A forty-strong group of students in years five and six from Neston Primary School helped bring a bit of cheer to traders at Neston Market earlier this month.
It was the least they could do; Friday 6 October was World Smile Day, after all. The children had had secret lessons the day before to teach them how to dance, with the resulting flashmob bringing excitement, colour and creativity to Neston Market.
The event was led by Cheshire Rural Touring Arts and dance teachers Gail Ferrin of Get Moving, Julius Ebreo, Laura England and Paula Horton. From Neston Primary, Headmaster Rob Golding and teacher Suzanne Hopkinson-Jones also joined in while Dhol drummer Avtar Singh Manku provided the back beat.
The local traders enjoyed the spontaneity of it all, and Gail’s pleased with how the day went: “It was absolutely fantastic and what made it even better was that it happened on World Smile Day. The kids and teachers really enjoyed themselves and their dancing brought huge smiles from everyone in the market.”
The show was part of a new project called Dance Across the North which has been created by Blaize Arts and Leeds-based Balbir Singh Dance Company.
The two companies are working across the North to inspire and deliver more creative opportunities for communities to engage with diverse dance through flashmobs and workshops, as well as performaning live across Cheshire, North Lincolnshire, East Riding, Cumbria, County Durham and Northumberland.
Cheshire Rural Touring Arts took care of the Neston flashmob, with a live performance of Love and Spice following at the weekend. Though the workshops and flashmobs were and are free, Dance Across the North is looking for donations on its JustGiving page, looking to hit a total of £2,000 to help them deliver workshops to people interested in joining their programme.
Dance Across the North say that their workshops and flashmobs can boost confidence and help people develop key skills such as leadership, improving teamwork as well as an array of technical dancing and performing skills.