A DANCE celebration brought the rich world of the Olympics to life as the torch relay arrived in Britain.
From swimming and javelin, to basketball and sprinting, the pupils of Belsay First School reflected a myriad of sporting activity in a specially-choreographed performance.
The Northumberland youngsters were among thousands around the globe taking part in the Big Dance 2012.
The events all followed the same Olympic-themed dance, created by Wayne McGregor CBE, resident choreographer at the Royal Ballet.
It was also an attempt to break the world record for the largest simultaneous multi-venue dance, with performances taking place in over 1,000 schools throughout the UK and across Europe, the USA, South America, South East Asia, the Middle East and the Far East.
Belsay First School PE teacher Kim Lamb helped the youngsters perfect their routines ahead of yesterday’s dance.
“The children loved it,” she said. “They really took it all on board. They’ve worked extremely hard, even taking the CDs home to practise their dancing.”
Headteacher Lilian Harris said: “The Olympics are really important to the children. They’ve really got into the spirit of it.”
Among the children throwing Olympic-inspired shapes was eight-year-old Lottie Bolam. She said: “It was a difficult dance to do. My favourite part was the section where we started doing all of the sport movements.”
Classmate Euan Legg, eight, said: “I liked the bit where we did the front crawl because swimming is an Olympic sport and the bit where we did basketball.”
Tilly Souter, nine, said: “It was kind of exciting because we were learning all the steps and we had the CD to practise at home then we did it in front of everyone.”
The routine also incorporated an interpretation of the Olympic torch relay.
Eastlea Primary School in Cramlington, Northumberland, also took part in the event.
Headteacher Emma Beeston said: “The whole school took part which involved 168 children and 23 staff – 191 in total.
“The pupils had all rehearsed this routine in their classrooms and the school hall, but it was fantastic to see the whole school together taking part in the five-minute dance routine outside, dressed in a range of brightly coloured T-shirts.
“All the staff were amazed at how easily the children learned the complicated routine and knew it well enough to remember the whole thing outside and perform in unison – a great achievement.” Jacqueline Rose, director of Big Dance 2012, said: “The global response to the Big Dance record attempt emphasises the power of dance as an art form to communicate and how it can unite communities.”
Guinness World Record judges will now review yesterday’s event to establish if the current record – held by the Netherlands, with 1,472 locations and 264,188 people dancing – has been beaten.
They really took it all on board. They’ve worked extremely hard, even taking the CDs home