Festival of dance comes to town

Youngsters taking part in the dancing competition at the Town Hall Theatre.
Youngsters taking part in the dancing competition at the Town Hall Theatre.

UP to 700 dancers will shine on a Hartlepool stage when a prestigious festival returns to town.

The 16th Karen Liddle February Dance Festival will be held at the Town Hall Theatre, in Raby Road, from Monday, February 17, to Thursday, February 20.

Youngsters taking part in the dancing competition at the Town Hall Theatre.

Youngsters taking part in the dancing competition at the Town Hall Theatre.

During four days of intense competition, students from Hartlepool, Easington, Yarm, Middlesbrough and Durham will compete.

Contestants will be battling it out from 9am to 7pm each day in categories including tap, modern stage, song and dance, ballet, national, character and acro.

They will be competing in solos, duets, trios and troupe competitions. Festival organiser Karen Liddle can’t wait for the action to start.

She said: “We are expecting to get more dancers this year than in previous years. There could be between 600 and 700 dancers involved.

“We have more dance schools involved than we have had before and a lot of smaller schools have also asked to enter.”

Weeks of preparation have gone into the festival with Karen admitting; “There is a lot of paperwork, and it is sorting out the timetable that takes up the time.

She added: “Children from different schools all get to interact. It is a really friendly atmosphere. It is lovely that a lot of children will come together from different towns and they are good friends.

Children aged from two upwards will take part.

Karen, who has organised the competition for 16 years, has celebrated 25 years in the dance sector herself this year.

Anyone can come along and watch the festival which costs, per day, £3.50 for adults and £3 for children and those on concessions. Tickets allow people to go in and out of the theatre as much as they want on the day.

They will be available on the door.