Over 6,500 young people engaged in Dance Live!

Schools and Colleges from across the country converged on Portsmouth Guildhall last week for the culmination of Dance Live! 2024, the school and college dance event that is taking the country by storm!

Over 6,500 young people aged 7-18 had taken part in heat events across the country earlier this year in Portsmouth, Guildford, Poole, High Wycombe and Blackpool with those placing securing their spot in the finals in Portsmouth.

Produced by The Guildhall Trust, Dance Live! embraces an ever-evolving digital world and how this is changing the face of modern performance, seeing those in KS2-4 and Further Education compete with choreographed routines to the backdrop of a giant digital screen with pupils showcasing a range of skills from dance, performance and off-stage technical skills to creative design.

With a focus on raising aspirations, strengthening physical and mental health and wellbeing and developing skills for creative career choices, Dance Live! delivers a range of supportive workshop opportunities for schools, this year delivering over 20 workshop days in person and over 30 online group support sessions.

The nationwide tour was this year made possible through public funding from Arts Council England, which enabled the Dance Live! team to extend the offer to new communities and young people who face inclusion barriers, implement new access and inclusion practices, develop community partnerships and engage local practitioners that are reflective of the communities we are working with.

Some of the feedback from schools and colleges involved includes:

“Building confidence, developing leadership and communication skills, and forming friendships. It’s an enjoyable and once in a lifetime opportunity for our students”.

“It was a first for one of our e-sports students who worked on live mixing – he is now completely in love with dance shows and looking to apply for University to study live mixing further”.

“We have seen our Year 7s GROW in confidence. It’s been lovely to see them shine!”

Following the finals, a Studio Edition showcase platform of the event for dance schools, studios and youth dance companies also took place at Portsmouth Guildhall.

Producer of Dance Live! Cherry Lambert said, “2024 has been an epic year for Dance Live! From a record number of schools, colleges and young people participating to the number of workshops delivered and our inaugural event in Blackpool, we are proud of the model we have developed and the impact this is having on the lives of young people in the communities we engage. Creating ‘Big Production’ moments is at the core of Dance Live! and we are excited to be expanding our locations to include Hastings next year!”  

Registration for 2025 is now open with spaces filling quickly. Schools and Colleges who have not participated before are encouraged to find out more online and get in touch with the team at hello@dancelive.co.uk or call 023 9387 0196.

For businesses looking to align their brand with community youth development projects, a range of sponsorship options are available. To fully benefit from this year-round opportunity please get in touch with christina.micklewright@guildhalltrust.org.uk

Further information is available at: www.dancelive.co.uk

Dance Live! 2024 Results:

Senior Finals – Tuesday 23rd April
1st Place:         Portsmouth Grammar School
2nd Place:        Admiral Lord Nelson School
3rd Place:         Durrington High School

Senior Finals – Wednesday 24th April
1st Place:         Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School
2nd Place:        HSDC
3rd Place:         Purbrook Park School

Junior Finals – Thursday 25th April
1st Place:         The Bay CE Primary School
2nd Place:        Orchards Junior School
3rd Place:         Colden Common Primary School

Junior Finals – Friday 26th April
1st Place:         Wicor Primary School
2nd Place:        Wimborne Primary School
3rd Place:         Queensgate Foundation Primary School

Dance Live! Studio Edition 2024 Participants – Saturday 27th April
Theatretrain Portsmouth
Samuel Strange Dance Company
Roynon Dance (Juniors)
Roynon Dance (Seniors)
LKSA – Lucy Kate Star Academy
SD Studios
Crown Academy of Performing Arts
Natasha-Lea School of Dance and Performing Arts

All images credit: Vernon Nash Photography

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