Slideshow: West Yorkshire Theatre Dance Centre’s awards show

The dancing and acrobatic feats of more than 300 children were celebrated at a special awards ceremony last month.

West Yorkshire Theatre Dance Centre, with the help of scholarships and sponsorships from local businesses, commemorated the hard work and dedication of Wakefield youngsters.

Star gymnast Jessica Smart with her award

Star gymnast Jessica Smart with her award

The centre houses a galaxy of talented dancers, ballerinas and gymnasts all under one roof at Fairfield Hall, Station Road, Ossett.

The event was kicked off in style by a mini showcase performed by the Theatre Craft students. This featured a premiere of four solo dances by Esmee McCarthy, Olivia Henfrey, Maisie Kaye and Emma Panton.

Dance centre principal Sarah Thomas said the highlight of the performance went to the senior students, many of whom have been attending the dance centre for more than a decade. Due to their dedication, ability and determination some have now been invited to perform in America and the Caribbean in 2016.

Every child was recognised for their efforts and received a rosette and certificate.

In addition more than 120 children received their certificates, reports and medals for classical ballet exams through the Royal Academy of Dance.

Fifty special awards were also presented. The most prestigious of which, the full annual scholarship from the centre, went to Amelia Griffiths.

Also among the awards were Jodi Slatcher, Georgina Stringfellow, Teagan Clegg, Matilda Lewis Lauren Walmsley, Sadie Gomersall, Eve Walsh, Leah Wolff­-Smethurst, Lily Mai Wright, Bella Pearson, Isobel Kitchingman, Annabelle Isherwood and star Jumping Jaxx gymnast Jessica Smart.

A very special award was presented to Emma Panton for passion for performance. It was donated by the Murray family in memory of their daughter Imogen.

The winner of last year’s full annual scholarship was Maisie Kaye, aged seven. Her mum Kirsti said: “I’m so glad that she is part of your West Yorkshire Theatre Dance Centre family. It has amazing teachers, a fantastic group of girls, and the excellent role models of the older girls and boys who Maisie truly admires and who happily take her under their wings. We’re so looking forward to what the next year brings.”

In March students will perform ‘Once Upon A Fairytale’ at Wakefield Theatre Royal.