MORE than 20 Newport primary schools took part in the 2014 Newport Schools’ Dance Festival last week, which ended on Thursday night.

This year the festival, which is held over four evenings and is organised by two teachers from St Julian’s Primary School, was held at the Riverfront Arts Centre.

The 17th annual festival saw dozens of dance groups perform in front each other on Monday before showing their dance routines to the public for the rest of the week.

The festival was originally set up so pupils from Newport schools would have the opportunity to showcase their work in creative and ethnic dance within their schools.

Organised by Hannah Cooke and Luke Mansfield from St Julian’s, the Riverfront was packed with parents every night and raised more than £400 for the special care baby unit at the Royal Gwent Hospital by holding a raffle.

Schools involved this year includes Alway, Clytha, Crindau, Eveswell, Glasllwch, Gaer Infants, Glan Usk, High Cross, Langstone, Llanmartin, Maes Ebbw, Maesglas, Malpas Park, Marshfield, Millbrook, Milton Infants, Mount Pleasant, Pentrepoeth, Ringland, Rogerstone, Rougemont, Somerton, St Andrew’s Juniors, St David’s RC, St Julian’s and St Joseph’s RC primary schools.

Newport’s mayor Councillor Cliff Suller presented certificates to schools on Tuesday while Steve Davies, managing director of the South East Wales Education Achievement Service (EAS) presented the certificates to schools on Thursday.

Mr Mansfield described the organisers’ pride in all the pupils who have taken part in this year’s Dance Festival.

“Every night has been a huge success and all of the children were absolutely amazing,” he said. “It’s a huge achievement to go from dancing in front of their peers in the school hall, to performing in front of an audience of over 400 people, on a professional stage Not one person left the theatre without a smile on their face.”