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Xavier steps out to bright future

PUBLISHED: 08:44 24 September 2008 | UPDATED: 11:03 08 July 2010

61 year old Xavier Navarre has set up a dance school thanks to a scheme called New Deal 50 plus. Here he is pictured with his wife Joanna.

61 year old Xavier Navarre has set up a dance school thanks to a scheme called New Deal 50 plus. Here he is pictured with his wife Joanna.

PHIL Daniels, the first person to be voted off BBC TV's Strictly Come Dancing, should think about attending the Xavier Navarre Dance School in Swaffham.

PHIL Daniels, the first person to be voted off BBC TV's Strictly Come Dancing, should think about attending the Xavier Navarre Dance School in Swaffham.

Swaffham Jobcentre Plus has helped 61-year-old, Xavier put on his dancing shoes and set up his own dance school.

He started in the competitive world of dance at 13 years old and has been running classes and choreographing shows ever since. He and his wife had been living and working in the United States as dance teachers, and so when they returned to England in 2006 their ultimate aim was to set up their own dance school.

Jobcentre's New Deal 50 plus, for people over 50 to update skills and learn new ones or for those setting up their own business, paid for Xavier to study for his International Dance Association Licentiate Ballroom qualification.

It can take up to two years, but once qualified he will be able to judge the Viennese waltz at championship level. This is important as he knows there will become a time when he is no longer able to teach. Through an additional fund, Jobcentre Plus was also able to pay towards the cost of a good quality amplifier and music CDs.

“Initially we were running a couple of classes a week”, said Xavier, “but this has gradually built up so that now we run classes every day except Wednesdays. At the weekend we mainly give private lessons. We run classes in ballroom, Latin and Argentine tango and our pupils range from complete novices to those more experienced dancers.”

Kim Cardarelli, of Jobcentre Plus, said: “I am so pleased for Xavier. He knew what he wanted to do and I am glad that we could help him achieve his ambition. Now over a year on from when he first became self-employed he has a thriving business. It just goes to show that age should not be a barrier.”

If you wish to find out more about Xavier Navarre Dance visit www.xadance.co.uk or call him on 01760 336410.

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