AS a dancer and trainer of world champions, Amanda Harker might have seen her career ended when she was struck down with chronic labyrinthitis, an illness that induces a debilitating and permanent state of dizziness.

But she refused to let it beat her.

And now, as the writer, choreographer and producer of the uplifting and aptly-named dance production, Club Vertigo, she has found her feet again.

“There is no real connection of the name 'Club Vertigo' to the show,” said Amanda.

“It is set on a rooftop in New York, which has vertigo heights, but it's really for myself because I'm permanently dizzy!"

Boasting a star-studded cast, including Strictly’s Hanna Haarala and Brendan Cole’s brother, Scott, Club Vertigo promises a feel-good night to put smiles on faces.

It is showing at The Questors Theatre in Mattock Lane, Ealing, from November 19-22 (;

Before being taken under the wing of famous ballerina Anna du Boisson at the age of 16, and subsequently training with Five Guys Named Moe choreographer Charles Augins, Amanda had to overcome painful shyness, as well as a lack of means to pursue her passion.

Taking on all jobs to pay for classes, she eventually took over the Pineapple Studios gym for five years, during which time she gave fitness training to World Professional Ballroom champions Christopher Hawkins and Hazel Newberry.

Then, ten years ago, Amanda was struck down by her illness, which left her bed-bound for more than a year.

“ It’s taken me ten years to get to the point where I am now,” she said, “and I’m still dizzy all the time. But I’ve fought my way through.”

With the support of neurologists, Amanda gradually learned to cope, in part by bringing jazz theatre back into her life.

“One of the doctors said ‘you have to learn your limitations now’ - well that’s like a red flag to a bull!” she said.

“I missed my career - it was heart wrenching. And I thought ‘I know so many talented dancers, why don’t I put on a show?’”

Now in its second run after a successful and well-reviewed debut, it promises new characters and songs as part of an explosive fusion of jazz, Latin and street dance.

Understanding the power that theatre has to inspire hope and help turn lives around, the show is also raising funds for inclusive theatre company and charity, Chickenshed.

Amanda, who is now back to teaching, performing and choreographing, said: “Sometimes I tell my friends and clients ‘you know, if I’m facing the wrong direction, point me in the right direction’, because I do get a bit too dizzy. They get a lot of laughs out of me!

“In a way I want everyone to know ‘don’t ever give up’. If you keep trying you’ll get there.”