THE Lawrence Batley Theatre will be packed this weekend with young dancers having a ball.

It is astonishing to think that it is more than a decade since children from the Barbara Peters School of Dance first flooded the theatre’s main stage with excited, talented young performers.

Now on Children Dancing XII, the school will showcase talent from all around Huddersfield in two separate shows.

In a day packed with dance, the theatre will spotlight children from tiny tots to confident teenagers zipping across the stage.

The first show on Sunday (May 22) is at 3pm and this is the one high on the ah factor.

After all, what proud parents would not be delighted to see their toddler doing more than toddle.

Babyballet teaches tinies all manner of things. It gives them confidence, strengthens their muscles, develops their musicality and sense of rhythm.

And on top of all of that, it gives them huge opportunities to socialise with other children, a key factor as these small children start approaching the structured life of nursery and school.

Laura Graydon, Felicity McGreal, Leanne Swain and Christine Shoesmith are all involved in Babyballet which runs every week and has guided many youngsters in taking their first steps on to the LBT stage this weekend.

Many of those children will have mums and even grandmothers who have also put on their dancing shoes for the first time at Barbara’s school.

Those families are now giving their children the chance to experience the sheer joy of dancing and having fun as they grow.

Once the tinies have gone home, doubtless exhausted and some perhaps over-excited, the school’s more senior dancers arrive for a 6pm performance.

Candida Harman, one of the school’s senior tutors, has choreographed these talented tappers, jazz dancers and budding ballet stars in a series of pieces with the title Starmakers.

She’s taken the 12 signs of the zodiac, grouped them in terms of air, earth fire and water and found bags of scope to cover the range of dance styles taught in class.

Imagine hooved animals tapping their way through star signs Taurus and Capricorn.

Fiery jazz dancers and airborne grace from the ballet students will illustrate the traits of other zodiac signs.

And watch out those Virgoans among you as the sign of vanity will be mirrored in the dance created for Virgo.

The creative power of the zodiac has influenced the costumes, the colours used and the whole atmosphere of what should be a powerful performance.

Candy has worked alongside the students and their teachers Jayne Priestley and Catriona Perkins to create showstopping routines.

There will be more than 100 young people aged from two to 20 involved in the show.

The school, which is in Market Walk, has been in the same premises for more than 45 years.

Tickets for the show from the Lawrence Batley Theatre box office on 01484 430528, or you can book online at