A DANCE academy which has a tremendous impact in the local community picked up the Arts and Entertainment Award.

Performers from Basingstoke Academy of Dance (BAD) regularly perform at local venues including The Haymarket, The Anvil and Central Studio, and some have gone on to perform in the West End.

Tanya Schipelbaum, who took over the running of BAD in 2003, said she was surprised and delighted that the Academy had picked up the award.

She said: “It was not something I was expecting at all so it was a surprise, but a very nice surprise. It has been a real team effort, and we have had a lot of support from a lot of people.”

She said the academy has grown in recent years, with around 350 dancers of all ages currently at BAD, but added: “I hope it will grow a bit more – we always want to take more people on.”

Kathryn Price, from Destination Basingstoke, said the members of BAD were: “very deserving winners”.

She said: “It has a long list of achievements and has had a wide impact on the local community.”

The runners-up in the category were Basingstoke Gangshow and Nick Willoughby.

Basingstoke Gang Show, which won the Basingstoke Ambassador Award at the 2012 awards, is run by an army of volunteers who dedicate hundreds of hours to help young performers put on incredible shows.

Film-maker Nick helps to train a new generation in the profession, running Basingstoke company Film-making for Kids, which runs film-making courses and workshops for young people aged between eight |and 15.

He also helps to promote Basingstoke as a centre for independent film through his own work, which is achieving national recognition.