TALENTED young students from the Northern Dance Centre in Skipton have been busy taking part in public performances, including the turning on of the town’s Christmas lights.

Last month, youngsters from just four years old, also took part in the centre’s own much anticipated choreography competition. Students were given free rein to choose their own music, style of dance - or a fusion of styles, to create their personal masterpieces and compete for the chance of winning a prize.

Dancers competed in age categories split into solos, duets, trios and groups, and for the first time this year the event was further enhanced with the addition of a freestyle improvisation section.

In small groups, dancers listened to a short piece of music before immediately performing their dance interpretations.

Amy Addison, centre principal, said: “Our choreography competition celebrates creativity and imagination in aspiring young dancers, and offers children the opportunity to express themselves and develop their skills in the the world of choreography.

“Everyone is encouraged to participate, and it is always an inspirational day of creativity and talent, the children’s ideas and creations are astounding.”

The audience was packed with supporters, family members, fellow pupils and some notable dance dignitaries. Adjudicators had the almost impossible task of choosing winners, runners up and an overall winner of the day.

Judge Elliott Augustine, said he was stunned by the quality of the competition and looked forward to seeing the students grow into professional dancers. “It is truly inspiring seeing the next generation of dancers show their creative side. To be able to make good quality choreography and performing it in front of family, friends and critics is simply amazing.

Several students took part in the Christmas lights ceremony, including the youngest of just three years old, who performed a festive penguin tap.

Northern Dance has around 500 pupils and offers classes in dance, drama, musical theatre and acro classes for children aged 18months upwards in Skipton, at Craven Hall, Sackville Street, and Ilkley.

It is currently looking for new, more easily accessible premises in Skipton. To find out more, visit: northerndancecentre.com.