THERE was a celebrity surprise in store for Northumberland dance leaders as Premiership footballers put them through their paces.
Fifteen staff from Northumberland County Council have been giving up their lunch-times to train as leaders for a five-minute dance routine.
The event is part of the Big Dance, which is taking place in dance clubs, leisure centres, parks and community centres across the country to celebrate the arrival of the Olympic Torch and encourage as many people as possible to take to the floor.
It is hoped that dozens of council workers will take part in the dance at County Hall tomorrow at 1pm.
And to give the leaders some encouragement in preparation for their task, Newcastle United players Steven Taylor and Michael Richardson joined them for a training session.
Mr Taylor said: “Part of the joy of football is the freedom of movement and the creativity. There seems to be a great similarity in dance. I enjoyed performing with the staff at County Hall.”
Mr Richardson added: “Being fit and active is really important for football so it was good to see the employees at Northumberland County Council working hard and practising their dance routine, which will form part of the world record attempt for dance.”
Council Executive Member for Health and Public Protection Anita Romer said: “The council wants to ensure that its employees remain as healthy as possible.
“Dancing is the fastest growing art form and provides a fantastic way of staying fit and healthy.
“The Big Dance has provided the council with a good opportunity to present a different form of exercise to our employees.
“I hope that we see as many of our employees as possible taking part and making Northumberland’s celebration a success.”