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Jordan Banjo hails vaccine rollout as ‘awesome’ news for performing arts

His Diversity dance troupe has a tour scheduled for next March.

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Jordan Banjo (Ian West/PA)

Jordan Banjo (Ian West/PA)

Jordan Banjo (Ian West/PA)

Diversity star Jordan Banjo has welcomed news of a vaccine rollout in the UK, saying the announcement means he and his dance group can start doing “the things we love”.

The UK has become the first country in the world to approve the Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech, paving the way for vaccinations to start next week.

The vaccine has been shown in studies to be 95% effective and works in all age groups.

Banjo, whose group’s Connected tour is due to begin in March next year, described the news as “awesome” for the performing arts industry.

However, he said it was also important frontline workers and other people affected by the pandemic were able to return to their normal lives.

The 27-year-old told the PA news agency: “It means so much, but not in a horrible way, don’t get me wrong. From a work point of view it’s awesome and I am very excited because it puts us in a place where we get to start doing the things we love.

“More than that, for me it is a case of the world getting some normality back. I think lockdown and this whole situation has showed me way more stuff that is important.

“I completely took for granted my parents being able to see my kids or just popping around to my brother’s. My little sister has just moved house and I won’t be able to go.

“I am in a very mild situation in terms of stress. For a lot people this has affected businesses, it has affected their livelihoods, it has affected their health, people have lost people.

“So the fact that there is something like this on the horizon – and fingers crossed it all goes to plan and it all works – it is just incredible.”

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BACARDÍ Conga Feat. You with Meek Mill and Leslie Grace

BACARDÍ Conga Feat. You with Meek Mill and Leslie Grace

BACARDÍ Conga Feat. You with Meek Mill and Leslie Grace

Banjo and Diversity have joined with Bacardi for a virtual dance class series in which members of the public can learn the moves to a remake of Conga.

Conga Feat You is a re-imagining of the song that shot Miami Sound Machine’s Emilio and Gloria Estefan to fame.

It comes ahead of a global competition where people can submit their moves to be a part of a music video alongside Alesha Dixon, rapper Meek Mill and singer Leslie Grace.

Banjo said of the dance class: “It shows how much of an epic project it is. You have got people like Alesha Dixon. On the remix of the song you have got Meek Mill. It’s crazy.

“It’s a huge campaign to be a part of. Everyone needs a bit of fun in this day and age. Everyone needs something to cheer them up.

“This is a wicked thing for us to be involved in.”

Speaking about the benefits of dance, he said: “At the moment you are either going to get your kicks out of having a bit of fun doing it or you are going to get your kicks out of the feeling you get when you have achieved something.”

The online classes will take place on December 9 and 11 from 6pm. Tickets are available from moveyourframe.com at £7 each. More information at congafeatyou.com

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