NEARLY ninety children from military families showed off their skills as they performed 23 dances in front of a packed house at the new Tidworth Garrison Theatre.

The show marked a year since DanceForce – a club teaching different styles of street dance including hip-hop, house, locking and breakin’ – was set up for Forces children. Youngsters aged 4-16 came together from Hampshire, Wiltshire and Dorset to celebrate their achievements from the past year.

Proud families made up an audience of almost 400 and volunteers from Army Welfare Services and the local community helped to make the show run smoothly.

DanceForce founder Lucy Pollington said: “Our show was an exciting culmination of a wonderful year of hard work by both dancers and staff of DanceForce. We look forward to building on this success in the coming year.”

Lucy, who grew up as a Service child and is now a military wife, set up DanceForce to create an environment where children can express themselves as providing a familiar activity with like-minded friends can help to reassure them when moving.

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The classes help to provide continuity for Service children when they move between bases and a focus when a parent is away; something to look forward to every week.

Middle Wallop dancer Grace Charnley added: “You get to express what’s inside of you; it’s a way of making yourself feel happy.”

Since starting, the social enterprise has won an UnLtd award, Big Lottery Funding and support from the School for Social Entrepreneurs and Lloyds Bank, giving more than 150 children the opportunity to dance. Lucy plans to take the classes nationwide for all military children.

To find out more, go to www.danceforce.org.uk

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