Dance tribute fills town centre with colour and movement 

DOZENS of people showcasing different forms of dance created colourful and quirky splashes in Woking town centre on Saturday, as their contribution to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations.

They were taking part in Encounters, an outdoor event in Victoria Square organised by the Dance Woking charity that included workshops and sessions inviting audience members to join in.

The schoolchildren arrive in Victoria Square for a performance after a parade through the town

Over more than five hours, there were performances by local dance groups, schoolchildren and professional performances from Folk Dance Remixed and Amina Khayyam Dance Company.

Some of the Woking High School dance contingent

Two energetic segments by more than 150 pupils from schools across the borough presented their special tribute to the Queen.

In a show choreographed by Emma Brewer from First Dance Studios, the audience was taken on a journey through musical history, with some old favourites included, as well as a sign language section.

To prepare, the children took part in weekly dance classes as part of Dance Woking’s Inspired Learning programme, studying all the different styles they depicted.

The schools included Horsell Junior, Sythwood Primary, New Monument Primary, Broadmere Primary, Kingfield Primary, Woking High and Beaufort Primary, along with Sports Youth Group from Sheerwater Youth Centre.

An energetic, modern take on maypole dancing

The Folk Dance Remixed performance group presented a fusion of folk dance and hip-hop dance with a routine called Step Hop House, as well as facilitating a maypole workshop and a ceilidh for the public to take part in.

Amina Khayyam Dance Company led taster Bollywood and Kathak dance sessions followed by demonstrations of their latest work.

Street gymnastics by a Dance Shack member

Alongside the workshops and schools performances were two community platforms that saw local dance groups Dance Shack, Cremona School of Dance, Flipside Dance and Woking College showcase contrasting routines.

Dance Woking funded the event with a grant from the Arts Council’s Let’s Create Jubilee Fund, an initiative using National Lottery proceeds.

The charity’s chief executive, Sam McCaffrey, said: “We were excited to have been awarded a grant to commemorate this national celebration through dance in Woking town centre. It was an amazing opportunity to showcase our local talents and enjoy dance in all its forms.”

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