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Dancing the night away!

February 27, 2016

Hundreds of school children from across Cumbria will be dancing the night away over the next three weeks in a countywide dance event – U.Dance Cumbria.

U.Dance Cumbria is an annual event hosted 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 29th February when pupils from Copeland, Allerdale and Edenschools hit the stage at Theatre by the Lake, Keswick for two separate performances on the same night.  This venue includes one newcomer to the festival – Gosforth C of E Primary School, two local youth dance companies (Eden and Cockermouth) and high-achieving Cumbria-based dance students from the North West Centre for Advanced Training. 

A fortnight later thirty seven schools from Allerdale, Eden, Copeland & Carlisle will perform at The Sands Centre, Carlisle over two nights on Thursday 17th and Friday 18th March.  These performances will culminate with dances performed by the county’s flagship gifted and talented groups, Cumbria Youth Dance Company and hard2beat. 

Finally, Barrow schools will rock the boards at The Forum, Barrow-in-Furness on Monday 21st March, welcoming two new schools to this venue,BrisbaneParkInfant School and NewtonSchool.

The festival is a real treat for everyone who loves dance.  It enables audiences to see how young people in Cumbria can progress in dance through their primary schools, into secondary schools, on to district and county youth dance companies and then on to the North West Centre for Advanced Training.

Lynn Barnes, U.Dance Cumbria Co-ordinator said: “We are fortunate in Cumbria to have such a commitment to and enthusiasm for dance from our local primary and secondary schools.  U.Dance Cumbria is a really popular way for schools to share and celebrate their achievements in dance with each other and with parents.”

In addition, The Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal will be hosting its annual schools dance platform in association with U.Dance from Monday 21st to Thursday 24th March for schools in South Lakeland.

U.DanceCumbriaplaces 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.

The county of Cumbria has done itself proud recently with five youth dance groups being selected to be part of the North West U.Dance event staged at The Lowry in Manchester on Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th March. 

Cumbria Youth Dance Company, hard2beat (Cumbria’s countywide breakdance crew), Eden Youth Dance Company, Brewery Youth Dance Company and DARE2 (from Barrow) have all been chosen ahead of groups in Cheshire, Lancashire, Merseyside and Greater Manchester to perform at this prestigious regional event.  Additionally Eden Boyz Moves and Brewery Youth Dance have also made dance films which will be screened at The Lowry on the Saturday and Sunday nights as part of the performances