Falkirk dance school waltzes off with prizes at national competition

Pupils at Falkirk's Dancedreams Theatre School cleared the board at a recent competition
Pupils at Falkirk's Dancedreams Theatre School cleared the board at a recent competition

One of Falkirk’s longest established dance schools swept the board at a major competition.

Dancedreams Theatre School won several trophies at the ‘That’s Showbiz’ dance competition in Blackpool earlier this month including first and second place in the overall prize category.

The school, which has been running for 70 years, also took home a first in classical/modern category, second in the open choice, third in junior modern and second in hip-hop at the event which was attended by 58 dance teams from all over the UK.

Principal teacher Bonnie Barr said they were overjoyed at the win.

“The competition was really good, there was a fantastic standard this year,” she said.

Bonnie added: “We knew we had good routines and the kids pulled them off perfectly but when the others are so good, it’s impossible to know how the judges will vote.

“Every time they announced us an a winner, the pupils just erupted and by the end, when they announced us as the overall prize winners, the kids stormed the stage.”

The school had 39 pupils at the contest, aged from seven to 21 and danced to music from ‘West Side Story’, ‘Hairspray’ and a rock and roll routine set to various rock classics.

The rock and roll routine won the grand prize of £1000 and now Dancedreams have been invited to a showcase in London to rubs shoulders with the best dance schools in the country.

Dancedreams was founded by Bobby Barr - the father of current principal teachers sisters Bonnie and Sharon Barr and Ashleigh’s grandfather.

Then called Bobby Barr School, the well known face taught thousands of people to dance over his 70 year career.

Ashleigh, who has been teaching in the family business since she was a teenager said: “Sadly my grandfather died last year but he was involved in
the school as long as he could.

“Dancing was his passion he was the president of the British Association of Teachers of Dance so he was highly respected in his field.

“Dancedreams were invited to dance at The Royal Albert Halls in London last year which my grandfather got to come to - and it meant a lot to him to see the pupils on such a famous stage.”

The school also has connections to another long-established dance family.

Bonnie is married to David Johnston, also a dance teacher, the current owner of Storm nightclub and the grandson of Johnny Doak who founded Doak’s Ballroom in 1933, where Storm now stands.

Bonnie said: “You could definitely say dancing is in the blood, everyone in the family dances and loves to teach too.”

Larbert-based dance school NRG Performers were also at the Blackpool dance event.

They came home with three trophies.