A DANCING dog will be taking a ‘bow-wow’ when she performs in a variety show in aid of a Mayor’s charities.

The Mayor of Darlington, Councillor Cyndi Hughes, is arranging the talent-packed show at Darlington Hippodrome, on Friday, February 18, in aid of St Teresa’s Hospice and Darlington Mind.

And the line-up of performers will include Elsa, a red border collie, who is the reigning Crufts champion for freestyle heelwork to music.

Five-year-old Elsa claimed the Crufts title by dancing to a Mary Poppins routine with her owner, Nicci Hindson.

The performing pooch has also won a silver medal in the world championships, and appeared in television programmes, including Gentleman Jack, and The Dumping Ground.

She was bred at Barnard Castle by Mandy Bainbridge, who runs a business called Animal Crew, which supplies animals for TV and film productions.

Nicci said: “Elsa and I just love entertaining people, so it’s a real honour to be asked to perform at the Mayor’s variety show and raise money for some great causes at the same time.

“Elsa’s such a special little dog, and she’ll be excited to be performing on stage in Darlington before defending her Crufts title in March.”

Other confirmed acts include Darlington Operatic Society, Voices of Darlington, Darlington Magic Circle, James and Maria, The Ukulele Band, Rachel Coad School of Dance, Bubamara, and comedian Matt Hoss. The show will be hosted by Peter Barron.

Councillor Hughes said: “I know Darlington dog lovers will absolutely love seeing Elsa and Nicci perform. I’d seen their YouTube video from Crufts, and fallen in love with Elsa, so to have them doing parts of their routine at the Hippodrome will be incredible.

“There will be something for everyone in the show, including great music, dancing, acrobats, stand-up comedy, and home-grown magic. It’s going to be such a truly memorable night and I really can’t wait.

“As Mayor of Darlington, I’m completely overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness of all the performers, who have agreed to appear in this one-off show for my chosen charities – St Teresa’s Hospice and Darlington Mind.

“I’m hoping this will be the perfect opportunity for the people of Darlington to come together to enjoy an evening of frivolity and fun for all the family, while helping to raise money for two important Darlington charities.”

Tickets for the show will be available soon on the Darlington Hippodrome website.