MORE than 100 dancers, aged from three to 16, visited Bacup for the first-ever Dansworks Theatre Festival.

A total of 120 dancers, from eight schools, attended the event, held at the Central Methodist Church hall, in Burnley Road.

Dansworks Dance Academy teacher Gemma Nuttall organised the two-day festival.

She said: “I was really happy because everyone had a good time, and they said they would be coming back again next year.”

Karen Scott-Roe, principal of Dansworks, based in Alma Street, in the town, said: “We were delighted with how successful the event was.

“It is about putting Rossendale on the map. The festival brought in many people who had never been to the Valley before, and they spent money locally.

“We have talked about doing this for a couple of years and, because it was so successful, it will become an annual event.

“I expect it to be on for longer next year, because we have already been approached by another four dance academies who want to take part, but we would like to use the same venue.”

Karen, who has danced since she was three, used to be a professional dancer, and has taught dance for the last 25 years.

She said: “The standard of the entries we had in the festival was amazing.

“We had an independent adjudicator, Venetia Deane, and she commented on what a wonderful festival it was.

“We expected the first event might make a loss because we had to get 70 trophies for the different classes, but we put out an appeal for help in sponsoring trophies and received a fantastic response from local businesses who sponsored 32 of the trophies.

“It was staffed entirely by volunteers, including parents and members of our senior dance classes.

“We are very grateful for all the support we have received.”

Anyone who wants to know more about Dansworks can visit www.dans or call 01706 559671.