A CLACKS dance academy performed their Christmas show at Alva Academy over the weekend with the founder praising the group for overcoming difficult personal obstacles.

HappyDays, founded by Shelby Struthers, started off with one class in Alloa and, pre-Covid-19, had around 50 performers.

They offer a platform for adults and children with additional support needs to express themselves with the youngest performer aged seven and the oldest aged 70.

For the last few months, Shelby and the group have been preparing for the Christmas show, which took place on Saturday, December 18; however, it hasn't been as straight forward as hoped.

She told the Advertiser: "They all have their separate dances, but they all come together for one dance so there's maybe 20-30 people on the stage and on the floor doing the dance.

"It was really good."

Shelby stressed how tough the past 18 months have been since the first lockdown, with the group taking classes online every week to do virtual Zoom dance classes.

"We were back, we just got the group back into a wee routine," Shelby continued. "And then we were locked down again.

"For people with disabilities it's not easy to get into a routine so they've actually done amazing.

"They've coped so well dealing with the changing of restrictions and being able or not being able to do certain things.

"Everything was going smoothly until last week when the new restrictions came out and I had to reorganise dances."

Some performers couldn't make the show and so Shelby explained how, for some of the group, their first time doing new dances was actually on the night.

She continued: "In the end, it all worked out and everyone done amazing.

"I was so, so proud of them. I actually stood up crying at the end.

"How resilient they've been, to go and put that show on on the stage, I was unbelievably proud.

"It was such a great atmosphere."

Shelby would like to thank Zhangys Café in Alloa, Dunblane's John Hill Butchers and The Orangery in Stirling for donating items for the HappyDays raffle.