BRIT AWARD winner Paloma Faith thanked her old mate Edward Lynch for the part he played in her rise to stardom, when she appeared at the First Direct Arena in Leeds.
Lynch, now a steward for Showsec at the arena, decided to drop the singer-songwriter a note to make her aware that he would be on duty at the arena for her sell-out concert.
But he was overwhelmed by the response as he enjoyed an emotional reunion with one of his star pupils and former Leeds resident Paloma.
Not only did Faith tell the audience all about her old dance teacher, she invited him backstage after the concert for a catch-up and then made him a special guest of hers for a night out at the o2 Academy to see Chic featuring Nile Rodgers.
“It was pretty amazing; she is still very much the Paloma I worked with many years ago,” said Lynch, a professional dance teacher instrumental in forming RJC Dance in 1993 which established The Northern School of Contemporary Dance.
“Although we have stayed in touch, it had been a long, long time since we last met up. So I thought it might be worth making her aware that I would be there on this occasion, never expecting though to get such a fantastic response from her.
“I’ve always gained a lot of satisfaction from seeing what she has achieved. The warmth of her words on stage, her reception when I went to meet her backstage and her insistence that we go out the following night were a measure of her appreciation of the support and guidance in the early stages of what has been a long journey to the top.
“She may have been crowned the Best Female Solo Artist at The Brit Awards recently, but she is still incredibly humble and very honest.”
Lynch recalled when he first came into contact with Faith in her early teens as RJC Dance undertook a project at a school in London.
“It was clear she had a lot of talent, not only as a dancer, but also as a singer and an actress,” he said. “Our work was all about inspiring young people to express themselves, to be creative and to make the most of their talent.
“After that initial work with Paloma, she then came to The Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Chapeltown to study for a degree in contemporary dance, so that was another important stage of her development into a top performer.
“I’ve been privileged enough to work with a good many people in the industry who have gone on to great things and I am just so pleased that I was able to be such an inspiration to Paloma in helping her to progress to where she is today.”
Paloma studied in Leeds as a student, worked in city centre bars including Milo, and regularly recalls her time here whenever she performs in the city.