Popular dance festival returns

PUBLISHED: 12:56 18 May 2011

Julia Mellor took part in last year's festival

Julia Mellor took part in last year's festival


TALENTED young dancers will be putting their best foot forward later this month when Weston’s Playhouse hosts the town’s 64th annual Junior Arts Dance Festival.

This year’s festival promises to be one of the best ever and includes a record amount of entries.

Dancers will travel from all over the country to compete in Weston’s Junior Arts Dance Festival and this year entries have been received from as far away as Swindon and Jersey.

Most of the competitors come from the South West (Gloucestershire down to Devon) although Weston will be strongly represented throughout the competition.

Dance Director Paddy Payne, who used to dance at the festival as a child, said: “Dancing is extremely popular with youngsters today, which can be seen in the record number of entries we have received for this years festival.

“I am very pleased we have received so many entries for this years event and we all look forward to some great displays of dancing from the competitors. However, the main aim is for everyone to have fun and enjoy dancing.”

Over 1,500 dancers will be competing across a range of dance styles and close to 1,000 entries have been received for this year’s festival covering individual and group classes. Around 1,600 certificates will be given out during the seven-day festival.

There are more than 100 classes in the festival with entrants competing in age groups, ranging from four and under to 15-21 years, and dance style categories such as modern, greek, ballet, tap, character, and song and dance among others.

All England Dance Competition adjudicator Gayle Johnson has the tough task of judging the entries at this year’s event.

Many of the cups the entrants compete for have been donated by past competitors and adjudicators and they include two prizes from the first Weston Arts Dance Festival, The Mavdor Statuette and the Mabel Alexander Trophy. There are 40 cups up for grabs at this year’s festival in addition to the certificates.

The Junior Arts Dance Festival starts on May 30 at 9am. Each day is scheduled to run from 9am to 8pm with the exception of the final day, June 5 which concludes following the cup presentations, which is planned at approximately 4.15pm.

Tickets, priced £2-3, are available from the box office on 01934 645544.

For more information about the festiveal ring Paddy Payne on 01934 513653.

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