Lift Off Dance Festival returns to South Hill Park this May for its 15th season. Over 600 dancers will take to the stage with dancers aged six up to those in their 80’s performing a huge variety of dance styles from the local dance community and from the professional dance world. The festival is a celebration of dance on every level: from those trying out a new dance workshop, those taking their first steps on stage, performers wanting to take up a career in dance through to professional dancers who have toured the world.

Lena Dee, festival director, said: “My aim with the festival is to offer something for everyone and give the audience new dance experiences that may open their eyes to the wide range of dance on their doorstep as well as accessing new dance artists they may never have discovered.

“It’s a great family season where you can join in a dance class, watch ballet, flamenco or contemporary dance on screen, watch your family and friends perform in the Galas or see the professional dance companies in action.”

The festival features the two Galas, eight dance workshops in Stunt Cheerleading, Contemporary and Street Dance as well as three dance films including a live feed of the Royal Ballet direct from the Royal Opera House, London.

The Galas, as well as showcasing youth and community group dancers will this year also feature performance and choreography by local boys Luke Brown and James Cousins, who have gone on to have successful dance careers in their own rights and this festival gives them the opportunity to give back to their audience as they both used to perform on the Wilde Theatre stage as youngsters.

Luke Brown, current Dance Artist in Residence at SHP as part of 80collective will be choreographing on Berkshire County Dance Company Youth.

James Cousins, has enjoyed huge success as a dancer with Matthew Bourne’s company amongst others and was the winner of the Matthew Bourne New Adventures Choreographic Award.

The festival culminates in a performance by James Wilton Dance Company on 19 May performing his explosive work Last Man Standing.

Lift Off Gala 2 will be held tonight (Saturday). Local schools, groups and invited professional dance companies will be performing at this annual event.

Groups performing include: Jawahir Bellydance, Birch Hill Primary School, Indian Community Association Bracknell, OFLAC, Burge School of Dance, Youth Dance at New Greenham Arts, Vanquish Youth and Minis,nocturn dance adult recreational dancers, Hip Hop Replacements, Classical Ballet Centre Surrey, The Willink School, Non Fiction Dance, Furze Platt Senior School, Artemis Phoenix Fusion, Royal Steps Dance Crew (Dance Inspired School), FuZion Dance Company Trinity School, Tuffney Performing Arts Academy, Berkshire County Dance Company Youth and invited dance artist Luke Brown.

Show starts at 7.30pm and tickets cost £11.

Call the Box Office 01344 484 123 or visit