DANCERS from a Bacup academy are now ‘twinned’ with a Maltese dance school after a six-day trip to the island.
Six students from Dansworks Dance Academy travelled to Sliema in Malta as guests of Dance College Studios.
This follows a successful visit to Bacup by 13 dancers from the Maltese dance school in March when the two groups performed a joint routine at Dansworks annual show at Burnley Mechanics Theatre, the Maltese dancers also performed two of their own routines in the same show.
In Malta they all performed together at Dance College Studios annual show as well as performing in a large shopping precinct in St Julian’s Bay, Dansworks dancers also performed two of their own numbers during the annual show.
The trip was such a success that the next exchange visit, in 2016, is already planned and the 12 places were fully booked within a week of being announced.
Charlie Morris, 12, of Bacup, said: “It was really good fun. One of the dances we performed was a ballet number, which is something they don’t do, and we were teaching some of the younger ones how to do some of the ballet steps. “On the first day we went straight into it and performed in the dress rehearsal. We all got to know each other really well. I tried lots of different kinds of food and there were celebrations going on all the time and fireworks going off.”
Dansworks Business Manager Dale Connearn explained: “Each town in Malta has a Saint’s feast and the celebrations were going on while we were there.
“We also took a boat trip across to the capital city, Valletta where the dancers visited the cathedral and shopped, they also got soaked while dancing through the fountain in front of the Presidential Palace.”
Students from both dance schools have been using social media to keep in touch since they met in March and now regularly Facebook and Skype each other – even skyping dance lessons.
Sarah Brooks, 13, said: “It was a really good experience. We got to work with a new style of dancers and we met some lovely people. Their style of dance is more like commercial dance, the kind you see in music videos.”
Dale said: “We had been looking to twin with another dance school for a couple of years and we spent 18 months working on this ‘Twinning’.
“We went to Malta last year to meet the Principal Kim Shembri and director Louis Spiteri and we found their philosophy was similar to ours and we agreed to twin the studios and work together.
“A special dance class will be starting in the next few weeks for the dancers who are going to Malta on the next exchange, so that they can perfect the routines before their visit.”
Maltese students will visit Bacup in March 2016 and when Dansworks dancers go in July 2016, 12 dancers will be attending, 11-year-old Jack Leigh will be the only boy going.
Jack, from Stacksteads, said: “I am looking forward to performing out there and chilling.”
For more information about Dansworks follow the link or call 01706 559671.