It was the culmination of months, if not years of hard work and once again the teachers and students of Chatsworth Dance Centre in Harrogate pulled off an amazing show on Sunday 11th February at the Royal Hall. For those who aren’t in the biz, this is a BIG deal! Every two years Miss Jo (Jo Pollitt) and Miss Steph (Stephanie Starkings) undertake this massive logistical challange. To give you an idea of the scale this event these are some of the numbers:
2 sell-out performances at the Royal Hall Harrogate
2 full weekends of technical and dress rehearsals
6 months of routine learning by the students
20 different dances and medleys within the show
170+ backstage helpers
380 children taking part in the performances
Some of the children taking part are as young as 4 & 5 years old so ensuring that they’re all happy, well rehearsed and confident to go on-stage is testament to the teachers and helpers back-stage.
It’s my own 3rd show experience. Remembering back to “Love to Dance 3” in 2014 when my eldest daughter had just turned 5 years old and was bubbling with excitement at the prospect of actually appearing on stage in a theatre. It’s the stuff that little girls dreams are made of! It is particularly poignant for me as I clearly remember that some of the girls in my daughters class that were so painfully shy that it took such courage and resolve from them to step out into that spotlight. It’s a lot to ask from such young children and yet somehow they all managed it!
Fast forward 4 years and I can not quite believe that this confident gaggle of 9 year olds are the same kids! Their confidence has grown unbelievably and rather than hiding at the back, they are all vying for that front position! The patience and skill of the Chatsworth teacher has helped them develop into confident young ladies.
The show itself is a huge collection of individual dance numbers and medleys, each one showcasing a different dance class or musical theatre class from Chatsworth or a different age group. Of course the youngest dancers, who shone during the “Cruella De Vil” and ” Everybody Wants to be a Cat” were adorable however the skill and finesse of the older dancers was absolutely breath taking.
What was absolutely wonderful to see was the support from all of the families. So many parents had given up two weekends of their time to provide vital help backstage. Every single performer had been made-up by their parents to ensure that they looked the part. I heard many parents admitted to remembering their own Royal Hall performances from their childhood. It’s a right of passage and something that sticks with you through life.
Each performance was so slick, from the Ballet to the Contemporary, the Tap, the modern Jazz, the Musical Theatre and the freestyle. My stand out favourite was the rock and roll medley. The 50 Modern Jazz performers gave such a massive energy, it was amazing to watch.
In my own household, my two little freestyle performers were absolutely buzzing after the show. They loved every minute of it and can’t wait for “Love to Dance 6” in 2020! As a very proud parent I’d like to extend a huge thank you to all of the Chatsworth Dance Centre teachers and especially the backstage parent helpers. For that one special day on stage, you all helped make our sons & daughters dreams come true!
Thank you to Tim Cook from the Harrogate Informer for letting me share his photos