Coventry and Warwickshire dance schools are preparing to head to the UK’s biggest touring dance convention next month.
The Midlands regional edition of ‘Can You Dance?’ will take place at Coventry Building Society Arena on Sunday, April 3rd.
MSCD Studios from Walsgrave, SR Dance Academy from Burton Green, and Coventry College’s Inspire Performing Arts will all be involved in the dance convention.
The event is expected to attract more than 1,000 people and features an exhibition, series of competitions and programme of masterclasses from some of the country’s top performers and dancers.
Charlotte Gooch, a regular leading lady in productions across London’s West End, and Dane Bates, a finalist in The Greatest Dancer, will be among the experts on the day.
They will be joined by dance tutor Josie Lee and co-founder of the event, Tom Shilcock, who has danced with renowned international artists including Rita Ora, Jason Derulo, Rihanna, and Elton John.
Both CSD Studios and Coventry College’s ‘Inspire Performing Arts’ will be performing in the competition side of the event, while SR Dance Academy will be taking in the masterclasses.
Top schools and individuals in the competitions will win the chance to compete in the national finals in Liverpool next year.
It is the first time the Midlands regional convention has been held in Coventry and Charley Herbert, who heads up CSD Studios, says it’s an exciting chance for dancers who usually wouldn’t travel around the region to attend.
“We have around 100 dancers, aged two to 25, and over the years we have been huge supporters of Can You Dance? in the Midlands,” said Charley.
“The kids love it and we take a team every year to compete. Even if they aren’t competing, everyone comes along to take the classes.
“Usually, we would have to leave at 4.30am to get to the venue on time, so with it being in Coventry it will give some of our younger dancers a chance to join us too.”
Steph Reeves set up SR Dance Academy in 2017 and it will be the first time the school has attended a Can You Dance? event.
“We were really chuffed when we heard about the event in Coventry. Having it on our doorstep is great and it ties in really nicely with City of Culture and promoting arts and dance,” added Steph.
“It’s going to be an incredible opportunity for our students to learn from some of the best professionals in the business.”
Away from traditional dance schools, Coventry College will be competing on the day as Inspire Performing Arts and curriculum leader Grace Rodgers said she couldn’t miss the opportunity.
Grace said: “We had looked at travelling further afield before but when we saw it was in our home city, we knew we couldn’t miss it.
“It’s our first time competing at the event and there is a real excitement among the students as we plan our routines for the day.”
Tom Shilcock, co-founder of Can You Dance, said: “We are very excited to be visiting Coventry for the first time and can't wait to meet so many new dancers!
“We are also looking forward to welcoming new dance schools to our event and seeing all the talent in the region. It’s going to be a really great day celebrating all things dance and we are looking forward to seeing you all in April.”
The convention is for dancers of all abilities from ages eight upwards. Tickets are also available for spectators. To find out more visit www.canyoudancelive.com