Dancing for a Smile

Over £1300 has been raised for a local charity thanks to the hard work, talent and determination of students from Withernsea High School and their stunning dance show at Bridlington Spa Theatre.

Please scroll down for a selection of images of the event. More will be coming soon, along with a video montage of the day.

A total of £1329.22 is being donated to the charity ‘Smile by the Sea’, an initiative launched by the HEY Smile Foundation to provide short breaks and holidays for people from Hull and East Yorkshire who find themselves needing some form of respite.

The majority of the money was raised through a stunning sold-out performance of the annual Year 11 Dance Show, titled “Dancing for a Smile”, which was held at Bridlington Spa Theatre last Friday (27th March). The idea for the Bridlington performance came from the Year 11 Dance students themselves, after deciding they wanted to raise money for charity and take this year’s show on the road to a professional venue.

Thanking the students for their contribution, Helen Wise, a development manager at the charity, said: “I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been involved in bringing together this wonderful show. Smile by the Sea is a fantastic project that will see many children from across our region benefit from a break this year.  This is only possible thanks to events such as this and the funds you have raised will help us to continue to provide this service to many more families throughout 2015 and beyond”

Last year, while still in Year 10, the students put together a proposal for Headteacher Richard Williman which showed their vision for the event and how they planned to make their idea a reality. After suitably impressing him with a clear and confident presentation, and with the support of the full staff behind them, they were given the green light to begin the fundraising that was needed to raise the money to secure the venue. A sponsored dance across the Humber Bridge, a bag-packing day at Morrisons on Holderness Road, a school talent show and a cake raffle were enough to achieve this.

Friday night’s theatre show was undoubtedly a memorable experience for the 116 dancers aged from 11 to 18 who took part, as well as for the many family members, friends and staff who were in the audience to support them. Mr Williman commented: “It was a fabulous evening's entertainment and an incredibly professional dance show. The students involved gave a performance that was befitting of such a venue and deserve to be congratulated for the hard work they have put into making the show such a success. Particular congratulations to the Year 11 students who planned and organised the event and used it as an opportunity to raise a fantastic sum of money for a local charity. A great example of how our students support our local community”.

Commenting after the show Steve Medcalf, whose daughter Hannah was one of the performers, said: “I’ve just witnessed what can only be described as a truly amazing show at the Bridlington Spa this evening. It was a superb and entertaining dance show of which every single participant should be extremely proud. They are all a credit to the school and the town. The best and most varied and highly entertaining dance show I have ever seen”

Teacher of Dance, Jamie Hardy, added: “The success of the showcase is a credit to our talented and hardworking Year 11 students. Thanks to everyone who has supported the performers, not only have you made such a difference to our students, but also to the lives of the many families that will benefit from the large donation that the students have been able to gift to their chosen charity.  I feel very proud of all performers. They really grasped the opportunity and demonstrated both the talent and the heart that lives in Withernsea and the surrounding areas.”

As in previous years, the show ran for two nights with an equally successful performance having taken place the night before at the High School itself, giving those who were unable to attend the Bridlington show the chance to watch it closer to home. The performance at the school marked the end of an era as it became the last ever production to take place on the stage of the main hall. Sound and Lighting Technician Tim Nuttall commented: “After 60 years of use and being the focal point for literally thousands of events from dance shows to assemblies, school productions to live bands and competitions to awards evenings we are sadly losing the stage area as part of the continuing joint rebuild and refurbishment works. However, we are excited about the refurbishment the Hall will be undergoing in summer and we look forward to benefiting from the contemporary performance space that will result from these works.”

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