HUNDREDS of aspiring performers were in the spotlight last night when they took part in the Swindon Schools’ Dance Festival.

Primary and secondary pupils performed Olympic and Paralympic themed dances on stage at the Wyvern Theatre in front of more than 1,000 people during two performances yesterday.

The event, which was organised by Swindon School Sport Partnership, was so successful that similar events are already being planned.

Andy Steckbeck, a spokesman for Swindon School Sport Partnership, said: “We wanted to provide pupils with an opportunity to perform on stage. It is something special for the children and they get the chance to go backstage too.

“We were a little bit taken aback by how many schools responded, it has been fantastic.”

About 30 schools took part in the event, including about 90 children from Grange Infant School.

“Our focus is on working with PE, and dance is part of the curriculum,” said Andy.

“Some of the students have devised their own dances and in other cases the schools have done it as a club or during a PE lesson. We left it open for the schools to decide.

“Their routines could have a general Olympic theme or they could be about countries of the world or the Olympic values.”

The schools have been working on their routines since September.

The first performance, which was at 4.30pm, was sold out and the second performance, which was at 7.30pm, only had a few tickets left.

Each of the schools performed for about five minutes.

“It is the first time we have done this, we wanted to mark the Olympic year,” said Andy.

“The Olympics is all about trying to provide more opportunities for children to get involved in sport and this is just something a bit different.

“Because we have had so much interest, we are talking about doing it again before the end of the school year.

“I think when other schools in the area hear about it they will want to take part too.”

For more information about Swindon School Sport Partnership visit

To see more pictures from the event click here