A Hartlepool school had a roaring time with help from an African dance troop.
Catcote Academy was delighted to welcome the Lions of Zululand – a talented group of singers and dancers from some of the poorest regions of South Africa.
The performers enjoyed promoting the culture of South Africa and having a great time with the students, while also earning a livelihood to support their families at home.
The group performed in front of the whole school, in Catcote Road, demonstrating their unique culture through dance and music to the delight of students and staff.
Barry Currell, international schools coordinator at Catcote, said: “The atmosphere was electric with excitement.
“The Lions rushed into the hall screaming, singing, dancing, playing the drums and waving shields and sticks.
The whole event really opened our eyes to the culture and diversity of others in the world. The day will stay in the minds of our students for a long time.Barry Currell, Catcote Academy
“The students initial shock quickly turned to delight as they were entertained in a way they had never experienced before”.
The exciting experience did not stop after the hour-long performance, as the Lions stayed for the full day putting on workshops.
Mr Currell added: “Students had the opportunity to learn about the differences and similarities we share in the cultural workshop.
“They learned how to greet each other using the Zulu language and discovered facts about how they live.
“Art, dancing and singing workshops also took place and were enjoyed by all.
“At the end of the day the school came together again to show what we had learnt as we sang and danced together with the Lions of Zululand for one last performance.
“The students said it was a wonderful day and that they had a brilliant time.
“We are very grateful to the team. The whole event really opened our eyes to the culture and diversity of others in the world. The day will stay in the minds of our students for a long time.”
The trip to Catcote was part of the Lions’ 10th UK tour, during which they aim to improve confidence, concentration, physical coordination and team building.