so encouraged by the level of support the pupils, staff and families of St Michael’s have given to raise money for Piam Brown.

“Last year Jude was helping the school to raise money for the ward, and now he is a patient himself.

“We understand just how important these fundraising events are in helping Piam Brown to continue providing outstanding care to children with cancer, and their families.”

On the same day as the danceathon, and in another show of support for children who have cancer, four pupils – Chloe Luther, Evie Prianes, Emily Lamb and Trinity Cooper ­— had a minimum of 21cm cut off their hair and donated to the Little Princess Trust.