Darlington Dance Festival 2019 mass dance day
Hundreds of dancers took to Darlington’s Market Square to strut their stuff in orange t-shirts for the ‘This is me’ mass dance.
The annual event was opened by local panto star Liam Mellor and Mayor of Darlington Cllr Veronica Copeland, while the compere was Joanne Lowe, of Darlington Dance Festival Association (DDFA).
Joanne Scott, DDFA chairperson, said: “This year’s theme was ‘This is me’. We wanted to show how everyone can enjoy dance no matter what background, age, race, culture, sexual orientation or abilities you have. We wanted to encourage people to be comfortable in their own body, to recognise everyone is different and to celebrate that it’s ok to just be you!”
This year’s mass dance was choreographed by Red Hall Dance School seniors. Joanne added: “All of us at DDFA want to pay a big special thanks to them for stepping up to the challenge and choreographing this year’s mass dance and going over and above getting out to schools and dance groups helping them to learn this year’s dance. They have done a fantastic job following on from Debbie Harbin and Darrien Wright’s amazing legacy.”
Professional dancers also put on a fantastic interactive, colourful display and everyone had a great time joining in and taking part. The audience enjoyed performances from STAGE Darlington, a dance group for people with learning disabilities; the Bollywood group Socharo, Hit the Ground Running contemporary dance company and Zumba Gold.
Groups and schools who took part included: Born to Dance, Leaps and Beatz, Tiffany School of Dance, Rachel Coad School of Dance, Kellen Dance, Darlington Dolls Cheer Squad, Red Hall Dance Company, Toni’s Academy of Dance, Pierremont School of Dance, Seven Performance Dance Company, Darlington School of Performing Arts, Inspire Beyond, Sonya Marie Academy of Dance, Hippodrome Dance Group, Rachel V Harrison Dance School, ZUMBA Gold, STAGE, Texas Toe Tappers, The Happy Tappers, Reid Street Primary, Heighington School, St John’s Primary, St. Aidan’s Academy, Hurworth Street Dance and Pierremont Methodist Church.
The Darlington Dance Festival Association is made up of volunteers who have worked nonstop organising and fundraising for this amazing event.
This year’s festival was funded by contributions from local dance schools, sponsorship from Pearson’s Print and Design with support from Darlington Borough Council.
The next part of our festival is the ‘This is me’ showcase event at Darlington Hippodrome Sunday 7 July, when local dance schools will perform again alongside primary schools Whinfield, Northwood, Mount Pleasant and Corporation Road School.
Tickets are on sale now from the Hippodrome box office on 01325 405405 and on line at www.darlingtonhippodrome.co.uk
Photo by Scott Akoz Photography