HUNDREDS of young dancers from 18 local primary schools joined the second Chippenham Dance Festival at the Neeld this week.

Following the success of last year’s festival at Abbeyfield School, the event moved to the Neeld this time around, with shows on Monday and Tuesday night.

On Monday 178 youngsters took part, supported by 30 sports ambassadors - young leaders from Abbeyfield, Sheldon and Hardenhuish School -and on Tuesday another 130 primary school children took their turn on the stage.

The festival was initiated and organised by Jessica Pierce, sports co-ordinator at Abbeyfield, with sponsorship from the Borough Lands and Wiltshire and Swindon Sport (WASP).

"It's great that we are able to showcase such a range of talent at such a central venue at the heart of the community," Jessica said. "Schools had worked tirelessly to prepare and rehearse for the event particularly as it is so close to all the Christmas celebrations."

The festival theme was Broadway and West End Musicals. Many schools started their rehearsals months ago, in October.

"There were a real mix of performances some involving whole classes, some smaller groups as well as a beautiful solo. The array of colour, costumes and music make the event a real spectacle," Jessica said.

Both nights sold out with audiences of more than 200 each night.

"It was amazing. We had a really wonderful night. All the parents got up and danced," she added.

Plans have already begun for another festival next year.