Dundee Secondary Schools Dance Festival

Dundee Secondary Schools Dance Festival

Pupils from Dundee Secondary Schools performed at the Dundee Secondary School’s Dance Festival (21st March) which was led by Active School coordinators and Physical Education Teachers.

The Dance Festival is part of Dundee’s Schools Sports Association which aims to get as many Secondary pupils involved in Dance clubs and events as possible and create ways to promote pathways to participate, choreograph, organise events, volunteer and Lead in Dance.

This exciting event had around 90 secondary school pupils from across Dundee showcasing their wonderful and creative talents in Street, Contemporary and Open categories, with choreography created by the school pupils themselves as well as some of our dance leaders, ex pupils and assistance from staff. The Dance Festival provides an opportunity for parents, guardians, friends and dance lovers to share in the dance experience.

Preparation for this event started in June 2023, with a number of 4th and 5th year pupils from Dundee Secondary Schools attending a week-long Dance Leaders Level 5 qualification (Sports Leaders UK) led by Daniel Aing (Dundee and Angus College) and Gillian Pack (Active Schools), which has given them the confidence to choreograph and lead dance in their schools.

James Fenna, Active Schools Manager at Leisure & Culture Dundee said


“Becoming a Dance Leader is a fantastic role. Not only is it a great way to develop new skills, build confidence and meet like-minded people, but the programme helps youngsters develop as leaders by influencing and reflecting the views of other young people. We encourage our Young Leaders to motivate and inspire others to get into sport and physical activity, helping shape decisions to ensure youngsters have the best possible experience across Dundee.”


Gillian Pack, Active Schools Coordinator & Freelance Dance Teacher


“The Dundee Secondary Schools Dance Festival has developed into such an amazing event over the years. It’s not only a great celebration of dance and a chance for pupils to show off their dance skills and choreography, but it is also a great way to bring pupils and schools together, focusing on; teamwork, creativity and engaging as much participation as possible throughout our schools. Whether this is performing, leading dance groups, choreographing, editing music, or selling programmes, everyone contributes in their own way. It’s a great way for pupils to meet new people, step out of their comfort zone and grow in confidence. The teams all work so hard in the lead up to this event and the standard of dance and choreography is absolutely incredible across all three categories. It was wonderful to have some of our guest performances, such as Claypotts primary school. Academy, Urban Moves Performance Companies, students from the Scottish School of Contemporary Dance and Tayview primary school (our Star performance winners!) all join us for this event. We were also lucky to have Kingspark Schools Dance Company and Tayside sing it sign it Makaton choir open the show, which was very heart warming. What a fantastic performance. Well done to all of the young people taking part and to all of the teachers, staff in schools, volunteers and to the family and friends who came along to support them. There is always such a buzz at this event and we are all looking forward to next years festival already with hopefully lots of new faces joining us!”


Invited along to judge at this years event was Giulia Montalbano, Lisa Bibby, Paige Morrison and Daniel Aing who were all extremely impressed by the talent and the work that had gone into this festival.

This years show opened with a piece choreographed by Gillian Pack and Dance Leaders about a young girls journey, setting the scene for the dance festival and reminding participants to be supportive, encouraging and kind. Performed by Dance Leaders, Layla Pack (Ancrum Road Primary) and Archie Turnbull (our host from Morgan Academy) welcoming the audience to Be our Guest. Throughout the show everyone was very supportive, a fantastic atmosphere and we watched as the secondary students on stage inspired some of the younger generations to dance in the aisles during the show.

All dance groups performed to a very high standard, with St John’s school winning the Street and Contemporary dance categories and Harris Academy winning the open category. Tayview Primary winning our overall star performers, and Ailsa Blyth (Harris Academy) winning our individual overall star performer.

Photos by Bob Pack Photographer

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