Why gang of pirates is dancing to the tune of seven-year-old Ashton

Ashton and his brother James with a pirate from the panto
Ashton and his brother James with a pirate from the panto

The cast of the Whixley Players panto are being put through their paces by a new choreographer this year – seven-year-old Ashton Farnworth.

Ashton stepped in after discovering his mum Lynsey, who is directing Treasure Island, is rubbish at dancing.

Here he tells us what moves he has chosen and what it was like teaching the pirates dance routines.

How did you first get into dance?

I have always liked dancing. Me and my little brother James dance all the time to all sorts of music when we are on holiday abroad and in daddy’s car or at home.

We also like dancing to some of our favourite TV shows like Miraculous – Tales of Lady Bug and Cat Noir and Paw Patrol but that is more for James as he loves Paw Patrol.

What is your favourite music to dance to

I like pop songs like the ones George Ezra does, Disney songs, especially Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious from Mary Poppins and also all the songs from the Greatest Showman movie.

What are your ambitions in dancing?

Just to have fun and I do like to do the floss really fast.

Who is your favourite dancer?

The man from the Greatest Showman (Hugh Jackman) and the footballer, Jesse Lingard who dances when he scores a goal.

Would you chose Dancing on Ice, the Greatest Dancer of Strictly Come Dancing? and why?

I am not usually allowed to stay up that late but I know my mum loves Strictly Come Dancing. She says it is because of the costumes like the pretty dresses.

What has choreographing the pantomime Treasure Island been like - how have you set about teaching the cast to dance?

I saw my mum doing some weird dancing moves in the kitchen and I love my mum but she is not a good dancer like me or my brother James.

I had to tell her that she was not dancing very well and she asked me how would I dance to the panto song she was playing so I showed her some moves.

She said that the people playing in the panto were older and could not move fast like me so I had to show them some of the dance moves that I have done in school plays and songs, which were ones that the nursey kids like my little brother do so anyone can do them.

She really liked them and asked me to dance to the other songs she had so every weekend she has played the songs that are in her panto and I made up moves, which I had to show my mum and she wrote down and showed her people in the panto.

As she goes to her panto practise on a Sunday at night and I have to go to bed I am not allowed to go to the 
practises. I am going to watch the panto on the Saturday night to see if they are doing it right.

What songs do they dance to?

They have lots of songs but not all of them have dances. The ones that have dances and that I have made moves up for are the Greatest Show, Baby Shark and Just dance – and a Pirate you Shall Be from my game Just Dance, which I had for my Xbox and now have for my Nintendo Switch, which I got for Christmas so I can do the dances and may be my mum can do it with me so she can get better at dancing.

Is the Shark song in it? I love that song ... it has been in every pantomime I have seen last year and this year. Even if it is not in the panto - do you like it?

Both me and my little brother James love this song and are really good at it but my mum did not know the moves for it so me and my little brother taught her the moves so she could teach it to her people in the panto. It really annoys my daddy which is really funny.

Apart from dancing what else do you enjoy doing

I love playing football. I play

at school, after school with daddy and for my team at a weekend.

Treasure Island is on at Whixley Village Hall from January 31 to Saturday February 2.

Tickets: Whixley Village Shop: 01423 339885 or online: whixley.org/panto19