William Shakespeare said:  “Things won are done, joy’s soul lies in the doing.”  I watched more than 300 children, representing  7 different dance schools, prove the old bard correct as they fashioned a dance show that left the audience enthralled and, dare I say it – joyous….?  The children were a mix of age and ability, but they shared one common attribute – they showed so clearly the joy they felt in performing for an audience.  As one lucky enough to be present at the show, I can vouch for the fantastic atmosphere these children created in the Lighthouse Theatre in Poole.  I was not there to judge technical ability, or costume design.  I was simply asked to enjoy the spectacle and to respond to what I saw.  It was one of the best musical evenings I have been to for a long time and trust me, I have been to many before.!  What thrilled me immensely however, was the faces of the parents who watched their children do themselves proud.  I know only too well the amount of dedication and effort is injected into these events by the parents who are there week on week to ensure their child does not miss rehearsals, who encourage and support both the children and the teaching staff.  The greatest ‘joy’ of all for me though was talking to a proud dad after the show who was still showing signs of the tears he had shed.  “Was it the football score or the show?”  I asked him.  “Definitely the show, he said.  I would have missed a world cup final to see my daughter perform like that”  His daughter it turns out was a slight framed young girl, small for her age, who had been a premature birth and was a great concern to the medical staff and the family through her early life.  Mum and Dad were cautioned that she would probably always be small and unlikely to take party in any energetic activities.  Truth is however, that with the encouragement of parents, siblings and friends she had joined the local dance classes and had blossomed.  She may never be a Darcy Bussell or a Cyd Charisse, but here she was playing her part in bringing something special to an audience.  She was the best she could be and we applauded her for that.

Finding that joy comes from having confidence in those around you, knowing you are part of a team who feel as you do.  Joy is not however, a sensation restricted only to the young for with dedication, commitment and some effort you can feel it in the songs we sing, the concerts we perform and the singers we perform with.  All I ask of us is that we are the best we can be and that we feel what we sing and show our audience what we feel.