Guinness World Record effort by Hackney schoolchildren

Hundreds of Hackney schoolchildren put on their dancing shoes last Friday to take part in a nationwide event to mark the Olympic torch’s arrival in the UK.

They all performed a five-minute routine at 1pm for the Big Dance Schools Pledge, part of the Cultural Olympiad.

They hope to set a Guinness World Record for the largest number of people performing the same dance at the same time.

Sixteen primary, secondary and dance schools took part and pupils learnt a routine based on sports movements created by Royal Ballet resident choreographer Wayne McGregor.

Students at Clapton Girls Academy, Laura Place, taught the routine to children from Kingsmead, Gainsborough and Daubeney Primary Schools in the morning. Later, 173 pupils aged 9-13 performed the routine together wearing t-shirts in Olympic ring colours.

Clapton Girls Academy dance teacher Kitty Fox said: “It was very exciting for us as a school.

“When everybody was performing together it was amazing, like a sea effect with so many bodies moving all at once. It was like a flag when it’s rippling in the wind.”

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Meanwhile 123 pupils at Springfield Community Primary School, Stamford Hill, performed the dance in their playground.

Teacher and dance instructor, Karinne Faddy, said: “It looked amazing. Our children were really inspired by it, they loved the idea of it as a flashmob.

“We do dancing all the time here, we have a dance zone at break time, but this is the first time we have done something on this scale.”

In Stoke Newington, 180 children at Grasmere Primary School added a gymnastics move to the end of the routine to make it their own.

Dance teacher Amanda Benjamin said the children picked up the dance “really well”.

“The idea is that the dance raises awareness of sports,” she added. “All the actions in the dance are recognisable so it’s within their frame of reference.”