Youngsters put on a dancing delight

Bispham High School Festival of Dance at Blackpool's Opera House
Bispham High School Festival of Dance at Blackpool's Opera House
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HUNDREDS of Blackpool youngsters put on their dancing shoes as they performed on the largest stage in Europe.

Dance routines from musicals such as The Lion King and Mary Poppins wowed the crowd at Blackpool’s Opera House during the resort’s Festival of Dance.

The event, which is in its 11th year and was organised by Bispham High School and Performing Arts College, saw 500 children and young people from primary and secondary schools as well as local further education colleges take to the stage.

John Topping, deputy headteacher at Bispham High School, told The Gazette: “It offers an opportunity which many young people would never get - to star on the largest stage in Europe.

“It’s an invitation to all Blackpool schools to demonstrate a three minute dance piece.

“Richard Moore, our performing arts technician, and dance teacher Emma Wakeling-Cope were the two main architects on the night.

“It was a great evening.

“We had 20 schools performing, it’s just getting bigger and bigger.”

Chimney sweeps, spoonfuls of sugar and colourful kites were perfect props for Park School during their medley of Mary Poppins songs.

Julie Neish, music and drama teacher, said: “We had 40 children aged 12 to 14 performing. They loved watching the other children and they enjoyed performing on stage.

“It’s a great experience for them.”

The children have been preparing for weeks ahead of the show, which was held on Monday evening.

Colourful clown costumes from children at Roseacre Primary School brightened up the stage while Moor Park girls’ Chicago-inspired frocks gave the event some added glitz and glamour.

Palatine Community Sports College showed off some fancy footwork during their 42nd Street medley.

Tanya Ridgway, head of dance and Year 7 at the St Annes Road school, added: “The children enjoyed doing some tap dancing. We put in some modern movements to the music.

“With such a big stage it was great to explore floor patterns.”