YOUNGSTERS were treated to a special dance lesson on Sunday by an internationally renowned professional dancer.

Sonia Sabri spent the afternoon teaching members of Swindon Dance a combination of Kathak Dance – a traditional Northern Indian Dance – with a more contemporary style she has developed.

It is in preparation for a performance at a special concert in March, where the girls and Sonia will be performing the dance to an audience.

“We are giving them a chance to perform a new style of dance which none of them will ever have come across before,” said Sonia, who has performed all over the country.

“As well as learning a new style they are getting a flavour of the preparation and dedication which is needed when you are putting on a show.

“It is good fun but they are learning how to work with other people. At the start you see them all sitting in their friendship groups but they need to work with others here so they benefit from learning from new people.”

The session has been organised by Swindon Dance and the South Asian Performing Arts Centre (SAPAC) as a way not only of teaching the members a new dance, but also spreading new culture in Swindon.

“This is such a rare chance for the dancers to learn from a professional dancer,” said Indu Sharma, of SAPAC.

“There was great demand for the session and I think all the girls have really had fun.

“It will all culminate at the performance in March when they will all get to showcase what they have learnt on stage.”

The show, titled Jugni, is just one of a number of activities SAPAC, which has received funding from the Arts Council, are hoping to do over the coming months.

Indu said: “There are now so many people from all over the world living in Swindon but there are often not the cultural events for people.

“That is what we at SAPAC are hoping to achieve. There is so much talent and so much to show that it is right and proper we put on events that can run alongside the existing culture.

“People should not have to travel to Bristol or London when there is something right on their doorstep.”

Jugni will take place on March 14 at Swindon Dance, in Regent Circus, from 7.45pm.

Tickets are £12 for adults and £8 for children and can be purchased by either calling 01793 601700 or visiting