Dance your socks off!

The French team
French dance students from one of Rushmoor's twin towns came to Farnborough as part of a festival called ‘Dance Your Socks Off!' organised by the Dunlop Munnelly Academy of Irish Dance in conjunction with the Twinning Association of Rushmoor. Four local dance schools from Aldershot and Farnborough spent 23rd-25th September taking part in workshops with dancers from Meudon and the weekend culminated in a gala performance for the Mayor at the Prospect Theatre.

Local schools Albany Dance Academy, Renton Dance Studio and Shuffles joined Dunlop Munnelly and the French school Meudon Gym Danse (sic) to teach each other different types of dance with workshop in styles including Ballet, Irish Step and Street Cheer. The workshops were at full capacity as dancers of all styles were keen to try something new and many new friends were made. The French dancers were hosted by local families and everyone came together for a disco on the Saturday night.

Alison Boukhobza of Rushmoor’s Twinning Association said: "We felt that the dance world lacked an event involving the twin towns, so one evening earlier on this year, Lynn Dunlop and I decided to put that right.  Working in partnership, it turned out to be an excellent idea and provided an event free of charge for the whole weekend for around 80 young people in our local community as well as our twin town visitors."

On the Sunday evening, the weekend was brought to a triumphant close with a gala performance at the Prospect Theatre, The Sixth Form College, Farnborough. The audience was at full capacity and included the Mayor, Councillor Alex Crawford. In a closing speech, he said: "Getting young people together, doing what they like to do, is the very essence of making our twin town links work. We hope that new friendships have been made during the weekend and that these new Franco-British dance links will flourish".

Given its success, it is hoped that the festival may become a annual event in future.