Pupils from near and far dance their socks off at city’s Caird Hall

Hundreds of youngsters from across Tayside and beyond danced their socks off in the Caird Hall at this year’s Rock Challenge.

The event, held alongside the J Rock competition, sees pupils put together a performance of their own choice and spend the year organising routines, costumes, working on set design, fundraising and rehearsing.

They take to the stage and have eight minutes to show off their theme — and be judged in a range of categories.

A total of nine schools took part across the two competitions.

Abernethy Primary School emerged the J Rock winners, their theme “The Witches of Castlelaw” casting a spell on the judges. Runners-up were the dancers from Strathmore Primary School with “Happy Thoughts And Pixie Dust”.

The dancers from Larbert High School in Stenhousemuir, meanwhile, were the Rock Challenge winners. They wowed the judges with their performance of “The Enchanted Forest” and will now go on to compete in the Scottish final on June 15. Kinross High School were runners-up with “We All Fall Down”.

Arbroath High School, performing “Reactor No. 4”, go straight through to the Northern Premier Final in Grimsby thanks to successes in previous competitions.

Kathryn Lindsay, head of children and young people service at Angus Council, said she’d been “blown away” by this year’s event.

“It has been absolutely amazing and I have been blown away by the standard of the competitors,” she said.

“The pupils’ themes have been really powerful, hard hitting and very topical.”

Rachel McWatt, 17, who helped coach the dancers from Arbroath Academy, said: “Rock Challenge is a great event to compete in as part of a team. The organisers put on a fantastic day for us.”

Sarah Lorimer, 17, from Montrose Academy, who has been involved with the competition for six years, said: “I enjoy getting to know new people. We are really good friends with all the other schools as well.”

Sophia Campbell, Rock Challenge UK’s event manager, said: “It’s such a great event. It allows pupils to get creative with their performances, make new friends and engage with their teachers.”

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