Berwickshire pupils have a ball at festival

Chirnside Scottish Dancers, Carys Snowball, Ally Robertson and Katie Chalmers at Duns Volunteer Hall for the Dance Festival.
Chirnside Scottish Dancers, Carys Snowball, Ally Robertson and Katie Chalmers at Duns Volunteer Hall for the Dance Festival.

Primary pupils had a ball when they showed off their dancing talent at this year’s Berwickshire Primary Schools’ Dance Festival in Duns.

Around 230 pupils attended Duns Volunteer Hall last Wednesday where pupils from nursery level all the way up to primary seven showed off their moves in both creative and Scottish country dance.

Westruther Lads, Andrew McLeod, Harris Mitchell, Archie Lock and Calum Aithinson performing the 'Dragon's Dance' at the Volunteer Hall at Duns.

Westruther Lads, Andrew McLeod, Harris Mitchell, Archie Lock and Calum Aithinson performing the 'Dragon's Dance' at the Volunteer Hall at Duns.

Eight schools took part in the event which was kicked off by a joint performance from Ayton Primary School and Reston Primary School with their highly imaginative dance titled ‘Tick Tock’.

Pupils had been practising their dances for up to five weeks as the expressive element in the Scottish Government’s Curriculum for Excellence.

Around 50 people including both teachers and members of the public were also in attendance.

Sara Green, class teacher of primary four and seven at Westruther, said: “They all really enjoyed learning the dance and getting to work together. They have been practising for about five weeks and this is the first time the nursery children have been involved so they did really well to work together and with the music.

Toby and Elliott Hooper with Cameron Cowan from Swinton Primary school performed 'Simon's Dance at Duns.

Toby and Elliott Hooper with Cameron Cowan from Swinton Primary school performed 'Simon's Dance at Duns.

“They should all be really pleased with how it went. It’s important for them to be taking part and for people to keep driving these festivals forward.”

Hazell Millar, PE teacher at Chirnside Primary School, said: “They danced brilliantly and we are very proud of them. Its a big thing to do in front of all these people here. They have been using their own time to practise by giving up their lunch breaks so this is a great thing for them and both the boys and the girls have really pulled it off.”

Olivia Roper, performing arts co-ordinator at Live Borders, added: “This year the festival has been very well attended including large groups such as Duns Primary School primary one’s group which includes 45 pupils.

“It is really good for the teachers that are putting their expertise in to see it all working so well for the kids. It is also wonderful to see that a lot of the themes come from their curriculum and the dancing is an extension of their learning. This is a great and creative way to show and share what they have learnt.

Chinese Dancers Mel Green and Anna Dixon at the Dance festival.

Chinese Dancers Mel Green and Anna Dixon at the Dance festival.

“That is the value of dance really as well as the children having the ability to share their work and learn so much from each other.

“They should all feel very proud.”

The event finished at 12.30pm with Westruther Primary School’s inspired performance called Dragon Dance.

Swinto Primary school dancers Jess Cowe and Katie Barrie at the Dance festival in Duns.

Swinto Primary school dancers Jess Cowe and Katie Barrie at the Dance festival in Duns.

Julie Rutherford, Sophie Pessara, Heather Little and Ciara Pemble    were perfoming at Duns Volunteer Hall at the Dance festival.

Julie Rutherford, Sophie Pessara, Heather Little and Ciara Pemble were perfoming at Duns Volunteer Hall at the Dance festival.

Duns Primary 1 received their certificate from Olivia Roper, Performing Arts Co-ordinator from LIVE Borders/Scottish Borders Council after their performance of 'Cant stop the feeling'.

Duns Primary 1 received their certificate from Olivia Roper, Performing Arts Co-ordinator from LIVE Borders/Scottish Borders Council after their performance of 'Cant stop the feeling'.

Michelle Douglas and Olivia Roper were on the judging panel at the Berwickshire Primary schools Dance Festival.

Michelle Douglas and Olivia Roper were on the judging panel at the Berwickshire Primary schools Dance Festival.

P5 Dancers from Duns performed 'I just want to be me' at the Volunteer hall.

P5 Dancers from Duns performed 'I just want to be me' at the Volunteer hall.

Proud teacher Hazel Millar from Chirnside with her Scottish Dancers at the Dance festival.

Proud teacher Hazel Millar from Chirnside with her Scottish Dancers at the Dance festival.

Duns P5 'Shut up and Dance' performers Bk: Maddie Rosher, Eva Guntley and Izzy Knighton, FR: Circe Millarand Eliza Bevan.

Duns P5 'Shut up and Dance' performers Bk: Maddie Rosher, Eva Guntley and Izzy Knighton, FR: Circe Millarand Eliza Bevan.