The first annual Ullapool Dance Festival aims to get everyone on dance floor regardless of age, fitness or ability! Running from the 7th - 9th March, the Festival will take place across various venues in Ullapool and offer a range of dance styles.
As a result of last year’s successful Dance Weekend pilot, the organisers are bringing back all-female Hip-Hop crew ‘Jackin’ The Box’ from Edinburgh and UK 2010 Salsa Champion Noel Hernandez who has now returned to live in the Highlands.
The dancers will perform at ‘Get Ullapool Dancing’ on Friday 8th March, an energetic show presenting a wide range of styles from both the Festival’s professional tutors and from local young performers including Ullapool Highland Dancers, Stornoway’s ‘An Lanntair Youth Dance Company’ and SkyeDance Youth Company from Portree.
Last year the headlining Hip Hop act invited everyone to join them on stage and to everyone’s surprise almost the whole audience got up to dance, so get ready to do the same this year!
The festival is made possible through funding and ‘in-kind’ support from many sources, in particular Creative Scotland’s ‘Get Scotland Dancing’ which is administered by Eden Court.
The festival is a dream-come-true for local woman Lydia Fiddes who imagined the event as she brought up her three children on an isolated croft while her husband, a prawn fisherman, was away for long days at sea.
Now the joint artistic director of the festival, Lydia says she can’t believe how far things have come so quickly.
“It was fantastic for us that Eden Court came on board straight away as partners and we are very grateful for their advice and support,” she said. “We wanted an event that would be of interest to people of all ages and which would encourage boys to dance so the mix of styles and classes on offer is very broad.”
Venues are deliberately chosen to be accessible to all and although the classes do have recommended abilities and age ranges the organisers stress that it is up to individuals to assess and choose what they would like to attend.
Ullapool Dance Festival runs from 7th - 9th March and the full programme is available through the festival’s website www.ullapooldancefestival.org which has online booking.