A popular schools dance festival has received a spectacular sprinkling of fairy dust thanks to the magical powers of Disney On Ice.
 
The Gateshead Schools Dance Festival took place (this week) at the region’s prestigious Sage Gateshead venue, where school children and young people from the borough proudly showcased their skills in dance.
 
The annual display is organised by the Gateshead School Sport Partnership (GSSP) that aims to build an active and healthy future for all young people through the provision of high-quality physical education, school sport and physical activity.
 
This year’s festival has joined forces with the Disney On Ice Fit to Dance education programme. Inspired by the magic of Disney On Ice, Fit to Dance supports creative storytelling and physical education for children in the primary sector.
 
Steven Armstrong, Vice President Northern Europe, Feld Entertainment, producers of Disney On Ice, said:
 
“It’s a pleasure for us to be partnering with this amazing dance festival. As with Disney On Ice Fit to Dance, it’s encouraging children to get fit and active through dance and storytelling. The Fit to Dance programme reflects what happens in Disney On Iceshows, where writing teams create great stories and choreography teams translate them into fantastic dances on the ice. Fit to Dance enables young people to do exactly this with their school friends or even in their own homes, and there’s plenty of support and inspiration online. We’re also delighted to inspire a new outreach programme enabling schools to create their own Fit to Dance routines, alongside a competition to win tickets to Disney On Ice.”
 
More than 2,600 Gateshead children took part in the dance festival during 105 performances across six shows spanning two days at Sage Gateshead.
 
The theme for this year’s festival was the magic of movies and musicals, and featured performances inspired from a wide range of popular and classic films, including Mamma Mia, Oliver, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Jungle Book, Shrek, Matilda, Annie, Wizard of Oz and Hairspray.
 
Councillor Gary Haley, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at Gateshead Council said:
 
“It’s a delight to see so many schools willing to participate in this spectacular annual event that gives children the opportunity to use their imagination by choreographing their own dance routines, improve their health by keeping their heart rates up, boost their confidence and performance skills – and having such great fun while doing it!”
 
Alex Perkins from Gateshead School Sport Partnership added:
 
“We’re thrilled to have partnered with the Disney On Ice Fit to Dance educational programme this year.  This has enabled us to reach out to schools in the borough with an inspirational cross-curricular initiative that will encourage children to embrace the joy of creativity and adventure throughout the rest of the academic year. We’ve also launched some extra special competitions for children to win tickets to Disney On Ice when it arrives at the Metro Radio Arena in October, which is a great incentive for families in the area.”
 
For more information about Fit to Dance, go to: http://www.fit-to-dance.com/