Sarah Anne Westcott Dance And Performing Arts Studios.


Dance 2013: North Devon Journal Review

Sarah Anne Westcott has a huge problem ahead. The dance school director is always looking to improve her student's performances in both dance and vocals.

The best way to measure that improvement, she said, was by watching them perform at their shows.

If Miss Anne can improve on the recent performance of Dance 2013 then I, and most of the audience, do not know how she is going to do so, as it was absolutely brilliant.

The choice of music meant that everyone had something to please them, from modern classics such as Beneath You're Beautiful to the classically styled waltz from Coppelia.

Beneath You're Beautiful was a wonderful duet between Rachel Humphries and Alex Ely. Rachel, who has been at the school for 22 years and now teaches, choreographed the number herself. Graceful movements, yet powerful lifts, drew a tremendous response from the appreciative audience.

Another long-term student of the school returned this year. Audience members were delighted by the beautiful tone of Tamsin Ball's voice. At the last show she sang solo as well as danced in several numbers. This year she concentrated on her chosen profession as a singer and her performance was immaculate.

Just starting out on their adventures in dance were all of the little clowns and circus performers who probably got the loudest cheer of the night.

They shared it with the adult performers in Accentuate The Positive and Let's Get Loud. How loudly the audience members cheered probably depended on whether it was their grandmother or grandchild on stage.

Another dance had been specially choreographed by the school's patron, Brenda Last OBE, a former principal dancer with the Royal Ballet Company. She taught the choreography for The Russian Wedding in two half days during May. She then left the young dancers to polish it. It was polished until it shone.

It was great to see pupils having the confidence to get on stage and perform to familiar music, yet in a completely different style to the one that everyone would expect.

Who would think of making a remix of an Adele tune, Rolling In The Deep into a tap dance number? The blend of The Minstrel Boy and Toss The Feather, meanwhile, was inspired.

The music started with the quiet lament of a solo Irish fiddle and built into a full Lord Of The Dance type of arrangement which, literally, finished with a bang.

The performances were obviously a great success and, judging by the audience leaving the theatre, the next show can't come around quickly enough.