The 2017 West Wiltshire School Dance Festival was held at the amazing venue of The Forum Bath 21st, 22nd ,23rd February 2017 . Our 3 day event established in 2016 means more schools are able to preform , more children and more audience to soak up the atmosphere in the fabulous venue at the Forum, in Bath.
The 2017 theme was Dare to Dream.
We would of never dreamed of the enthusiasm dedication and love towards the Dance Festival event that is contained around every aspect of it, from the planning & preparation, rehearsals, choreography choice and so much more.
As someone who has been involved with the festival since its humble beginnings over 10 years ago. I think the factor that stands out for me about the festival is the inclusiveness of the event. Any child regardless of age ability or confidence can dance on that stage. Every year I am told by teachers & parents how the festival has effected certain pupils and even entire classes. Un-Confident children have suddenly found an inner confidence. Children who are challenged in other areas of learning, suddenly are able to shine when preforming. A real educator for life skills, for me that's what its all about.
Children and staff who enter the Dance Festival have complete artistic licence to do what they want with their interpretation of the Dare to Dream theme . Dance styles range from disco, street, contemporary to basically just movement to music. Choreography influence comes from the children’s ideas, books, films, Disney and cultural influences .
The Dance Festival prides its self on its organic atmosphere, nurturing creativity in whatever form. Resulting in an event which is purely about the Children, their talent and participation .
2017 saw participation from over 1200 children from Key Stage 1-3 ! Which is what makes the Dance Festival unique as there are few school events which include all school ages. 45 different schools attended some schools bringing 10 children, some schools bringing 30!
We attracted a total audience of over 2000 family & friends, with Thursday being a sell out performance !
However, none of this would happen with out a great partnership of people, whom at the heart of it all want to provide opportunities, experiences and memories for children.
Selwyn is based at Kingdown School Warminster. Selwyns integral role of the background organisation has evolved the Dance Festival into a 3 day spectacular !. Selwyn looks at every factor surrounding the Dance Festival and then opens it up as an opportunity for children to experience & assist with . Sports Leaders from Kingdown school help with the setting up & down of the back stage support . They also act as meet n greet and general information contact.
When Mr Widger asked for Sport Leaders from Kingdown school if they would like to volunteer , he was shocked & delighted to have 96 children arrive at his PE office at the time of registration . Many of this children being involved with the festival previously at their primary school
Comperes for each night are chosen from applications from any of the schools within the partnership area.
The Dance Festival is supported by Wiltshire and Swindon Sport . WASP have partnered us for the last 5 years . Their supports ensures the Festival can evolve. It also provides another opportunity for the Dancers to attend and preform at, as part of the opening ceremony at the Wiltshire Schools Games event in Marlborough. Thanks to Rik Grover, Sports Consultant at WASP who also doubles up as Sound technician for the event.
And joining us this year Apple a Day http://appleadaysupply.co.uk. Again passionate about children educational experiences . Abi and Gemma are a most welcomed addition to our partnership.
Behind the scenes of the first days rehearsal -
To find out about more about how to entry your school please go to the West Wiltshire School Games Officer website http://www.wwsgo.co.uk/dance-festival/