HUNDREDS of primary school pupils got to dance with some of the most talented performers in the country when they were treated to a session with The Royal Ballet School.

A total of 291 young people from Oaktree, King William Street, Mountford Manor, Lawn, Drove and Lainesmead primary schools met professional dancers yesterday as part of a national scheme called primarySTEPS.

The sessions took place at Swindon Dance and started with a demonstration, followed by the opportunity to experience ballet for themselves on stage.

Emma Langhorne, dance education and development manager at Swindon Dance, said: “The primarySTEPS scheme enables children to learn about ballet who may not have had the opportunity to access it before.

“It is very much about nurturing the development of the child in the hope they will progress to junior associates of the Royal Ballet School or come and access our provisions here at Swindon Dance.”

The scheme, which is run in partnership between Swindon Dance, Churchfields Academy and the Royal Ballet School, brings creative dance and ballet to school children who may not have had the opportunity to try it before.

A group of teachers and musicians from The Royal Ballet School’s dance partnership and access programme were at Swindon Dance yesterday, together with final-year Royal Ballet School students and younger students from the school’s nationwide junior associate scheme.

PrimarySTEPS is run at five centres across the country and enables children at key stage two in Swindon to take part in creative ballet classes for six weeks.

At the end of the six-week course, 25 of the most talented pupils will be invited to further their new-found knowledge and skills by joining free weekly primarySTEPS classes, hosted by Churchfields Academy, for up to four years.

The young people taking part will receive their training from teachers specially approved by The Royal Ballet School.

After the four years, the aspiring young dancers will be advised on how best to continue their dance training and some may be invited to audition for The Royal Ballet School’s junior associate programme.

PrimarySTEPS touches the lives of more than 2000 young people across England each year.