Although the physical event at Portsmouth Guildhall will not be going ahead this year, young dancers across the area are gearing up to record their choreographed routines for a digital grand final.
Year 6 pupils from Rowner Junior School, which won the public vote in last year’s virtual competition, have been working hard on a retelling of classic fairytale Jack and the Beanstalk for their dance performance.
A film crew from Dance Live visited the Gosport school on Thursday to record their final production, which features an interactive LED screen with animations which link to the dancers’ actions onstage.
Assistant headteacher Emily Weaver is proud of the effort put in by the children, who kept up with online rehearsals while unable to practice in person.
Emily said: ‘We were trying to think about what concept we could come up with to benefit from the screen. We wanted to make sure what was happening on the screen related to what was happening on stage.
‘They have really thrown themselves into it and been really open to change. The kids have been super resilient. They have loved it and it’s been really inclusive, anyone who wanted to do it could do it.’
The seven-minute performance features the school’s own version of Jack and the Beanstalk, where Jack seeks revenge on the giants who have taken everything and takes his gang to teach the giants a lesson.
Mckenzie Kenny, aged 11, said: ‘We still had rehearsals online when we were at home in lockdown.
‘It was a bit frustrating because I didn’t have as much room as I would have liked but it made me still feel connected to my friends.’
Fellow pupil Thomas Taylor, also 11, added: ‘It has been great this year because even with lockdown restrictions we have been able to work together to make an amazing performance that we are proud of.
‘In previous years, I was mainly behind the scenes but this year I am performing as well as helping the backstage crew, my confidence has really grown.’
The grand final is set to be streamed in June, and it is anticipated that Dance Live will return to its normal format in 2022.