Magic Weekend dance programme is a huge success

Magic Weekend dance programme is a huge success

The first phase of a dance programme run by the Newcastle Rugby Foundation in partnership with Rugby League Cares was a huge success at Magic Weekend.

The programme, launched through Rugby League Cares’s Cultural Partnership, has received investment from Culture Bridge North East and is led by Newcastle-based National Portfolio Organisation, Dance City.

In recent weeks, more than 150 young people from primary schools across Newcastle have benefited from quality dance sessions in school where the focus has been on producing work to perform at Magic Weekend and to complete an Arts Award Explore.

The hard work began on the eve of Magic Weekend when all the schools travelled to Kingston Park Stadium to rehearse ahead of the Newcastle Thunder vs Bradford Bulls League 1 fixture.

This was the first time the schools had been brought together and the youngsters acquitted themselves brilliantly.  Led by Dance City Artists and supported by RL Cares Dance Programme Manager Sarah Elston, the schools worked together for two hours before heading onto the main pitch to perform just before kick-off.

Sarah Elston said: “The dance programme in Newcastle is developing really well. Support from NPO’s is invaluable in delivering our aims for the Cultural Partnership and Dance City have ensured that the brand new programme for the Newcastle Rugby Foundation has got off to a great start.

“I was most impressed over the weekend by the number of boys that have engaged with the programme and showed real passion and commitment in their performance – it really was great to see!”

Following Saturdays ‘live rehearsal’ the schools met again at St James’s Park. Performing in front of a crowd of 38,831, the children kicked off the Join the Momentum performance which in total saw 367 dancers take to the field.

Sarah will now continue to work closely with Dance City and Newcastle Rugby to develop the programme, which includes plans for more school’s engagement, holiday activity and the creation of a Dance Academy based at Kingston Park.

Pictures by Stephen Gaunt (