Inaugural competition in Portsmouth for dance novices hailed a success

DANCERS from across the city and further afield got the chance to show off their talent this weekend at a new competition.

Sunday, 2nd February 2020, 4:30 pm
Updated Sunday, 2nd February 2020, 7:43 pm
A dance festival for novices to learn new skills and showcase their talents has been held at The Trafalgar School in Portsmouth. Alice Downs (front). Picture Ian Hargreaves (020220-5)

Solent Novice Dance Festival debuted at Trafalgar School in Portsmouth with 170 people taking part across more than 60 sections.

Organiser Alaina Blight wanted to start a festival for those who are new to dancing and are not ready to face big competitions.

The 38-year-old said: ‘For those wanting to compete but don’t yet have much experience, the big competitions in the south can be very daunting.

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‘When I was a child and I competed I was very nervous and always ended up in middle of the pack but when I competed in novice festivals and I won some medals it gave me confidence to do more. I want to give those just starting out that confidence boost so they keep going.’

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Youngsters from the age of three up to 18 competed this weekend in categories including tap, ballet, modern and acro.

More than 20 dance schools entered performers, with some schools coming from as far as Berkshire and Gloucestershire bidding to win a trophy and get critiqued by judge Jill Redford.

Alaina added: ‘It has gone really well and we have had about 350 people including dancers come along to watch. Parents have given good feedback as well and the dancers have been amazing.

‘We will definitely be back next year.’