Hundreds of young dancers from across Bucks and beyond are preparing to descend on the Waterside Theatre in Aylesbury for a two night dance extravaganza next week.
The new-look Honeycomb Dance Festival- formally known as Activate - takes place at the theatre on Tuesday 4 and Wednesday 5 April.
Honeycomb provides aspiring young performers with the chance to dance on a professional stage, while cheered on by family, friends and other dance enthusiasts. Festival favourites Urban Strides are back, with their junior and senior crews, along with dance groups from across Aylesbury and beyond, performing everything from contemporary dance to musical theatre.
Madonna Schembri, owner of local dance group Elevate says: “I had the chance to perform in the festival when it was called Activate and held at the Civic Centre.
“I loved the experience of mixing with other young people, who enjoyed dance as much as me and to join forces for an exciting performance.
“I moved to the Waterside with the festival in 2011 and since then it’s got bigger and better.
“Now I have my own community dance group in Southcourt and we perform in the show.
“My kids love it and we spend months preparing to make sure we are at our very best.
“We don’t have many performance opportunities and Honeycomb is a highlight in our calendar as it gives the young people something to work towards.”
Leanne O’Neill is working with two groups in the festival, her BTEC school group from Aylesbury Vale Academy and a group from Aylesbury School of Dance, where she is a teacher.
She said: “The festival is often the first time my students from Aylesbury Vale Academy have had the chance to perform to such a big audience.
“Seeing groups who are more experienced helps them learn and gives them something to aspire to.
“It’s great to be involved in a performance where everyone encourages each other and they’re all really supportive.”
Director of the Honeycomb Dance Festival Deborah Stevens said: “We’re so excited to have the opportunity to take on this fantastic festival from Aylesbury Vale District Council and bring our new ideas to it.
“The festival is much loved throughout the local dance community and we can’t wait to see what the groups are bringing to the stage this year!”.
Performers on the Tuesday night include Bedgrove Junior School, Aylesbury Performing Arts Centre, The Aylesbury Vale Academy and Castielli School of Dance.
Performers on the Wednesday night include the Grange School, Kandeez Dance, Aylesbury School of Dance and Kercher School of Dance.
The performances start at 7pm on both nights and tickets cost between £10 and £15.