OVER the years, The Mail has reported on the activities of local dancing groups and of special dance events which have happened in the Furness area.

For example, in November 1990 pupils at St Bernard’s School in Barrow were among hundreds of Furness schoolchildren who joined in dance workshops held by the Dundee Rep Dance Company in various local schools.

Renaissance brought six dancers and choreographers back to the area after they had proved a huge hit earlier in the year.

Their workshops ranged from classical ballet to modern dance and they improvised classes to fit in with subjects the students were studying at the time of their visit.

As well as St Bernard’s, Kirkby’s Burlington Primary School, Barrow’s Alfred Barrow, the Marion Barstow School of Dancing at Dalton and Ulverston Victoria High School all benefited from the classes.

Renaissance’s next school’s tour was due to be from February 4 to 8 when the All Day Suckers from Lambeth Children’s Theatre were bringing an actors’ and puppet performance of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

People were being asked to book performances for five-year-olds and upwards.

In July 1991, The Mail reported that a French woman who was then living in Manchester had brought an ancient Egyptian art to life in Barrow.

Monique Schlick, a professional dancer and teacher, went to the Storey Square headquarters of Barrow Amateur Dramatic Society to shoot a promotional video for Northern Arts featuring her talents as a dancer of Raqs Sharqi, known to the West as belly dancing.

Gordon McKenzie, dance enthusiast and video cameraman for the day, said Monique was keen to get away from the cabaret image of the belly-dancer.

"It is a style of dance more than 3,000 years old, the traditional folk dance of Egypt," he explained.

"Belly dance is a derogatory Western term for an art form that is now being taken in context."