Over 1,700 local children and young people have taken part in 14 dance festivals that celebrated the wide range of dance taking place in education.

Over 100 schools and colleges in Worcestershire took part in dance festivals organised by Dancefest, the community dance organisation for Herefordshire and Worcestershire, in partnership with the Schools Games Organisers for Worcestershire.

Local schools and colleges in Worcester, Evesham, Droitwich, Kidderminster, Redditch, Malvern and Bromsgrove hosted the events between January and April, with dancers ranging in age from 4 to 18.

The festivals all ran in slightly different ways but the aims were the same – to provide a performance platform for dance from primary, middle, high, special schools and colleges in the local area.

It was a chance for pupils and teachers to enjoy watching and sharing each other’s work in a friendly and non-competitive environment, to see the progression in dance through different ages, and to have a really fun and enjoyable time.

The festivals included lots of different styles of dance, including contemporary, street and cheerleading, and all dancers received certificates for performing.

Rose Beeston, Dancefest’s Director, says: The dance festivals are superb events that aim to demonstrate the creativity and skills of children, young people and their teachers, and working in partnership with the Schools Games Organisers for the first time this year has significantly increased the number of schools and pupils taking part. We are looking forward to continuing and building the partnership.

Tracey Freer, School Games Organiser for North Worcestershire says: “In Worcestershire, schools have been really excited to see dance come on board as a new School Games format this year, and even better that we have been able to work with Dancefest to organise and deliver festivals across the county. It is enabling young people who have never taken part in the School Games to experience it and has truly maximised the number of young people involved, with Worcestershire set to achieve record participation numbers this year of which dance has been instrumental in making that happen.”

Miss S Dee, PE and Dance Teacher at the Chase, who hosted the dance festival in Malvern, says: “I would like to thank the teachers/choreographers who created the pieces to perform, and all of the performers because they were all amazing to see! It was exciting to see a variety of ages work together and share their love of dance!”

As a result of the festivals, 16 schools have been chosen to take part in the School Games in Bromsgrove on Tuesday 3 July, a multi-sport showcase event to celebrate the hard work, commitment and dedication of schools to PE and school sport. This is the first time that dance will feature as a School Games event at county level.

A further nine schools will be performing at Dancefest’s Worcestershire Dancing performance at Artrix on Tuesday 10 July, providing the chance to perform in a professional theatre to a public audience.

Plans for next year’s Dancefest in Education Festivals are already taking place and you can find out more about future plans and this summer’s performances at dancefest.co.uk



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