Dancers work alongside industry professionals as part of U.Dance NW festival

Five dancers from Warrington Collegiate are on tenterhooks this week as they wait to find out if they have made it through to the national U.Dance festival.

The College’s dance group Company Boom was one of more than 20 groups that performed at the U.Dance North West festival at the Lowry on Sunday.

Michael Smith, Head of Creative and Digital Industries described their performance as a “fantastic opportunity” for the students to show the standards they are pushed to at College and how the high expectation and industry standard of the team supports them.

U.Dance NW – held each spring – encourages young people’s dance groups from across the region to come together and share their work with each other on a professional stage.

It acts as the regional selection event for the National Festival U.Dance, which takes place in the summer.

Company Boom – made up of Daniel Appleton, Jess Scotson, Leah Croft, Hannah Pinnington and Shanley Horan – now has a nervous wait to find out if they have made it through to the national event.

18-year-old Daniel said: “Taking part in U.Dance was a fantastic experience for us to have as we got to work with industry professionals and other dancers. It was good to be able to show off what we have been working on for so long and to see it come to fruition.”

Jess said: “To be able to perform in a professional space was incredible. It’s an absolutely amazing feeling to know that all of our company’s hard work has paid off. I’m so proud of us all for qualifying.

“It was the scariest thing I have ever done. I was so nervous before we performed. We find out this week if we’ve been picked to perform at the national festival – the competition was great but we had something different to everyone else.”

Rachael Nelson, Lecturer in Creative Performing Arts at Warrington Collegiate, said: “We have worked incredibly hard and the students did amazingly well to be selected among the best youth dance companies from around the North West. This year had the most number of entries U.Dance have ever had so we are all so proud of them.”

As well as performing at the Lowry, Company Boom also took part in a variety of workshops with some of the UK’s most exciting choreographers.

U.Dance is just one of a variety of exciting opportunities available to dance students at Warrington Collegiate.