Horsham school’s anger at dance show cancellation

Children at Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee School practising for Dance Time SUS-150420-162700001
Children at Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee School practising for Dance Time SUS-150420-162700001
  • West Sussex County Council cancel Dance Time show
  • Show has been running for more than 15 years
  • Teachers, pupils and parents outraged at council’s decision

Parents, teachers and children at a school in Horsham have been left outraged after a dance show was cancelled without any warning.

Dance Time sees children from primary and secondary schools across the county choreograph dance routines and perform them on the big stage as part of a celebration of dance.

It is a bit of a let down for me as a parent and for other parents as it gives our children a chance to shine.

Clare Harman, parent

The show has been run by West Sussex County Council for more than 15 years.

However, the council has recently announced they will no longer be running the show which has left many outraged.

Sue Jay is head of creative arts at Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee School, in Compton Road, which caters for children with severe or profound learning difficulties, and has specialist status in the performing arts. The school has taken part in the show for the past 15 years.

She said: “It is just a ridiculous move by West Sussex County Council. I am angry and very upset. It was special for all the children in West Sussex and even more special for all of us.

“They really need to reinstate it and if they are not going to, tell us the reason why so somebody else can organise it.”

The show has previously run for four nights with youngsters performing on the stage at the Hawth theatre in Crawley or The Pavilion Theatre in Worthing.

Clare Harman’s daughter Fleur attends QEII School and she said they were both very upset with the decision. “For her it is like ‘when are we going on the big stage?’For her and for her friends it is a massive thing,” Clare said.

“It is a bit of a let down for me as a parent and for other parents as it gives our children a chance to shine.

“For her siblings as well, it is a very special night out for them to go and watch their sister shine.”

The County Time approached the county council to explain the decision.

A spokesperson said: “We regret that we are no longer able to organise the Dance Time celebration.

“However, there are a significant number of other local dance and music events which we would encourage schools to take part in.

“We consider it more appropriate for these type of events to be organised by schools and other groups.”