Hundreds of youngsters strut their stuff at Hartlepool dance festival

A long-running dance festival is under way for another year - and it has pulled in hundreds of top-class competitors once again.

The Karen Liddle Annual Dance Festival runs until Wednesday, February 14, at the Town Hall Theatre in Hartlepool.

The Dancewise students on stage during the Ballet Troupe category for the 9-12 Years category.

The Dancewise students on stage during the Ballet Troupe category for the 9-12 Years category.

And organiser Karen Liddle urged spectators to come and watch a competition which is renowned for its friendly atmosphere.

Four dance schools will be represented including the Karen Liddle School of Dance and Elwick Academy from Hartlepool. Others from South Shields and Middlesbrough will also be there.

Karen said: “We think we will have about 500 entries altogether over the three days.

“We like to try and keep the festival nice and friendly. The same dance schools come back year after year because of the way it is run.

We like to try and keep the festival nice and friendly. The same dance schools come back year after year because of the way it is run.

Karen Liddle

“And it’s nice for the children to think that it is their time to get together.”

Karen added: “We normally start rehearsing for this about six months before the festival.”

The event has been running for around 20 years and members of the public can come along to watch the daily competition.

The festival runs from 8.45am to 7.30pm each day, with a presentation on Wednesday at around 7.30pm.

Eve Shingles and Aleisha Peterson on stage during the Karen Liddle dance festival.

Eve Shingles and Aleisha Peterson on stage during the Karen Liddle dance festival.

The entrance fee is £4.50 for adults and £4 with concessions. Once people have paid, they are entitled to entry all day and can come and go as they please.

Miamh Campbell on stage during the Karen Liddle dance festival.

Miamh Campbell on stage during the Karen Liddle dance festival.

Alexis Loftus on stage during the Karen Liddle dance festival.

Alexis Loftus on stage during the Karen Liddle dance festival.

Dancers from the Baby song and dance section on stage during the Karen Liddle dance festival.

Dancers from the Baby song and dance section on stage during the Karen Liddle dance festival.

Kitty Dunn on stage during the Karen Liddle dance festival.

Kitty Dunn on stage during the Karen Liddle dance festival.

Isla Mansfield on stage during the Karen Liddle dance festival.

Isla Mansfield on stage during the Karen Liddle dance festival.

Lyla Goding on stage during the Karen Liddle dance festival.

Lyla Goding on stage during the Karen Liddle dance festival.

Esther Golden on stage during the Karen Liddle dance festival.

Esther Golden on stage during the Karen Liddle dance festival.