700 Infants and Primary School children from across Chesterfield wowed capacity crowds at the Winding Wheel Theatre over our two-day 2017 Primary Dance Festival.
100s of spectators were treat to 35 performances from 24 schools across the four sessions, including special guest performances from two secondary schools and a community dance company. Due to the popularity of the event, we held our ninth festival over two days with the inspired theme of Music through the Ages.
After an opening performance from special guests, Netherthorpe School, Old Hall Junior took to the stage to perform ‘Street Cool’. Kitted out in street style clothing, the young dancers were excellent and it was a great way to start this year’s festival.
The second performance kick-started the Music through the Ages atmosphere with Spire Infant performing ‘Decades of Dance’. I think it was safe to say the audience were well and truly in the mood!
The remainder of the session were full of excellent dances from the likes of Highfield Hall Primary, who danced ‘ABCs Through Time’, Norbriggs Primary who bought some 21st Century music with ‘Dance Today’ and Spire Junior, who included some great work with bells and hoops as part of their performance ‘Brave’.
We had some lovely performances throughout the morning, including Hasland Junior School who took us back through time with their performance ‘Dancing through Time’.
The morning session was brought to a close by Hollingwood Primary’s second performance, ‘Hand Jive Hollingwood Style’. Emelia, a pupil at Hollingwood, exclaimed how excited she was: “We’ve been practicing for ages ready for today! Now it’s finally here it doesn’t feel real!”
After a quick changeover, it was time for the afternoon performances, this time opened by local dance group Wallace Dance Academy, who performed a lyrical acrobatic routine. Poolsbrook Primary were first to perform their routine ‘Thriller’. An outstanding performance involved an entire class kitted out in their scariest outfit.
Staveley Junior were next to perform their well-coordinated routine to ‘Jailhouse Rock’. After finishing the dance, the pupils reported they: “absolutely loved it….wish we could do it again!”
After another guest performance from Outwood Academy Newbold, Cavendish Junior School also embraced the theme with their epic battle dance to ‘Jackson through the Ages’. Brockwell Junior kept the audience mesmerised on their beautiful performance of ‘Stay’. Day one came to a close with a final guest performance from Netherthorpe School.
Mrs Stevenson, a teacher at Netherthorpe School said: “It’s incredible to see so much amazing talent in one space. Having an event such as this really does give new opportunities to young people.”
The morning of day 2, with 11 performances from seven schools. Hady, Brampton and Westfield Infant all performed two dances to songs such as Jackson 5, Bugsy Malone and Grease.
Dunston Primary performed a street dance which wowed the capacity crowd with their version of ‘Beat It’. Newbold C of E and Temple Normanton both performed a ‘Rock n Roll’ Style routine which definitely got the crowd up on their feet.
Thea, the dance teacher at Temple Normanton said: “I can’t believe how much fun it has been watching these dancers perform on stage. They just look like they love being on there.
Cutthorpe Primary bought two groups to take part in the primary dance festival. Their all-boy group, who had recently performed earlier in the morning, cheered on for their all-girl group who performed a beautiful Charleston to close the morning showcase.
The final session was a fitting finale as eight more performances took to the Winding Wheel stage.
Mr Macnamara, a teacher at Walton Holymoorside said: “Thanks for organising the festival today, the kids had a great time performing and watching the other schools. We have also had some great feedback from parents.”
The event was a great success and the dancers showed great courage performing on stage, many of whom for the first time.
Mark Tournier, Partnership Development Manager at the Chesterfield School Sport Partnership, said: “The primary dance platform provides an opportunity for every young person to perform and showcase their personal best. It takes a huge amount of courage and determination to take the steps onto the stage and perform, and to see the self-confidence, pride and smiles as they leave the stage is why we do it. “Our dance festival is an annual event and to see it grow over the past few years to run over two days with four performances is testament to the support of the primary schools across Chesterfield and to the hard work of teachers and parents.”
Congratulations to all the schools who performed, everyone was excellent and fully embraced the theme ‘Music through the Ages’. We hope to see you all again next year, whether that be at the Primary or Secondary Dance Festivals.
Also a big thank you to the Leaders from Netherthope School, Outwood Academy Newbold and Chesterfield College for their help throughout the festival.
Photos and videos to follow