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An exciting mix of dance styles featuring ballet to Bharatnatyam wowed a packed audience at the Havering Dance Festival.

Some fantastic performances were enjoyed as the festival, founded and directed by Havering Colleges dance lecturer and freelance artist Jo Leahy, played its second successful year at the college in Ardleigh Green Road, Hornchurch, on Friday and Saturday.

More than 200 dancers from local theatre and youth groups, to breakthrough artists and industry professionals took part, sharing ideas and showcasing some superb routines. Horizons Dance Company, based at the college, hosted and helped with the running of the festival, as well as performing themselves.

All the dance companies joined industry workshops during the day and were lucky enough to work with international dance artist Alejandro Martinez, Louisanne Wong, from Esprit Concrete and Dollie Henry, director of BopJAZZ Theatre Dance Company, who also appeared as guest professional performance on Saturday. The workshops gave dancers the chance to collaborate and combine their creativity as well as getting an insight into the professional world of dance.

Dance groups also had the opportunity to network with other schools and companies in the Networking Zone, where they took on a hot seat challenge - sharing their stories, experiences and inspirations from the world of dance - before the main performance at the end of the day.

Jamie Brown and Scott Parrot, technicians from the Creative Arts Department at Havering Colleges, which sponsored the event, managed the Student Ambassadors alongside Jo Leahy. The students all worked hard behind the scenes as backstage runners, front of house, meet and greet, ticket sellers, ushers, and videographers.

Special guests watching the performances, which were hosted by Events Officer Jamie Webb, included the Deputy Mayor of Havering John Mylod.

Photos by: Clive Thompson

Havering Dance Festival 2    Havering Dance Festival 1

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