A Higham Ferrers woman who performed at the Olympic opening ceremony has shared her story.
Amie Brotherton, 25, who works at Beacon Wealth Management Ltd in Kimbolton, entered an online competition for the chance to perform in the Olympic Ceremonies.
She said: “It was my sister who spotted the opportunity to audition and so I applied straight away. It was brilliant when I heard I had got an audition but even better when I found out I actually made it through.
Amie rehearsed for 135 hours over three and half months, at three different locations across London, including the Stadium. She was on stage for about 20 minutes during Friday’s show.
“When we arrived for our first rehearsal, Danny Boyle was there and showed us a mock-up of the stadium, showing us what would be happening and how small we would appear on stage in comparison to the two houses, which would be on stage with us,” Amie explained.
“My auditions were for all types of dancing and it wasn’t until I arrived at my first rehearsal that I discovered I had been selected for Hip-Hop. As a ballet dancer, I was completely thrown in at the deep end and I had to learn to move my body in a completely different way.”
Recounting the experience of performing at the Opening Ceremony she said: “At 3pm I entered the Olympic Park for what would be the last time....I was excited, emotional and raring to go. Today the atmosphere was different, Westfield shopping centre was packed full of athletes, performers and excited/expectant members of the public. We headed over to Eaton Manor, which was where we had our dressing rooms, hair and makeup. We spent most of the first two hours wondering around the park, taking our last minute photos and getting people to sign our old rehearsal bibs. We were each presented with a certificate to represent our achievement in taking part in the ceremony, signed by Danny Boyle, and we were also each given a program, which included everyone’s names and photographs.
“At about 6pm we started to get very excited and had our hair and makeup done for the last time I had a wardrobe malfunction when I realised costume had taken my already very tight skirt in by about another 3 inches. So a quick pair of scissors and a member of costume on each side had to very swiftly make me some slits up the side of the skirt and give me a pair of hot pants to hide my modesty. Not a great start...but I was too hyped up to worry much.
“At 8:12pm we watched the red arrows storm across the sky and listened to the ceremony in our ‘in-ears’ – FM Radios we were listening to via headphones all the way through – before starting our walk over to the Stadium. We were all buzzing, taking loads of photos with each other and waving to the cars as we walked over the bridge. The atmosphere was electric and we were being filmed by TV crews the whole walk. We were stood outside the stadium just as ‘Bond and the Queen’ parachuted in before being whisked into the holding areas under the seating.
“It was here that we all started to go crazy. Listening through our ‘in-ears’ to what was going on, as soon as we heard Sugar babes, Push The Button we knew this was our time. All 400 of us in my holding area were belting out the song full blast before we entered the field of play.
“Being on stage was amazing. I was dancing in the section with the family in the house where the boy and girl meet and fall in love. The live audience were incredible and everyone put in 110 per cent. It was over before it had even began and went so fast I didn’t know what had happened. As we stood at the end and took our bow, tears streamed down my face. I also knew that my parents were directly opposite where I was standing which made it even better. We exited through the seats to a wave of hi-fives from the crowd and amazing feedback.
“We ran back to Eaton Manor, passed all the athletes queuing for their turn to enter the stadium – there was a huge crowd around Jamaica, desperate for a glimpse of Usain Bolt. We got back and got changed and the reality hit – it was all over.
“I’ve been on an emotional roller-coaster all weekend, elated at the experience and utterly depressed that it’s all over.”
Amie has been able to keep her costume and has agreed to donate a number of her items from the ceremony to the Northampton Museum for a short period of time for its ‘Going for Gold’ display.