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Dancing the night away

March 16, 2015

Hundreds of school children from across Cumbria are dancing the night away in a countywide dance event – U.Dance Cumbria.

U.Dance Cumbria is an annual event organised by Active Cumbria (Cumbria County Council) and brings together pupils of all ages from primary, secondary and special schools in Allerdale, Carlisle, Copeland, Barrow and Eden to perform and celebrate their achievements in dance.

The festival gets underway on Monday 23rd March when pupils from Barrow schools hit the boards at The Forum in Barrow, including four newcomers to the festival – Ormsgill, Dalton St Mary’s, St Pius X Catholic School and Greengate Junior School.  Later in the week thirty six schools from Allerdale, Eden, Copeland & Carlisle will squeeze into Theatre by the Lake for four separate performances to packed auditoriums.  Taking part in these shows on Thursday 26th and Friday 27th March are Grasslot Primary, Temple Sowerby Primary, Caldew School, Threlkeld, Arlecdon, Kirkby Stephen Primary and Maryport Junior School.  Keswick and Cockermouth Youth Dance Companies will also be performing on Friday 27th March.

Cumbria Youth Dance Company, the county’s flagship gifted and talented group, will perform at Theatre by the Lake on Thursday 26th March.  Fresh from their exhilarating performance at The Lowry in Manchester on Sunday 22nd March as part of U.Dance North West, they will be dancing their haunting piece Legends of the Lights which explores the aurora borealis or the Northern Lights and is choreographed by Debbie Milner of Edgehill University.

The festival will conclude at Carlisle’s Sands Centre on Friday 24th April when twenty Carlisle schools will be strutting their stuff including James Rennie, Hallbankgate, Blackford, Burgh-by-Sands and William Howard.

In addition The Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal will be hosting its annual schools dance platform in association with U.Dance from Monday 23rd to Thursday 26th March for schools in South Lakeland.

U.Dance Cumbria places dance artists in schools so that they can share their skills with classroom teachers and improve the teaching of dance in schools. All pupils taking part have worked extremely hard with their teachers to choreograph three minute dances from scratch, many of them linked to topics they are learning about in other areas of the curriculum.

Lynn Barnes, the county’s Dance Cumbria Co-ordinator said: “The festival is a great opportunity for schools and youth dance groups in Cumbria to celebrate what they are achieving in dance, and also see what each other is doing.”

More information about the national U.Dance programme can be found at

For further details about Dance Cumbria contact Lynn Barnes (Dance Cumbria Co-ordinator) on 07584 251352 or visit