Sisters will dance their way to Olympics glory

Malvern Gazette: Jen Barker Jen Barker

SISTERS are preparing to help this summer’s Olympics open and close in fine style.

Talented dancers Rhian Barker, of Madresfield Road, Malvern, and her sister Jen Barker, of Quest Hills Road, have been chosen as volunteer performers at the opening and closing ceremonies of London 2012, where they will dance in front of an audience of billions in the Olympic stadium on Friday, July 27, and Sunday, August 12, respectively.

Rhian, aged 28, who teaches PE, dance and drama at Dyson Perrins CE Academy, and Jen, 27, who works for Dancefest in Worcester, are eagerly awaiting rehearsals. Rhian said: “It’s all top secret but I know it is going to be massive and spectacular.

I’m really excited to go and find out what’s actually going on. I’m very nervous about the thought that there’s going to be billions of people watching on TV.

“It’s such an amazing opportunity and who knows what it could lead to. It’s just a fantastic thing to do and something to tell your grandkids.”

Jen said she had a slightly longer wait than her sister, which added to her nerves and excitement.

“She found out about 10 days before me, so that made me even more nervous and I really wanted to get in as well.

“When I did get the e-mail I was with Rhian, I was so excited.

“Our family are really proud and really pleased for us.”

The opening ceremony, known as the Isles of Wonder, has been inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

It will feature 15,000 performers before a capacity crowd of 80,000 people in the Olympic stadium and billions following the events on television worldwide.

The £27 million curtain-raiser will be put together by artistic director Danny Boyle, who is best known for directing Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire and Trainspotting.

The finale also promises to be equally as dazzling under the guidance of creative director Kim Gavin, as it builds to the Olympic flame being sent on its journey to Brazil for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

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