Dancers at Southampton college reach competition final

Dancers at Richard Taunton Sixth Form College are celebrating making it to the final of a competition.

The year one and two Dance, Performing Arts and Enrichment students will take to the stage at the Guildhall in Portsmouth on May 3 for the Dance Live! final after winning their heat against eight other schools and colleges from the region at the same venue.

The team, which also won their heat’s best costume award, performed A Life Without Art, a dance choreographed by students and teachers Lisa Fernandez-Adams and Kirsty Dunne.

Lisa said: “This year we set ourselves a personal challenge as a creative team to create a dance different to our nine previous years’ entries, we wanted to present a dance that shared joy and light after the darkness that Covid has presented us all.

“We’ve been entering both Dance Live and Rock Challenge for ten years and we have had success in one or the other every year.

“That’s a testament to the hard work that goes into giving the students a professional grounding in performing and setting high standards for them so that they really make the most of their talent and passion for the arts.”

The routine which helped the students reach the final tells the story of a world deprived of art and then relates the colour and joy of discovering it. It uses props and an LED background featuring a virtual art gallery to make its point.

One judge said in their feedback: “Lovely concept idea, a great choice and it has educational value too.

“Loved this theme, a really cohesive well thought out piece. I thought the way you told this story and even gave us a twist or a surprise ending was nothing short of masterful.”

Now the team are working on refining their dance for the final against seven other teams from across the region. The competition’s eight heats have featured more than 80 school and college dance teams.