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Ceilidh Week gets the city’s children dancing

The Portsmouth Live Music campaign continues to go from strength to strength, and last week the campaign took to the road, visiting schools across the city to give hundreds of children and young people the opportunity to experience and enjoy music and music-making.

As part of the Live Music campaign 24 primary and secondary schools and more than 500 children have been participating in the Portsmouth Schools Ceilidh programme. The aim of the programme is to raise children’s awareness and appreciation of British traditional dance and to give young musicians the chance to perform alongside a professional ceilidh band.

The week of dance was organised by Portsmouth Music Hub and has been offered free to city schools. Sue Beckett, the Chief Executive of the Hub said: “We’ve been running the Ceilidh week for the past five years, and this year we’ve had children performing as part of the band while their classmates danced; it’s been really encouraging to see so many children dancing and playing in the band. Seeing so much enthusiasm, participation and lots of smiles and laughter proves that the Portsmouth Live Music campaign is making a cultural difference to our city.”

Portsmouth Music Hub launched the Live Music campaign in 2016, and since then it has been recognised, both locally and nationally, as a powerful initiative to bring together arts organisations, professional performers and schools to engage children’s creativity, imagination and their passion for music and the arts. This year, due to the popularity of the Live Music campaign, the week of Ceilidh has been introduced into secondary schools:

Jo Harmer from FolkActive, the dance organisation that led the Ceilidh week said:

“The folk arts can connect us with people and places from the past, as well as with each other in the here and now.  Dancing is a very human activity; it’s fun, it’s great exercise and it brings people and communities together! Life skills such as team work and communication skills develop naturally through social activities in which every child feels part of the group and develops the confidence to mix with other children. The positive energy has been amazing at the ceilidhs and I’m excited about the future of folk music in the city!”

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