Petersfield Dance Festival welcomes young performers back to the stage for ‘amazing’ showcase following pandemic lockdowns
YOUNG dancers celebrated a return to live performances at a nine day long festival.
Thousands of hopefuls entered the Petersfield Dance Festival, hosted by an organiser from Portsmouth.
Running from July 24 to August 1, the event was the first full all-England qualifying dance festival, including duets, trios, and group dancers after the pandemic.
Dancers across the region took to the stage, with some travelling as far as Cornwall, Staffordshire, Kent, Essex, and London.
Festival organiser Lucy Penketh, who lives in Baffins, said: ‘It was so nice to be back, everybody enjoyed being back together and doing a live festival - and to be able to have a live audience too.
‘We had 2,500 entries from 72 different dance schools.
‘There were 122 different sections where they won either bronze, silver or gold, but everyone was given a feedback form with comments.
This was our fifth year - last year we had to do online - but we’ll continue the following year.
‘We had little three-year-olds who took the stage for the first time, which was super cute, and dancers up to the age of 19.’
Petersfield Dance Festival showcased 11 different genres of dance, including ballet, tap, jazz, character, contemporary, and lyrical.
Lucy organised nine online dance competitions over the lockdowns to encourage the youngsters to keep performing.
She added: ‘It’s so amazing to see them back on stage.
‘We’ve had such overwhelming feedback - we’re so grateful to be back, such a lovely feel to the festival.
‘I have a really friendly team which made sure everyone was having a good time and in that festival spirit.’