A MAGICAL Peter Pan-inspired dance performance by talented Isle of Wight students ensured a fairytale ending in the southern regional premier final of Rock Challenge.
Ryde Academy, riding the wave of last year’s success in the competition when they finished third in the national final, came first with their entry, Never Never Known, at Portsmouth Guildhall on Friday.
The team of 80 dancers, supported by a backstage crew of 14 students, earned the judges’ plaudits and a clutch of awards with their all-action prequel to the classic J. M. Barrie story, Peter Pan
— about how Peter and Captain Hook became mortal enemies.
There is no national final this year, but Ryde Academy dance teacher Kat Millmore said their regional victory had been a boost to the whole school
She said: "Everyone involved with it is absolutely ecstatic. They are immensely proud of themselves and the result has left the school with a real feel good factor."
As well as the overall winners trophy, the school won awards for best performance skill, lighting design and video performance.
Sandown Bay Academy also performed in the final with their routine, Sweet Temptation, and won the award for best costume design.
Their atmospheric dance was about the tale of Hansel and Gretel
and their battle with evil.
Islander Tim Macfarlane, who manages Rock Challenge, said: "Ryde Academy put in a brilliant performance — a vibrant, high energy and well told story in what was a very strong final.
"Sandown Bay Academy’s team was dynamic and had original ideas with incredible costuming. I’m sure they’ll return stronger next year."
In the Southern Open Final, held at the same venue on Wednesday last week, Christ the King College won awards for best make-up design and concept interpretation, with their dance, entitled Deception of Pink, and Cowes Enterprise College, awards for best soundtrack and entertainment, with the routine, Exodus.
Sandown Bay Academy perform their Hansel and Gretel-inspired routine. Picture courtesy of Nick Scott.