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Danscentre on the Yellow Brick Road to a triumphant return at His Majesty’s

Danscentre HMT
Danscentre return to His Majesty's to showcase the best young dance talent in the north-east.

Ballet, hip-hop, tap, jazzy mums and dancing dads, all in one show? We’re not in Kansas any more, Toto.

So it’s only fitting Danscentre is kicking off its massive annual show at His Majesty’s Theatre with its own interpretation of The Wizard Of Oz, before launching into a whirlwind of styles, themes and music.

It’s a veritable smorgasbord from the Aberdeen dance school, which is finally returning to HMT from Thursday March 3 to Saturday March 5 for its annual showcase after a Covid-inflicted absence of two years.

“The show was supposed to take place in June 2020 – we were literally at the state of handing out costumes and finalising choreography when we got to that moment in March 2020 when everything was shut down,” said Michelle Whyte, co-principal of Danscentre.

So she – and the whole school – are delighted to be back in HMT ready to bring the show, iDance, to the stage.

“It’s really emotional, actually,” said Michelle. “When we walked in the doors on Sunday (to start rehearsals) it was a real sense of almost coming home.

iDance feels like the beginning of something new and promising

“There were so many moments when we thought it might not happen, so it really felt like this is the beginning of something new and promising.”

The show will feature 350 dancers – ranging from eight-year-olds to 20 plus as well as parents of pupils – taking to the stage over the four performances at the theatre.

Colour and drama on a journey into the unknown with talented Danscentre pupils.

It will be an upbeat affair, but with a nod to the last two years, reflected in the opening Oz tribute, dubbed Journey Into The Unknown.

“We’ve called it that because, obviously, we’ve all had this massive journey into the unknown over the last two years,” said Michelle.

Featuring the school’s youngest pupils, the first act will see ballet, modern dance and even some cool hip-hop with boys transforming into men in black as sidekicks to the wicked witch.

The second act will see the mid to senior Danscentre pupils step into the limelight, mixing traditional and neo-classical ballet.

Stepping out with a scene from iDance, presented by Danscentre at HMT this week.

“It will feature all the classics, Swan Lake, Giselle, La Sylphide – we have boys in kilts doing La Sylphide, which is lovely – and Raymonda with some very grand golden tutus,” said Michelle, adding it will include neo-classical numbers, plus a montage by vocational classes performed to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.

Finally, the third act will see a fast paced-collage of modern, contemporary, commercial and tap dance.

Dancing dads and mums will take to the stage of His Majesty’s Theatre

“It will include musicals such as Cats, West Side Story, and there’s a huge tap number in there as well,” said Michelle.

Of course no major Danscentre production at HMT – this is the seventh – would be complete without the dancing dads and mums associated with the school taking to the stage.

Danscentre HMT
Dancers Mairi MacEwan, Amy Maclean and Cara Sutherland are ready to step out in iDance at His Majesty’s.

“Our ladies will be performing on Thursday and Saturday evening doing tap and jazz from Chicago – the audience will be pleasantly surprised by how slick they are,” said Michelle.

“And on Saturday evening – for one night only – we will have our dancing dads where they take on a ‘decades of dads’ themed number where they tackle all the different dance genres through the ages of popular music.”

Not only is it fun, it’s for a good cause, too, with the dads supporting British Heart Foundation Aberdeen and Home Start Garioch, while the mums are boosting Bosies Breast Cancer Charity. The other chosen charity for the show will be Friends Of Anchor.

Michelle Whyte says audiences are in for a treat with iDance.

The school itself felt the full impact of Covid with canceled performances and classes, which is why Michelle is so pleased to see iDance finally take to the stage.

“One of the most heartbreaking things was for the huge group of pupils when the June 2020 show was going to their last chance to perform. That was to be their last show,” said Michelle.

Which is why she gave a shout-out to those pupils who had moved on, asking if any wanted to return for a special moment in the show this week.

Realisation of commitment and dream is just wonderful

“I was overwhelmed by the response so now they will get their chance, dancing to a cover of Let It Be, by The Beatles. It’s a poignant nod to the fact this has happened, but they have accepted it and moved on.”

Danscente pupils of all ages will fill the HMT stage with dance, colour and spectacle.

iDance is important for current pupils of the school too, who have faced two years of disappointment but are now seeing all their perseverance and hard work pay off.

Michelle said: “I think for these young people in particular there might have been a culture of ‘what’s the point, it’s going to be cancelled’.

“But I think working hard and seeing the realisation of that commitment, that dream and hard work is just wonderful for them.”

First and foremost, Danscentre’s iDance is intended to be a real treat for audiences heading for HMT.

Danscentre HMT
Oliver Mackenzie and Matthew Collie are ready to put their best foot forward in a kilted take on La Sylphide.

“They are going to see some of the best young dance talent in the north-east. The level of the children is incredible, particularly when you take into account the disruption they had to face over the past couple of years,” said Michelle.

“The audience will also see the passion, performance and personalities on that stage. They are going to be wowed by what they see.”

For tickets and information go to

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