Dads took the stage during the annual father-daughter dance on Sunday at the BVI Dance Fest. (Photo: ROB LYONS)

It was sweltering outside, but that didn’t stop young dancers from giving their audience a taste of winter June 9.

“It’s not snowing yet, but you know how quickly the weather changes, so give us just a minute,” joked Sandy Lyons, the founder and director of the BVI Dance School.

Shortly thereafter, a group of young ballet dancers took the stage for a performance themed “Winter Wonderland.”

The dance was among 26 pieces performed for an audience of around 600 people on Sunday at the 24th annual BVI Dance Fest at the Multi-purpose Sports Complex.

Another show on Saturday — which, in a departure for the Dance Fest, featured a different lineup than Sunday — included 23 pieces for a similarly-sized crowd.

New director

A first this year was the leadership of new programme director Sylvanna Charles, who is also the assistant director of the BVI Dance School.

“Our first night, we were able to have the Elite Dancers from Antigua grace us with three beautiful pieces,” Ms. Charles said.

She added that another highlight was the father-daughter dance, where dads join their children on stage.

“We always do our show in mid-June, so sometimes it falls on Father’s Day weekend or the weekend before,” Ms. Charles said. “It’s always a crowd pleaser and an emotional piece to see the dads up on stage actively involved in their daughters’ dance journey.”

The event also featured a wide range of other dance styles, including contemporary, jazz, lyrical and freestyle.

Heather Butcher, one of the choreographers for the show, was proud.

“The students worked really hard to improve their technique, and it showed in the pieces done,” she said. “It is quite rewarding to see the growth each year as they work at their craft.”

Ms. Lyons, the previous programme director, said the annual event is separate from the BVI Dance School and is organised by a committee.

She added that it has developed its “own personality” over the years.

Anniversary show

Looking ahead, Ms. Charles shared her excitement for next year’s milestone event.

“Next year will be our 25th anniversary, so we are looking forward to a really big production next year,” she said.