Woking dancers rounded off the old year in style when 294 performers from 32 dance and school groups took to the stage at the Rhoda McGaw Theatre.

The series included Young Dance Makers for schools and colleges; Step Up, a new platform presenting an eclectic mix of dance styles; and Innovate, a contemporary-led dance platform.

It was hosted by Dance Woking, supported by Arts Council England, to enable local dancers to showcase their work.

Ten schools from across Woking and Surrey took part in Young Dance Makers, using the theme recycle, renew and reuse to focus on the environment and sustainability and create imaginative and dynamic dance pieces. School groups created their work in after-school clubs working with a Dance Woking artist over eight weeks. 

The schools involved included Horsell Village School, Westfield Primary and Beaufort Primary, with guest groups representing, among others, Woking College.

The Step Up dance platform brought together different dance genres. Performance pieces were joyous and diverse, with some great tunes from well-known musicals, to classical, pop to original live music. 

Innovate Dance Platform featured dance schools from across the county to showcase their best work. 

Dance Woking’s artistic director Sam McCaffrey said: “As I reflect on 2023 I am proud of how Dance Woking has used dance to change lives and navigate through a difficult year. 

‘‘From presenting platform opportunities, a tour to over-65s, to a holiday club for children aged seven to 11 years. 

“I was really inspired by the work presented at the three different dance platforms. Dance is so diverse and enables truly imaginative, creative, expression, which we encourage as part of our teaching.

“It amazes me how the dancers are able to come together and perform their best in front of family and friends, hold their nerves in check and use this energy to positive advantage in their performances.

“After the platforms Dance Woking toured eight care homes, reaching 140 people, and just before Christmas ran a holiday club supported by Active Surrey.

“I’m not sure what 2024 holds as we celebrate 30 years of Dance Woking.

“The withdrawal of grant funding from Woking Borough Council has left the organisation in a perilous financial situation and facing an uncertain future.

“We are looking for new partners as we pursue opportunities for the year ahead, so if you’d like to get in touch please contact us."

You can reach Dance Woking via website www.dancewoking.com