A DANCE company is set to represent the South West in an upcoming national festival.

The Point Eastleigh’s Hampshire Youth Dance Company has been selected to represent the region in the U.Dance National Festival.

One of 40 youth dance groups representing its region at the event, following a spring selection process, the group’s submitted film Surrender to the Deepest Blue was originally created in summer 2020 during the first lockdown.

U.Dance Festival, which takes place from July 16-18, is an online event presented by One Dance UK, and will feature three days of digital dance masterclasses, industry information panels and showcases, with a total of 30 sessions.

Participants will learn from the country’s top dance companies including Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Scottish Ballet, Zoonation: The Kate Prince Company, Phoenix Dance Theatre and Candoco, and from professionals who work with The Royal Ballet, The Greatest Dancer, Six the Musical, Hamilton and The Lion King.

Among the confirmed line-up are Dame Darcey Bussell, Strictly Come Dancing’s Karen Hauer and former champion Joanne Clifton, West End leading lady Miriam Teak-Lee and Royal Ballet star Marcelino Sambe.

Cabinet member for economy at Eastleigh Borough Council, which runs The Point, Councillor Derek Pretty, said: “The Point is an arts venue of regional importance and it is excellent news that the success of the Hampshire Youth Dance Company is helping maintain its high profile as a centre of excellence for dance development.”

The company’s rehearsal director Tory East said: “This is one of the country’s biggest youth dance events and we are delighted and honoured to have been selected to represent the region, joining in this celebration of the achievements of all the young dancers from across Hampshire, the South West and beyond.

“The Point Team and I are incredibly proud of HYDC’s resilience and determination as they have continued to produce outstanding work despite the restrictions we have all faced over the last year.

“We hope that the work of HYDC can help to inspire other young people to discover their own creativity and dance.”