CaptureA POPULAR festival will see young and old trip the light fantastic over the next few days as a celebration of dance sweeps the town.

From today (February 2) there will be opportunities for all to put their best foot forward in the three-day dancemiddlesbrough feast of entertainment and events.

The 2016 festival is a chance for people of all ages – regardless of experience or ability – to get involved in dance activities and watch new and inspiring professional dance performances.

The festival gets under way today (Tuesday, February 2) when Middlesbrough Theatre launches Northern Ballet’s annual tour of the children’s work ‘The Tortoise And The Hare’. This is the fourth consecutive year Middlesbrough has launched the national tour.

Performances at noon, 2pm and 4pm give younger audiences a chance to see some of the best ballet dancers in the country tell a firm family favourite.

Also today Middlesbrough Council presents Inclusive Moves at Middlesbrough Town Hall in partnership with TIN ARTS and Tees Valley Arts to create.

The event is a brand new showcase of high quality inclusive dance from across the region including Flex Dance Company and Tees Valley Inclusive Dance Company.

The event is part of the North East Inclusive Dance Network. The evening starts at 6pm in the Town Hall Crypt.

Wednesday, February 3 features a Tea Dance with a live band in the beautiful setting of the Town Hall – put on your dancing shoes, step back into an age of elegance and dance the afternoon away from 2pm to 4pm. Tickets are £2 including tea, biscuits and special guest performances

The highlight and grand finale of dancemiddlesbrough 2016 is the Big Dance Marathon on Thursday, February 4, featuring 12 sessions of dance for all ages, abilities and levels of experience.

Dance and movement styles on offer through the festival include street, ballet, Zumba, pilates, contemporary, street fit, Bollywood, social dance and breakdance.

Middlesbrough Council Festival and Events Development Officer Phil Douglas said: “Dance continues to grow in popularity, and in dancemiddlesbrough we have one of the best attended festivals in the region.

“It’s all about making dance inclusive and open to all – regardless of age or ability – and I hope as many people as possible enjoy the great programme we have lined up for 2016.”

  • Tickets for all events and performances are available from Middlesbrough Town Hall Box Office or by calling 01642 729 729.

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