SLIDESHOW: 700 dancers take to the stage for Hartlepool festival

A HUGE contingency of around 700 dancers have taken to the stage for a popular festival in Hartlepool.

The annual Karen Liddle February Dance festival has ben held at the Town Hall Theatre in Raby Road.

Ellie Harrison dancing in the Karen Liddle Dance Festival held at the Town Hall Theatre.

Ellie Harrison dancing in the Karen Liddle Dance Festival held at the Town Hall Theatre.

This is the 16th year that the competition has been held and it runs until today.

Organiser karen Liddle said: “We seem to have more schools in this one. There are a lot of the smaller schools which have asked to enter the competition as well as quite a few of the bigger dance schools as well.”

It all adds up to a fantastic four days of intense competition, and students from Easington, Yarm, Middlesbrough and Durham City, will line up alongside competitors from dance schools in Hartlepool.

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

They will be competing in solos, duets, trios and troupe competitions in different age groups.

Karen added: “We reckon there could be between 600 and 700 dancers involved. She said: “This is normally a great festival and a very good week. There are lots of children from different dance schools but they all tend to interact with each other.

“It makes for a very friendly atmosphere which is the way we like it.”

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.

Karen added: “People only have to pay once for tickets and then they can go in and out of the theatre as much as they want on the day.

“The tickets will be available on the door.”