WhoDance? U.Dance! 

In March, The Lowry played host to hundreds of talented young dancers, as the doors were thrown open for U.Dance NorthWest, the nation’s largest Youth Dance Festival. U.Dance, the brainchild of Youth Dance England, takes place across the country and engages thousands of young people all celebrating their love of dance.

Planning began in November when applications started rolling in for stage one of the process. Companies were invited to submit an original piece of work to be considered by a panel of dance professionals. Twenty were then asked to perform at the prestigious theatre over a weekend in March, of these, two groups will go on to represent the North West at the national U.Dance event, this year to be held in Nottingham. 

In addition to performing before a live audience, the groups have the opportunity to attend a number of workshops. This year Phoenix Dance Theatre, Tom Bowes Dance, Ballet LORENT and The Lowry Centre for Advanced Training all delivered inspiring and challenging sessions that got the dancers bodies moving and their minds thinking. U.Dance participant Danielle Pollitt-Walmsley explains “I feel U.Dance is an amazing experience and I feel privileged to be a part of it… it is a platform to share your work, and learn from others” 

Following a wonderful weekend of performances the two groups chosen to represent the North West at the national platform are; Swati Dance Company, a Bharatanatyam dance group from Parbold , Lancashire and Chorley and District Boys Group, an all male company who impressed the Panel with their piece “Arachnid”. The festival highlights the diverse range of talent we have here in the North West, the passion and commitment of the young people and their teachers, and proves the North West definitely has rhythm. 

Leah Wainwright

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