A Popular Cumbrian school dance festival which will feature over 1,500 Cumbrian students is set to take place in Carlisle this month.

The U Dance Festival is set to welcome primary and secondary pupils from schools across the county to the city when it takes place between Monday, March 18, and Friday, March 24.

The annual dance festival is also set to take place in a new location following the closure of the Sands Centre's events building last September due to presence of Reinforced aerated autoclaved concrete (RAAC), with this being the Crown and Mitre Hotel on English Street. 

U.Dance co-ordinator Kelly McClelland, said: "We had hoped to have our performances this year at The Sands Centre but due to the ongoing RAAC issues we had to act quickly to keep this performance opportunity alive.

"In a few weeks we pulled together a creative team who will build theses young dancers a stage in the ballroom of the hotel with a lighting rig and a seated auditorium to allow the unique opportunity to perform onstage to a live audience of family and friends to still go ahead."

U.Dance Festival is organised by a team of dance artists who make up U Dance Cumbria and brings together pupils of all ages from primary, secondary and SEN schools in Allerdale, Carlisle, Copeland and Eden, with the latest festival marking its 21st year in the county.

On each night of the festival, 10 schools will perform a dance created by students on a topic of their choosing and Kelly explained how she can't wait to see the creativity of local pupils shine on stage.

She said: "U.Dance Cumbria is such a heart-warming celebration of achievement.

"The children and teachers love getting creative and the whole day is filled with excitement and joy.

It’s a testament to the popularity of this event that we are in its 21st year of running and we are always so well supported by schools and parents alike."