HUNDREDS of dancers from the region are getting ready to take on a Guinness World Record challenge.

Students from Stagecoach Performing Arts in Darlington and Yarm will be joining up with schools nationwide and abroad, including Germany and Canada, to stage Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Junior.

Around 200 local dancers are expected to take part in the challenge on Sunday, July 1 but in total there will be at least 6,500 performers from across the globe set to tackle the record attempt.

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If successful, the school will break its own record, which it set 2008, achieving 66 performances of Glad Rags across the UK, Ireland and Germany.

Presia Nicholls, 42, the principal of Stagecoach Darlington and Yarm, said: “We are thrilled to be part of this amazing experience.

"Due to the enthusiasm, talent and commitment of our students and teachers in our Darlington and Yarm schools, we know that this will be an event that will be remembered for another 30 years to come.”

Pop Idol and pantomime star Zoe Birkett, who recently wowed audiences at Darlington Hippodrome, is a protege of the Stagecoach school.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast was released in cinemas in 1991 and in 1994 it was transformed into a spectacular, award-winning Broadway musical by the Disney Theatrical Group, which has been seen by over 25 million people and continues to enchant audiences around the world.

Most recently, this ‘tale as old as time’ has again been reinvented, this time as a live-action feature, which is the world’s top-grossing film of 2017, reaffirming its enduring appeal across multiple generations.

The selection of Disney’s enchanting classic is highly appropriate, with two former stagecoach students, Emma Watson and Nathan Mack, having played the protagonist Belle and Chip the teacup, in the film of Beauty and the Beast.

Meanwhile, Stagecoach has planned a year-long calendar of exciting opportunities to mark its 30th anniversary milestone, including hosting tea parties in schools across the country around the birthday date of 7th-9th April.

A special commemorative Charity Gala will also award students, nominated by their Principals, for Creative Courage.

The Gala will raise funds for YoungMinds, the UK’s leading charity championing the wellbeing and mental health of young people.

Early stages classes are available for children aged four to six and main stages classes take place for six to 18 year olds every weekend during term time.

For more information about Stagecoach Darlington and Yarm, visit their website at www.stagecoach.co.uk and search for either Darlington ot Yarmarm or call 0808 208 5134.