PHOTOS: U Dance festival wows the crowds

22 March 2017 11:53AM

Youngsters have been wowing the crowds with their dancing skills as part of a county-wide festival.

West Cumbrian schoolchildren performed to their proud parents at Workington's Carnegie Theatre in this year's U Dance which took place last Friday.

Nine schools from Copeland and Allerdale took part in the event, organised by Active Cumbria.

Bridekirk Dovenby School had fun and frolics on stage during their performance called Planet Earth 3, where they sang and danced in animal masks and brightly coloured tops to the Circle of Life song.

Tamsyn Charters, Year 3 and 4 teacher, said: "We've been watching Planet Earth 2, it's something the children are really interested in so it was a bit of a no-brainer.

"I'm so proud of them. They've worked really hard and it's all their own ideas."

The annual event aims to bring together pupils of all ages, from primary, secondary and special schools, at different venues across Cumbria.

At Moor Row Community School, a group of youngsters aged between five and seven, have been perfecting their Rumble in the Jungle performance since January.

Teacher Fiona Kennedy said: "It was a group decision as it's based on a book we've read in school, we wanted to go with what the children wanted to do – they've had a lot of input.

"I am so immensely proud of them, especially the way they work as a team. They're all looking out for each other and helping each other – I'm like a proud mum."

Other schools taking part were Monkwray at Whitehaven; Eaglesfield Paddle, Ewanrigg and Ellenborough and Netherton Infants at Maryport; Borrowdale (near Keswick) and Ashfield junior and infants at Workington.

Emma Strong, who coordinates the Workington event, said: "We really encourage schools to look at areas on their curriculum and how they can promote it through dance.

"The main focus is the dance," added Ms Strong. "But the children really enjoy making the costumes - there's been lots of mums, dads and grannies sewing, there's some fantastic costumes.

"One of the best things that comes from the show is seeing the children's confidence and been able to get up there, working in a team and building relationships."

Tickets for the first show sold out within hours of going on sale, so an extra show had to be put on to accommodate all of the parents and family.

This is the first year the festival has taken place in the Carnegie Theatre, it has previously been held in Keswick's Theatre by the Lake and the Sands Centre in Carlisle.

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