Read all about Primary School Dance Festival 2024

Over two days in May we delivered our 14th Primary School Dance Festival in partnership with Belvoir Studio Theatre.  Over 200 children from Belmont, Finaghy, Elmgrove, Glenwood, Holy Rosary Primary Schools and Penrhyn Prep took part and we were joined in the audience by the P3 class from nearby Belvoir Park Primary School.

During the morning, all the schools have time to become familiar with the theatre setting and learn the importance of lighting and sound, timing and spacing during their own rehearsal.  Then after much needed refreshments (thanks to a donation from Lidl NI) there is time to enjoy dance-themed crafts and outdoor games.   Before we know it,  it’s SHOWTIME!

Sheena’s fun warm up session (see above) is always popular – everyone has to get involved.  Then it is over to the children.  This year we enjoyed a wide array of dance styles, music and costumes and were mesmerised by hip hop dance and some fabulous Vogueing. On Day 1 we explored the globe with high energy performances from Bollywood and Waka Waka: This time for Africa and on Day 2 we met some ferocious lions, friendly Trolls and even travelled back to the Stone Age!

Once everyone had performed, the children could sit back and watch a uptempo jive from professional performer Mira Rendilheiro, captured below:

Each year we ask the teachers involved why the Primary School Dance Festival is important to them? Hear what they had to say:

To allow children to be creative and express themselves through dance and have fun! 

Dance is an important part of the curriculum and this is a great way to help children develop their skills. 

To increase a love for dancing in primary school aged children and boost confidence skills to perform in front of a crowd. 

We also ask what the legacy is for the children who are involved in the festival:

The children really grew in confidence and enjoyed every minute of it! 

Many were nervous but throughly enjoyed watching the other schools and saw how dance can be fun for all and not just girls!

The children’s confidence grew massively over the weeks that Sheena was in to visit our school and teach them the dance.

Their teamwork skills also progressed and it was a great sense of achievement for them to perform. 

And what about the children? Well, this participant sums it up perfectly:

I can actually dance! This is fun!! 

Thank you to Joe Fox for his wonderful photography.  Thank you to the volunteers who helped at the event, to funders Enkalon and Lidl and, again, to hosts and partners Belvoir Studio Theatre.

On the Saharan Plains with Belmont Primary School’s Lion King.

Glenwood Primary School’s P3 go back to the Stone Age.

Vogueing a la Finaghy Primary School.

Finaghy Primary School’s P1 all went on a ‘Summer Holiday’. Watch out for the shark!

Bollywood vibes with Glenwood Primary School’s P5.

Holy Rosary PS are full of joy as they perform Waka Waka: Time for Africa.