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Ivybridge Community College

Ivybridge Community College

Ivybridge Community College

Ivybridge dancers head to Swindon for regional U.Dance festival

Eight academy dancers hope to wow national judges .

Eight dancers from Ivybridge Dance Academy, based at Ivybridge Community College, have been selected to perform at the regional U.Dance Festival in Swindon on 26 February, with the opportunity to make it through to the national festival in July.


The talented eight will be performing their well-practiced contemporary YAHA piece to an audience of 635, plus a panel of expert U.Dance judges at the Wyvern Theatre in Swindon.

They will be competing for a place in the final against 24 other groups from across the south west of England, and if they win they will go forward to perform at the Birmingham Hippodrome from 13-16 July in front of thousands of people.

“This is a rare opportunity to perform at one, possibly two, prestigious dance festivals,” said Heather Walrond, who runs the dance academy. “It’s also a great opportunity for our students to meet other dancers, experience different dance styles and take part in workshops and masterclasses with dance industry professionals.”

The Ivybridge students who will be attending are Chantelle Michelin, Emma Nicole, Hannah Oliver, Rachel Seymour, Rylan Beech,  and Amelia Wright. They are all members of the dance academy, which further develops the skills of talented dancers and gives them additional opportunities to learn and perform outside of the curriculum.  Academy director Heather Walrond is an ex-student at Ivybridge Community College who graduated from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance with a first class honours degree. She has also danced, toured and taught with a number of other dance companies throughout the UK and around the world.

The dance academy first performed YAHA at DREAM, the annual Ivybridge Community College Performing Arts Show.

The goal of U.Dance is for dancers to inspire each other, further develop their understanding within the dance sector and realise the opportunities that exist within the industry for those that choose it as their career path.

“The event is widely respected as one of the most valuable springboards to a career in dance,” added Heather. “Last year the performances included styles including hip-hop, ballet, contemporary and South Asian dance.”