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In pictures: Dance section of Maidenhead Festival of Music and Dance

George Roberts

George Roberts

A dance festival that saw children as young as three ‘point a toe’ was a big success in its 51st year.

Maidenhead Town Hall came alive from Monday, October 22 to Saturday, October 27 as youngsters aged up to 18 took part in the dance section of the Maidenhead Festival of Music and Dance.

Competitors took part in a variety of categories and styles, including ballet, tap, modern and Greek.

The event was organised by Hilary Hennessey and her daughter Naomi.

Hilary said: “It went really well, everyone was really pleased to see the adjudicator Jayne – I heard she was the best we have ever had.”

Proceedings were adjudicated by Jayne Cooper, a former professional dancer who performed in musical theatre and cabaret.

Jayne opened her own dance school in the New Forest after retiring from dancing, and many of her students have become professionals in classical ballet and musical theatre. She now teaches the Royal Ballet School Junior Associates in Southampton.

Hilary said at least 250 children took part in the event, with some youngsters taking part in as many as 11 different events.

The dance categories involved solo performances, duets, trios, quartets and larger groups, all the way up to 18 and under.

The music section of the festival took part from Sunday, October 7 to Sunday October 14, and included solo, duet and trio piano performances as well as a vocal section with open and youth choirs.

Hilary, who is 68, remembers dancing at the first festival more than 50 years ago.

She said: “The youngest person who got up on the stage was probably three – they were quite funny. They knew a few dance moves, galloped around and pointed a foot.

“There is always a little bit of squabbling that goes on but on the whole, all were positive, smiling and happy.”

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